Monday Morning Memo

Monday, February 27, 2017

Partnership Presents

Snap, Post, Tag #UrbanInsiderTPA

Tampa Downtown Partnership wants to see how you Explore Downtown! For the month of March, we are launching a social media campaign to encourage residents, workers, and visitors to snap a photo Downtown, tag it with #UrbanInsiderTPA, and post it to social media. This highly visual campaign will provide a glimpse into how groups are interacting with Downtown as they share the sights and sounds of our unique core. We will collect the photos using #UrbanInsiderTPA from Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, then post them to an online photo album hosted on our website, Please spread the word and encourage friends, family, and colleagues to share their Downtown experiences!

Development Forum: Downtown In Motion

Mark your calendar! Tampa Downtown Partnership’s 21st Annual Development Forum will take place on Friday, March 24 from 8am until noon at the Tampa Convention Center. The Development Forum is a half-day event that explores innovative ideas in urban development and serves as a catalyst for discussion and problem solving for major urban issues. Participants hear from public and private leaders, and industry specialists who offer insight into local, regional and national trends in their field of expertiseView the agenda and register 

March is Bike Month

March is Florida Bike Month and Tampa Downtown Partnership is celebrating! We will continue to share bike events, promote bike safety and much more. Did you know that there are 20 bike lanes and trails in and near downtown? Also plentiful are over 200 bike racks and multiple shower/locker facilities scattered throughout the Downtown area.  Check out our website for lots of tips and to view the City and County’s Official Bike Maps.

The River Will Run Green

Join us for the 6th Annual Mayor’s River O’Green Fest, presented by Grow Financial, on Saturday, March 18! In partnership with the City of Tampa, this signature event of the Tampa Downtown Partnership takes place in the beautiful Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The party is centered around the Hillsborough River, which will be transformed into a bright shade of green for the occasion. The river provides a perfect backdrop to the celebration which includes live entertainment, games, kids activities, food trucks, and of course, beer! New this year, we will kick off the festivities in the morning with a Walk/Run along the Riverwalk and continue with a family scavenger hunt as well as a pub crawl and a Leprechaun costume contest! The entire family is welcome, including four-legged members. Interested in volunteering during this fun-filled day? Register here. Your help ensures we are able to keep these events fun and free to attend.

Downtowner Becoming a Limo

Public Transportation Commission board members unanimously approved the low-speed vehicles as a limousine designation in a recent decision to regulate the fleet of 12 electric cars that give free rides around downtown. Next step is approval from Tallahassee. Putting the vehicles under the regulation of the PTC means the cars can legally be used as commercial vehicles like taxicabs. This will open up additional revenue sources to help enhance the service.
“That Six-seat Electric Car You See Around Downtown is Officially a Limo”Tampa Bay Times


Your Downtown Calendar

The following is just a sample of upcoming events in Downtown Tampa.  Visit the Downtown Tampa Events Calendar for a more comprehensive list.

Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta

Wednesday, March 1, 11am to 2pm
Lykes Gaslight Park
Enjoy your lunch break in the great outdoors! Choose from a variety of colorful food truck options as the rolling kitchens line the park and serve up crafty meals to hungry Downtown patrons. For more information, go to Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.

Rock the Park

Thursday, March 2, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Listen to great local talent, including Fount, All Day Tuck, and FR33DBACK. With stadium styled seating within the park, food and drinks on the premises, and an exciting vibe, this event is guaranteed not to disappoint! For more information, go to Rock the Park.

Do the Local Motion

Friday, March 3, Noon to 1pm
Poe Plaza
Tampa Downtown Partnership is pleased to announce the transfer of our successful Do the Local Motion program to Where Love Grows, a charitable organization whose founder, Vicki Anzalone, has been involved since the beginning nine years ago. Tours will remain free; however, a suggested donation of $5.00 is appreciated to help feed a hungry child in our community. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit programs of Where Love Grows. For more information, go to Do the Local Motion.

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

Saturday, March 4 through Sunday, March 5
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
The 47th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts attracts more than a million visitors from all over the world to its delightful, culture-rich experience. You can delight in artistic inspiration in a versatile range of mediums, from watercolor to wood, painting to printmaking, all while being outdoors within Tampa’s showcase waterfront park. For more information, go to Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.

On Stage at the Straz Center

Forbidden Broadway – Through Sunday, March 12
John McCutcheon – Monday, February 27, begins 7:30pm
Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue – Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4
The Dali Experience – The Florida Orchestra – Friday, March 3, begins 8pm
The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes – Saturday, March 4, begins 8pm
Celtic Woman: Voices of Angels – Sunday, March 5, begins 3pm
An Evening with Carl Hiaasen – Sunday, March 5, begins 7:30pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper – Wednesday, March 1, 7:30pm to 9pm
Amos Lee – Friday, March 3, begins 8pm
The Salesman – Saturday, March 4 to Wednesday, March 8

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Ottawa Senators – Monday, February 27, begins 7:30pm
Twenty One Pilots: Emotional Roadshow – Tuesday, February 28, begins 7pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes – Wednesday, March 1, begins 7pm


Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Pearl Salon

Pearl Salon is named for its owner; it is the translation of the owner’s given name, Ngoc, from her native Vietnam, from which she emigrated with her family while still in her teens. The salon is known for excellent manicure and pedicure services, but also sells a number of excellent products for hair and skin. For gifts for yourself or others, check out their lines of Essie Spa, Surface Hair Care, L’Oreal’s Pro Fiber, and Soy Delicious candle to lotion.

Marketplace News

Bavaro’s, a Downtown favorite on Tampa Street, will soon be available to see you off on your next vacation at Tampa International Airport in Airside C! They’re already conducting dough training! Bavaro is joining many other downtown businesses at Tampa International Airport: Buddy Brew, Columbia, Fit Life Foods, Four Green Fields, Kahwa Coffee (@Newslink) and The Café by Mise en Place.

Oxford Exchange is accepting applications for authors wishing to showcase their books at the annual Oxford Exchange Book Fair.  The deadline to apply is March 15. The OE Book Fair will be held Sunday, May 7.

Pokeys, the British Pub on Madison Street, is definitely open again! An overhaul of their kitchen has not only opened up the space for viewing, but will also add to their menu options. A full liquor bar will open in days. Receive 20% off your tab through March 10!

Key Personal of Influence is holding a collaborative book launch featuring 12 local business leaders on February 28 from 6pm to 8pm. The event is free with food, live entertainment, and great sunset views. A cash bar will be available. For more information contact Jodi McLean at 813.258.4372 or visit the website.

Hotel Bar Impresses

It turns out that one of the more recent additions to the Tampa cocktail scene has something new to offer, and it’s brilliant in its simplicity. Simply named Hotel Bar, the concept is to serve cocktails originally made famous by bartenders at various international hotels. Many familiar cocktails created at hotel bars — the Sidecar, the Vieux Carre, the Sazarac — are already well-established in modern cocktail culture, but this Hotel Bar has done its homework, bringing a handful of less-familiar concoctions to the menu. Hotel Bar offers a subtle new take on the craft cocktail theme. It’s not groundbreaking, but it feels fresh with a clean, smart execution of a theme that — while only a little bit different than what we’ve become accustomed to in modern cocktail bars — hits the spot quite nicely.
“Bar Review: Hotel Bar in Tampa Offers Famous Cocktails” – Tampa Bay Times

Powerhouse Gym Closes

Citing “dramatic rent increases,” Powerhouse Gym announced last week that it will close its location in downtown Tampa’s Channel district to look for another location in the same neighborhood. Sources tell Tampa Downtown Partnership the gym closed its doors for the last time on Friday, February 24. The closures come at a time when the northern end of the Channel district is beginning to blossom. Construction is under way on a 21-story apartment tower on the vacant block directly north of the gym, and an adjacent Publix Super Markets Inc. store will break ground once the tower is complete.
“Powerhouse Gym Plans to Close Downtown Tampa Location After 8 Years”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Gasparilla Music Festival Group Offer

Take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a package of 2-day festival passes in any multiple of ten for $40 per pass (that’s a savings of $25 per pass!). Use the passes for employees, prospects, clients, local charities, neighbors or maybe just you and your friends. Tickets can be purchased online at

Development and Transportation

Invitation to Street Car Plan Brainstorm

The City of Tampa is hosting the first of three Public Meetings for the Tampa Street Car Plan. The format will be a short presentation with an interactive input session including a questions & answers portion of the meeting. Please come and share your thoughts on the future of Tampa Street Car System. For more information, please visit the project website.

Transportation App: Pirate Water Taxi

Travel Tampa by water! The Pirate Water Taxi Tampa app provides real-time arrival estimates for when the next boat will arrive at each of the 14 stops. Also, starting February 27 Pirate Water Taxi is launching their Zoo Express to the Lowry Zoo! Check their website for more details.

Progress Made for Connected Vehicle Roll Out

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) and the partnering integrator company Brandmotion have selected Savari Inc. to equip the majority of vehicles with its V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) connected car technology for the USDOT connected vehicle roll-out in Tampa. Tampa becomes the first city to feature Savari’s innovative and life-saving connected car technology following the US Department of Transportation’s new rule for car-to-car communications.
“Savari Selected as Major V2X Technology Provider for USDOT’s Connected Vehicle Roll-out in Tampa”Green Car Congress

CrossBay Ferry Launches New Offers

Starting this March, the CrossBay Ferry becomes even more desirable! Weekday tickets are now only $5 and commuter passes are half off! Take advantage of this wonderful transportation option before the pilot ends on April 30, and now at an even more affordable price. Go to for schedule, rates, and to purchase tickets.

In Response to Traffic Findings

Last week the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that in 2016 Tampa drivers spent an average of 27 hours in heavy congestion, costing about $923. The solution is the explore your options. Downtown employees are fortunate to have several commute options available to them. HART runs about 30 routes, including express, directly downtown. All buses are equipped with wifi and several tools are available to plan, pay for and track your trip. You can even get a free taxi ride home in an emergency. TBARTA also operates an online carpool matching service to find a partner to share the ride and expenses. Read the full article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Member Corner

Friends of the Riverwalk Name Exec. Director

the Board of Directors of Friends of the Riverwalk is pleased to welcome Jason Carroll as its Executive Director. Prior to his new position, Carroll served as a Regional Account Executive with Visit Tampa Bay, where he traveled extensively to promote the area as a tourism destination. Since 2013, Friends of the Riverwalk has shared an executive director with Tampa Downtown Partnership. However, the popularity and growth of Tampa’s Riverwalk, combined with the revitalization of Tampa’s downtown, now requires each organization to have a dedicated full-time employee.

Brew Bus Gives Back

In March, Brew Bus will be kicking off their Give Back Wednesdays, where every Wednesday they support a new charity by donating 20 percent of house draft and food sales from that day. Stop by for a beer or a bite and know it was for charity.

Stantec Named Best Engineering Firm

NAIOP Tampa Bay recognized Stantec as Best Engineering Firm during their 17th annual Best of the Best Awards Program. Stantec demonstrated a commitment to community through transformational projects and volunteerism. They have partnered on projects like the new Waterfront District, Tampa International Airport Commercial Real Estate Program, BayCare Headquarters, and the USF College of Medicine and Heart Institute.
“Stantec’s Tampa Office Receives “Best Engineering Firm” Designation From NAIOP Tampa Bay”Tampa Bay Newswire

History Center Announces Summer Camp

Spend your summer with one-eyed pirates, mysterious mermaids and wooly mammoths during the Tampa Bay History Center’s History Adventure Camps, beginning June 5. Open to children ages 7-11, each week-long History Adventure Camp includes a streetcar excursion to historic Ybor City, behind-the-scenes tours, field trips to nearby cultural sites, outdoor activities and interactions with historians and experts. At the conclusion of each camp, each child will take home a memory book of their adventures. Visit, or call 675-8987 for details.

GrayRobinson Welcomes Two Lawyers

In a move to bolster their railroad defense practice, GrayRobinson has hired Daniel J. Fleming and Philip C. Mokris to join their team as shareholder and counsel. Both previously worked at the Tampa firm of Melkus Fleming & Gutierrez PL. Fleming served as that firm’s managing partner since 2000 while Mokris worked there as a senior associate.
“GrayRobinson Bolsters Railroad Defense Litigation Team in Tampa” Tampa Bay Business Journal

Tampa Bay WaVe Startups Get $1.5M

Two Tampa technology startups will receive $1.5 million from angel investors in deals that the nonprofit startup incubator Tampa Bay WaVe helped shepherd by seeking capital from sources without a deep history in tech funding. Harness, a company founded by Miraj Patel and Andrew Scarborough, will receive $1.2 million from a group of investors led by Santosh Govindaraju, CEO of Convergent Capital Partners, a real estate private equity firm in Tampa with $250 million in assets. Another Tampa company, Phonism, founded by CEO Steve Lazaridis, is getting $350,000 from an investment group formed by Tampa attorney Rich McIntyre.
“Two Tampa Tech Startups Get $1.5 Million from Angel Investors”Tampa Bay Times

Around Town

Tampa Bay Makes Small Business List

In a ranking of 106 cities nationwide based on each city’s ability to foster the creation and development of small businesses, Tampa Bay ranked in the top 20 list of cities with the most small businesses.
“Small Business in America: The Cities with the Most Small Businesses”Tampa Bay Business Journal

St. Pete Pier Construction Update

At a meeting on March 2, St. Petersburg City Council will consider a nearly $900,000 agreement with Skanska that would trigger the first steps of building the city’s new downtown pier. The measure includes an amendment to the city’s agreement with Skanska to provide additional pre-construction services, including the purchase of 20 test piles and two overwater pile layout templates. The test piles and templates are needed to verify the length of actual piles used to support the new structure. Construction on the pier is expected to begin in May; it’s expected to open in late 2018.
“Construction on St. Pete Pier Faces Crucial Step Forward”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Join an Advisory Board

The members of the City Council of the City of Tampa are seeking citizens to serve on several City of Tampa Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils/Commissions. Citizens interested in seeking appointment must be residents and registered voters in the City of Tampa. However, there are several Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils/Commission that do not require citizens to be residents and registered voters of the City of Tampa. These positions are voluntary. Learn more here.

USF Bridge-Building Competition Winners

As part of the University of South Florida’s (USF) Engineering Expo, the (USF) College of Engineering and the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) sponsored the annual Bridge-Building Competition. The competition’s theme of Design It, Build It, Break It! allows teams of three students to design and build model bridges from Balsa wood and then test their load capacities. There were over 30 teams competing with a mix of boys and girls in middle school and high school throughout Tampa Bay.

Middle School Winners:
1st Place: Cambridge Christian School Team #1 – 232 lbs.
2nd Place: Cambridge Christian School Team #2 – 190 lbs.
3rd Place: Cambridge Christian School Team #3 – 140 lbs.

High School Winners:
1st Place: Middleton High School – 108 lbs.
2nd Place: Pasco High School – 107 lbs.
3rd Place: Lennard High School – 59 lbs.

Efficiency Winner:
Cambridge Christian School Team # 1 – Highest percentage of pounds of pressure as compared to the weight of the bridge

Sulphur Springs Museum Opens

With a February 4 Grand Opening, the Suphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center in Tampa has been created to celebrate and preserve the history of Sulphur Springs, a community that helped Tampa grow. It is a small unique dynamic organization that includes a History Center, Heritage Museum and virtual education tour of the “Springs of Florida”. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.

City Proposes Changes to Bayshore Blvd.

Support is growing for a plan proposed by the City of Tampa and the Florida Department of Transportation to widen on-road bike lanes, reduce the speed limit from 40 miles per hour to 35, and to create three pedestrian crosswalks. The changes are intended to improve safety and traffic flow through the corridor. The project is also a step toward making Bayshore Boulevard more user friendly. The only opposition is coming from the Tampa Bay Film Commission as Bayshore is one of their most popular filming locations and the width changes would make it more complicated to facilitate filming.
“Support for Slowing Traffic on Bayshore Boulevard Outweighs Opposition”  – Tampa Bay Business Journal