What We’re Excited About in 2018
Now fully into the New Year, our Interim CEO Lynda Remund shares her thoughts of what is most anticipated in 2018 for the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Tampa’s Downtown;
“As we look to the future of our Downtown, our staff, Board and Executive Committee are all committed to continuing with the visions set forth in our strategic initiatives of responding to city center growth and expansion, transportation and circulation in downtown, maximizing public space experiences, and the positive placement and continued relevancy of our organization. We couldn’t do our work without the support of our Downtown stakeholders, members, Board, Executive Committee, or our partners at the City of Tampa and surrounding communities. When we all work together, we are able to create a Downtown Tampa that will continue to shine for current and future generations.”
83 Degrees asked other local thought leaders: What are you most anticipating / most looking forward to experiencing / most excited about / most eager to see (take your pick) for the Tampa Bay region in 2018? Read their responses here, including comments from our past President and CEO, Christine Burdick.
Save the Date
Join us on Tuesday, January 23 at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel for a conversation on Attainable and Micro Housing. Representatives from the City of Tampa, Urban Core Holdings, and Stan Johnson Company in New York will discuss the importance and impact of attainable and micro housing in Tampa and downtowns across the country. The panel of experts will be moderated by Mickey Jacob, FAIA, NCARB, Board Chair of the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Chief Marketing Officer for BDG Architects. Networking and registration begins at 7:30am with the program and continental breakfast beginning at 8am. Register here.
Rachel Radawec Joins YMCA Board
Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce that Rachel Radawec, Placemaking and Community Engagement Manager, has been elected to the Downtown Tampa YMCA Board. As Board member Radawec helps drive fundraising efforts and ensures the execution of the organizations vision and mission. Today, the YMCA, the largest and oldest service organization in America, serves 17 million members in 120 countries. In Tampa Bay alone, The YMCA reaches more than 160,000 individuals each year through membership, programs, and outreach activities in our community.
Do the Local Motion Celebrates Arbor Day
Join Do the Local Motion this Friday, January 19 in Poe Plaza at noon as we celebrate Florida’s Arbor Day by learning about Tampa’s beauty. A healthy and social way to enjoy your lunch hour and learn interesting tidbits about Tampa’s Downtown! Tours remain free but a $5.00 donation is appreciated to support Where Love Grows. One hundred percent of donations help to fight childhood hunger in our community. For more information, go to Do the Local Motion Celebrates Arbor Day or to Where Love Grows.
The following is just a sample of upcoming events in Downtown Tampa. Visit the Downtown Tampa Events Calendar for a more comprehensive list. Going to one of the events? Snap a photo and tag #UrbanInsiderTPA
Thursday, January 18, 6pm to 10pm Grand Central at Kennedy Enjoy some gourmet food truck fun paired with Independent short flicks and live music! Pour House and City Dog Cantina provide micro brews and tasty cocktails. 10-15 gourmet food trucks will offer everything from burgers to vegetarian bites. For more information, go to 3rd Thursdays.
Art Meets Jazz
Thursday, January 18, begins 6:30pm The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk This event features live jazz music from Johnny Magnussun, art exhibition by local Tampa artists, a full buffet, and full bar. Johnny Magnussun is a saxophone musician from Orlando who has opened for high profile acts like Kenny G. For more information, go to Art Meets Jazz.
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
Forever Plaid – Through Sunday, March 11 The Sibling Rivalry Tour featuring Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones and The High Divers – Monday, January 15, begins 7pm Open Rehearsal – The Barber of Seville – Tuesday, January 16 to Thursday, January 25 View From Above with Terry Virts, NASA astronaut – Tuesday, January 16, begins 7pm Opera Tampa League’s Wondrous Wednesday – Wednesday, January 17, begins 5:30pm The Florida Orchestra – Dvorak’s Cello Concerto – Friday, January 19, begins 8pm Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour – Friday, January 19 to Sunday, January 21 Amadeus – Saturday, January 20, begins 2pm Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat – Sunday, January 21, begins 2pm
On Stage at Jobsite Theater The Tempest – Thursday, January 18 to Sunday, February 11
Now Showing at Tampa Theatre
Darlene Love – Thursday, January 18, begins 8pm Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) – Friday, January 19, begins 10:30pm Flashdance – Sunday, January 21, begins 3pm
This Week at Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Vegas Golden Knights – Thursday, January 18, begins 7:30pm US 103.5’s Throwdown by the Bay – Saturday, January 20, begins 7pm
Don Me Now, a women’s contemporary boutique in business for nearly five years in Hyde Park Village, is putting the final touches to the new store located at 1211 E Kennedy Blvd. and plan to open in the coming weeks.
Osteria, a joint project between Viviani and the Nocturnal Group, the group behind Tampa’s Franklin Manor, will be opened this spring by Top Chef reality star Fabio Viviani. Located at the ground floor of NINE15, Osteria will be a rustic but refined Italian kitchen and bar featuring a large outdoor patio and a nightlife program with entertainment to include live music and DJs.
Undici 11 Hair Studio is now open in the Slade building in the Channel District. Stop by for a cut, color, makeup or style.
NHL All-Star Pregame
The area around Amalie Arena will become a hockey fan festival during the Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. The National Hockey League said Tuesday that it will host three days of free events in the arena’s silver parking lot as well as Cotanchobee Park beginning the evening of Jan. 26. The NHL All-Star event will descend on the city the same weekend as the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Together, the two events are expected to bring massive crowds to downtown Tampa and the surrounding neighborhoods. The festival will be open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 26; noon to 11 p.m. Jan. 27; and noon to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28. A ticket to the All-Star game is not required. The NHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held at the arena at 7 p.m. Jan. 27. The All-Star game is at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28. “Sneak Peek: Here’s What The NHL All-Star Pregame Festivities Will Bring To Tampa” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Tax vs. Fee: Lawmakers Fight Marketing Money
Tampa and the Hillsborough County Hotel & Motel Association are fighting back hard against a lawsuit by House Speaker Richard Corcoran over what he calls an “illegal tax” on a dozen downtown and Ybor City hotels. The city and the association say the $1.50 per night added to room rentals is actually a fee sought by the hotels themselves to create a “tourism marketing district” to promote tourism in downtown and Ybor City. The city is involved, according to Mayor Bob Buckhorn and association Executive Director Bob Morrison, only because the county tax collector needed City Council approval to collect and disburse the money, hoped to pull in $1.2 million a year or more. Morrison said because of possible hotel ownership changes over time, creating and running the district wouldn’t be possible without a government structure involved. But Corcoran charges it’s a tax that “spits in the face of the Constitution” because only the Legislature can authorize taxes. In court filings, the association denied that Corcoran has legal standing to sue over an issue he’s not involved in, and accused him of attacking the home-rule powers of local government. “William March: Fee or Tax? Tampa, Hotels Fight Lawmakers’ Efforts to Cut Marketing Money” – TBO.com
Meet Tampa General’s CEO
John D. Couris spent his first week on the job as Tampa General Hospital’s new chief executive holed up inside the island-bound institution, bracing for Hurricane Irma. Despite the pressure that comes with securing the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center for a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm, Couris said it was the perfect way to get a feel for the team of more than 8,000 people the hospital employs. He sees Tampa General as the crown jewel of his resume, a place where he can do his best work and stay until retirement. It’s the biggest and most reputable hospital he’s worked for since leaving an executive post at Massachusetts General Hospital to come to Florida. One path Couris intends to take is expanding Tampa General’s reach, both through outpatient services and telemedicine. “New CEO Aims To Expand Tampa General Hospital’s Reach” – Tampa Bay Times
Cruise Line Bets on Cuba
Royal Caribbean International is making a bigger bet on its Tampa-to-Cuba cruises with a bigger boat. The cruise line is upgrading its service from Port Tampa Bay with a larger vessel that will accommodate more than 500 additional passengers during the 2018 summer season. In the summer of 2017, Royal Caribbean sailed Empress of the Seas from Tampa to Cuba, which carries 1,602 guests. This coming summer, Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas, which carries 2,350 guests, will call from Port Tampa Bay. This is the second summer in a row Royal Caribbean will offer cruises to Cuba out of Tampa. The demand for cruises to Cuba has increased despite a travel warning issued last October by the U.S. State Department advising U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the island-nation. “Cruise Line Decides Tampa Needs a Bigger Boat to Cuba” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Water Street Improvement District Approved
Last Thursday, Tampa City Council approved a resolution supporting a local bill with State Rep. Jamie Grant (R-Tampa) that would create the Water Street Tampa Improvement District. The Water Street Tampa project represents 9 million square feet at completion and will include the first new office towers created in Tampa in nearly 25 years as well as retail, educational and entertainment space. The special improvement district allows an appointed board to levy special assessments on commercial properties. The five-member board could also levy a millage rate up to one mil, which is $1 per $1,000 acres of assessed value. Money in the special improvement district would pay for things like transit, roads, parks and other public facilities. Read more about the special district, as covered by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, here.
Driverless Shuttles on Hold, For Now
A highly touted autonomous shuttle project along the Marion Street Transitway won’t be ready by the NHL All-Star weekend at the end of the month, as previously planned. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, the county’s bus agency, oversees the project. Problems arose with the contractor, Stantec, which didn’t meet certain requirements, HART spokeswoman Sandra Morrison said. Morrison said Stantec was not operating under the terms of the contract and they sent a notice of termination. HART officials are working with Stantec to find a resolution. Morrison said the agency can’t comment further because of potential legal disputes. “HART Driverless Shuttle on Hold for Downtown Tampa” – Tampa Bay Times
Apartments at The Heights are Move-in Ready
Residents will begin moving into the 314-unit Pearl, which includes 28,500 square feet of street-level retail space, this month, said Amanda Macko, the community manager. Rents start at $1,275 for a 568-square-foot, one-bedroom unit. The Pearl has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments as well as townhouse-style units. The largest units have three bedrooms and are more than 1,400 square feet. The Pearl is part of the first phase of The Heights, a mixed-use development on the Tampa Heights waterfront that includes the renovation of the historic Armature Works building, where event spaces, restaurants, coworking space, a rooftop bar and public market are planned. “New Apartments in Tampa Heights Ready For First Residents” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Bus Rapid Transit to Lead the Way
Transit leaders appear ready to scrap their dream of building a light rail line connecting Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in favor of a bus rapid transit system that would run alongside Interstate 275 from Wesley Chapel to Tampa to St. Petersburg. Also known as BRT, it’s a system that allows buses to travel more quickly along dedicated lanes, avoiding the traffic jams that choke the region. A 40-mile BRT route connecting Wesley Chapel to downtown Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg has emerged as the leading option in the $1.5 million study undertaken by Jacobs Engineering to bring regional transit to the bay area. For example, BRT could use the managed express toll lanes planned for the new Howard Frankland Bridge while crossing the bay. Once it hits the West Shore area, it might travel in its own lane along the expansive median of I-275 — which has been set aside as a transit corridor — until it reaches downtown Tampa. On other parts of the interstate, it could use the shoulder or breakdown lane, a concept that transit agencies have used in cities like Chicago. “Tampa Bay Transit: How Rapid Buses Left Light Rail In The Dust” – Tampa Bay Times
Construction Begins on 220 Madison St.
This week, Urban Core Holdings LLC is beginning construction to convert the 12-story office building at 220 Madison St. into 48 student housing apartments, principal Omar Garcia said Friday. The original plans, unveiled in April, called for 120 micro units between 300 and 400 square feet. Converting the building into 120 residential units would have required 120 parking spaces, and a city planner denied the developer’s request to waive that requirement in May. Hear from Garcia on January 23 during the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Debriefing on Attainable and Micro Housing at the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel.
HART is “Moving Forward”
On Monday, January 8, the HART Board of Directors voted to reelect its current slate of officers for 2018. The HART Board of Directors voted 10-0 to extend HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward’s contract from 6 to 12 months and suspend the national search for a new CEO. The main focus of the session was a presentation by HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward who provided an overview about looking forward to further enhance the agency’s profile and impact in the community through a strong foundation, direction, development of new partnerships and programs. Also, Seward emphasized continued focus on being a high performing organization through innovation, as well as analytical and responsible public stewards. Click here to view video recordings from recent HART Board/Committee meetings.
Benefit Concert for Blake Theater
Help Blake Theatre make it to the state festival! Join Blake High School Theater on January 30, 2018 at 7pm for a benefit evening of song as they bid farewell and good luck to all of the cast, crew, and musicians who have put everything into this season. “Say Goodbye to the Side Show” brings you back to your favorite songs from Side Show (and a possible visit from one or two of our favorite Urinetown characters) in an elegant concert evening. The award winning cast, crew, and orchestra will be together – live on stage – for their last public performance. Tickets are a minimum $10 donation (of course you can donate more) and can be purchased by visiting Ticketleap.com. Tell everyone you know!
Kimley-Horn is Growing
Kimley-Horn is proud to welcome Chris Niforatos, P.E., John Seals, P.E., and Shari Barnwell, P.E. to their Tampa office. Chris has 23 years of experience serving as principal-in-charge, program manager, and project manager for various water resources and construction management projects. John has more than 32 years of transportation system design experience in Florida, with a specialty focus on roadway design, intersection improvements, PD&E studies, railroad Quiet Zone studies, traffic operations studies, traffic signal and signal system design, maintenance of traffic, sidewalks and multimodal facilities/Complete Streets, and roadway lighting design. Shari has 21 years of experience focusing on transportation design, including five years with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Seven in project management. Find out more about Kimley-Horn.
Tampa Theatre Donates Old Curtain, Drapes
Tampa Theatre’s 40-year-old red stage curtain closed for the last time and was replaced with a peacock blue, pin-striped grand drape and a new, hand-painted valance. The red side drapes were likewise replaced with their cerulean counterparts. But rather than scrap the well-worn red curtains, Tampa Theatre was happy to donate the old fabric and have that little piece of history live on in Tampa’s artistic community. The narrow valance that ran across the top of the proscenium has been donated to visual artist Rebekah Lazaridis, who will create a large-scale painting on the fabric for an art installation at Studio620 in downtown St. Pete in October. The main curtains have been donated to Riverview High School’s award-winning Theatre program. According to Theatre Director Casey Vaughan, her students have several uses for the contribution in mind, including a cameo in their February production of A Chorus Line and as baffles to improve the sound in their auditorium. View photos.
New Mayoral Candidate Announces Campaign
A local business leader and Tampa Downtown Partnership member is the second person to file for the 2019 Tampa mayoral election. Topher Morrison, founder and managing director of the Tampa branch of Key Person of Influence, a global business accelerator and personal branding program filed paperwork at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office early Monday morning. Former Hillsborough County Film Commission head Dale Gordon is Morrison’s campaign manager. “Tampa Businessman Announces Mayoral Campaign” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
University CDC Appoints New Director
The University Area Community Development Corporation (University Area CDC) has appointed Michael Marshall as director of real estate and facilities. Marshall will be responsible for University Area CDC’s affordable housing properties, land acquisition and development. He also will oversee facility operations such as maintenance, housekeeping, IT, etc. With more than 20 years of experience in affordable housing and facilities management, Marshall served for six years as a Hillsborough County country manager/principal planner. He has extensive experience in and knowledge of affordable housing development, acquisition and property management, including the successful management of more than $200 million in construction/acquisition real estate contracts and project management. Additionally, for eight years, Marshall served as director of development and construction for the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. “University Area CDC Appoints Michael Marshall as Director of Real Estate and Facilities” – Tampa Bay Newswire
TIA Hits Record Passenger Number
Tampa International Airport officials announced record passenger numbers of 19,624,284 for 2017 surpassing the old record that occurred a decade ago. The new figure beats the previous record of 19,154,957 in 2007. Lopano said the strategy encompassed approving budgets for marketing expenses and going out on sales calls with the help of Mayor Bob Buckhorn to airlines such as Lufthansa and Copa. The busiest day for the TIA last year was Dec. 30, 2017 with 77,800 passengers passing through its gates. The airport had 554 total commercial flights on Dec. 29, the most for a single day last year. The pressure was on for TIA to surpass that previous passenger growth number as it finishes up the first phase of its massive $2.6 billion, multiyear master plan. The airport is opening 69 new shops and restaurants as part of the expansion. Next month, TIA will unveil its new 1.5-mile SkyConnect train and its cutting-edge rental car center. “Tampa International Soars to Record Passenger Numbers With New Flights” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Co-Working Catches on in Tampa
With downtown Tampa’s revitalization efforts, Tampa is quickly positioning itself as a leading city catering to modern concepts in urban living. For its part, downtown Tampa has embraced the live-work-play concept. The result? Co-work spaces are proliferating in the downtown core. The concept of co-working has been gaining traction lately, with many professionals finding their office needs are no longer met by traditional work places. Technology has largely eliminated the need to be at a desk all day and, even more so, the need to be in the office. With so many different professions finding a preference for co-working, venues and centers have begun to adapt to serve and cater to specialized niches. In and around downtown Tampa, there are several different co-working venues tailoring their spaces to meet the needs of target clients, including recently opened Industrious. “Co-Working Trend Catches on in Tampa” – TB Reporter
Tampa Office Market Tightest in Decades
Commercial real estate practitioners throughout the Gulf Coast and in various sectors expect the region’s robust market to continue in the year ahead, the result of continued steady demand, a relative lack of overbuilding and a stream of new jobs and residents. The Tampa area, in particular, is poised to gain new businesses and residents amid a wave of groundswell interest in the city. At the same time, new development has been lacking, pushing vacancy rates for office and retail spaces down to historic levels in both Tampa and St. Petersburg. “Tampa’s office market is the tightest it’s been since the early 1980s, with a 7.5% vacancy,” says Brian Alford, market economist for CoStar Group. “More of the Same” – Business Observer
Investors Cash-in Just Outside the Core
Havana Square, a newly built apartment community in Tampa’s North Hyde Park, has been sold for more than $58 million. Nashville-based Nicol Investment Co., which acquired Crescent Westshore in early 2017, was the buyer. Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, based in Atlanta, built the 274-unit Havana Square. The purchase price breaks down to $212,000 per apartment. The units average 804 square feet, according to HFF LP, which announced the deal last Monday. With some investors and developers concerned about an oversupply of top-tier, luxury apartments in and around downtown Tampa, Pollack Shores’ strategy has to been to build more affordable rentals just outside the most in-demand area. As land becomes more expensive and less available south of Kennedy Boulevard, more developers are looking to the North Hyde Park area for opportunity. “Nashville Investors Pick Up Another Tampa Apartment Property With $58M Deal In North Hyde Park” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Monday Morning Memo –Monday Morning Memo is a weekly update of “insider downtown information” regarding developments, transportation, special opportunities and other useful information to help you make the most of downtown. Subscribe to receive this weekly newsletter.
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