Monday Morning Memo

Monday, February 3, 2020

Six big Tampa Bay projects racing to be ready for Super Bowl 55

Since Tampa’s last Super Bowl in 2009, the bay area has welcomed a lot of splashy new projects that are expected to offer new venues for visitors during Super Bowl 55. Here are six projects where construction is underway with completion targeted by February 2021.

St. Petersburg Pier

800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

The centerpiece of downtown St. Petersburg’s urban waterfront, the new $92 million Pier and its 26-acre redeveloped site are projected to make their debut with a series of events starting in the spring and lasting through Independence Day. The project includes a $1.47 million aerial sculpture by Massachusetts artist Janet Echelman, a $1 million wooden playground, a fishing deck, and a five-story main structure at the head of the Pier. Businesses at the new Pier and its surrounding district will include the Teak restaurant, Driftwood Cafe and Pier Teaki rooftop bar, as well as Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille at the Pelican parking lot area. The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center presented by the Milkey Family Foundation will house hands–on marine exhibits and teach about Tampa Bay’s ecosystem.

JW Marriott

510 Water St., Tampa

The $200 million-plus JW Marriott hotel is one of two projects that helped Tampa land the Super Bowl, according to Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee president and chief executive officer Rob Higgins. (The other was the $160 million in renovations done at Raymond James Stadium in recent years.) When finished, the 26-story hotel will include 519 rooms, what’s touted as the highest rooftop bar in the city, a big ballroom and meeting space that will complement what’s available at the Tampa Convention Center and the neighboring Tampa Marriott Water Street. The JW Marriott also will be connected to the Marriott Water Street by an elevated walkway. “The completion of the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street is huge because it allows for a dual headquarters hotel when you combine the property with the Tampa Marriott Water Street,” Higgins said. “Together, the two properties offer more than 1,200 high end rooms right in the heart of downtown.” Ron McAnaugh, general manager of the Marriott Water Street and the future JW Marriott, said in a statement that “construction of the JW Marriott is on schedule for completion in (the fourth quarter) of 2020, ahead of next year’s Super Bowl.”

Midtown Tampa

Northeast corner of N Dale Mabry and W Cypress St., just south of Interstate 275, Tampa

The $550 million Midtown Tampa project about two miles south of Raymond James Stadium has been 20 years in the making, and developers with the Bromley Companies have contractors working simultaneously on multiple buildings to complete the first phase of the 22-acre project by the Super Bowl. Midtown Tampa will include the bay area’s first store from specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op, its largest Whole Foods Market, 400 apartments, a dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel, a seven-story office building, a fitness trail, and a growing collection of restaurants that include new locations for chef Chris Ponte, known for Café Ponte in Clearwater and On Swann in South Tampa, as well as the Oprah Winfrey-backed True Food Kitchen, Burtons Bar & Grill and the bay area’s first Shake Shack. “We’re moving really, really quickly over here” and are on target to hit Midtown Tampa’s ambitious development schedule, Bromley president and CEO Nicholas Haines said recently. When Midtown recently announced it had landed Shake Shack, Haines said, “we’re certainly targeting having them open as one of our restaurants for the Super Bowl.”

Haya Hotel

1412 E Seventh Ave., Tampa

The $52 million Hotel Haya in Ybor City is projected to open this spring. The four-story hotel will include 176 rooms, a 152-seat restaurant and 42-seat cafe. An interior courtyard will feature a swimming pool and lounge. The hotel is named for one of the historic district’s founding fathers, Ignacio Haya, who built his first cigar factory in Ybor in the late 1800s and was the first president of El Centro Español, a mutual aid society that provided health care and other aid to immigrants from Spain. In more than a century, the block where the hotel is being built has seen a parade of Rough Riders, hit men, club kids and drag queens. In 1898, horsemen from Teddy Roosevelt’s 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry are said to have ridden into the dining room at the Las Novedades restaurant in what became known as “the Charge of the Yellow Rice Brigade.” The El Dorado casino was on the same block, with customers that ranged from Tampa underworld figures to the occasional judge or politician. It was a place where you could buy a bolita ticket, find a prostitute — or get shot. In 1928, Florentino Martinez stumbled to a nearby clinic, where he told deputies he had been shot at the El Dorado, gave the name of a man with whom he had feuded and died. What shots? gamblers at the El Dorado said. No one was ever convicted.

Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

355 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg

The opening date for the ambitious five-story, 137,000-square-foot Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement has been a moving target for years, but it is currently projected to be early this spring. The museum is a legacy project for collector Rodolfo “Rudy” Ciccarello, who is financing the $90 million museum privately and stocking it with his collection of more than 2,000 objects from the early 20th century, when the American Arts and Crafts Movement revived and elevated the practice of distinctive hand-made furniture, ceramics, tile, glass, lighting and other objects in response to the mass production of the Industrial Revolution. Among the pieces acquired for the opening are four rare dining room chairs that architect Frank Lloyd Wright had crafted in 1901 for the 1902 Ward W. Willits House in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, considered to be Wright’s first masterpiece in the Prairie style of architecture. The museum, unique in its dedication exclusively to the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is expected to generate new tourism for St. Petersburg from devotees of the movement.

Hyatt House/Hyatt Place hotels

Southeast corner of N Florida Avenue and E Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa

Rising on a former public parking lot that City Hall sold for $7.6 million, this 17-story building will have a 230-room Hyatt Place Hotel and a 115-room extended-stay Hyatt House Hotel, plus about 4,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,200 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 220–space public parking garage. Completion is projected for the first quarter of 2021. “We’re doing what we can to facilitate an opening prior” to Super Bowl 55, said Josh Collen, the project executive at HRI Properties of New Orleans, which is developing the project. “Obviously, we want to make sure that guest satisfaction is off the charts.”

“Six big Tampa Bay projects racing to be ready for Super Bowl 55” – Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)

Pirate Water Taxi in Downtown Tampa expands to meet ridership demands

On Friday, January 31st, the City of Tampa along with Visit Florida will celebrate the expansion of the Pirate Water Taxi.

To meet the demand of riders the company is expanding its fleet by adding a 100 passenger ship.

“We’ve seen year over year, just ridership increase. We needed to create a bigger boat. We had the demand so we needed to be able to service that,” said Director of Marketing Jennifer Richardson.

The Pirate Water Taxi is a daily hop on, hop off service in downtown Tampa.

There are 15 stops along the Hillsborough River from Sparkman Wharf to Rick’s on the River.

This year the water taxi will add another stop to its list at The Florida Aquarium.

They’re seeing more and more people choose the water taxi to get around Tampa to avoid congestion.

“The pirate water taxi is a great option if you’re trying to get from one area in downtown to another and you want to avoid the parking and the traffic challenges and it’s just a great alternative,” said Richardson.

Adding even more stops and ships could be possible in the future if ridership continues to increase.

Right now there are more than 2,000 annual pass holders.

With increased traffic downtown, the company is investing in water taxis as commuters look for other ways to get around.

“We’re kind of looking forward to taking time to go up and down the river and see what we can see,” said rider Dean Messner.

Pirate Water Taxi is also adding The Lost Pearl ship which will be used for interactive pirate cruises.

The fleet expansion celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Convention Center dock.

“Pirate Water Taxi in downtown Tampa expands to meet ridership demands” –  ABC Action News

Downtown Debriefing Series with Carole Post, City of Tampa

Join us on February 25th for the latest edition of the Downtown Debriefing Series. Held at the Tampa Marriott Water Street, attendees will hear from Carole Post, new Administrator for Development and Economic Opportunity. She will share her vision for Tampa’s Downtown’s economic development future.

Sign up today!

DeVito’s, Coming to Downtown Tampa, Will Embrace Italian Classics

Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge owner James DeVito is going back to basics with his next downtown Tampa restaurant: DeVito’s Italian Specialties.

Debuting in February, the sophisticated full-service newcomer at 200 N Tampa St. will serve a menu of classic Italian cuisine, with a focus on guest interaction.

“What I enjoy most about owning restaurants is the intimacy and the relationships with the clientele. I want to get back to those roots and one-on-one personal connections with our patrons,” DeVito said in a news release.

DeVito opened the first Taps location at Ashley Drive and Polk Street in 2008, growing the brand through the launch of five other outposts. All but the original were eventually sold.

The native New Yorker and chef Alessandro Magnani, who was born in Bari in the southern Italian region of Puglia, have developed the food for DeVito’s. Guests will chow down on traditional dishes made with premium ingredients imported from Italy, including Roman pizzas known for their light, airy crust, specialty sandwiches and fried turnovers called panzerotti during lunch.

Dinner plans to bring more upscale items like octopus carpaccio, bone-in veal chop, pappardelle al cinghiale (flat pasta with boar ragu), whole branzino and zabaione (egg-based Marsala custard).

For drinks, the bar will marry Italian wines and beers with their American and local counterparts, respectively. Cocktail favorites like Americanos and Aperol Spritzes are in store as well.

In the release, DeVito said the restaurant is meant to celebrate old-school Italian cooking, simple dishes that let the ingredients speak for themselves.

“We want to go back to our Italian heritage, bring back traditional recipes, and resurrect recipes that have vanished and/or that are difficult to find in today’s everyday offerings of modern Italian cuisine, where dishes have been over modified,” he said.

2020 Downtown Development Forum

Registration and sponsorship/marketing opportunities are now open for the 2020 Downtown Development Forum! The Downtown Development Forum is a half day conference discussing topics and efforts of the downtown community’s development efforts. Hear from expert panelists, speakers and keynote address. Early Bird Pricing OPEN until February 5th at Midnight! Early Bird Partnership Members $65 (Increase after 2/5 is $75) Early Bird SSD Stakeholders & Non Members $80 (Increase after 2/5 is $95)

FRIDAY >> APRIL 3, 2020

Westin Tampa Waterside

725 S. Harbour Island Waterside Blvd.

Tampa, FL 33602

8:30am – 11:30

Stay tuned for the announcement of our expert speakers and keynote address!

Register Here:

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