Monday Morning Memo

Monday, January 29, 2018

Partnership Presents

Please take action TODAY to Support Florida’s Economy

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has been contacted by Santiago Corrada, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, to ask for our assistance to oppose Senate Bill 1714 – “A bill relating to economic development and tourism promotion and accountability” which has provisions contained in its language that will cause great damage to the economic development and tourism industries within the state and the greater Tampa area. Here are some detailed examples of how their proposed restrictions would hinder the tourism industry. We ask that you contact the members of the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee who will hear the bill today, Monday January 29, at 4pm to express our opposition to this bill. Click here to view the contact information for the Committee members as well as more information on Senate Bill 1714.

Clean Team Goes to Work After Gasparilla

Way to go Clean Team! Tampa’s Downtown Clean Team picked up over 2.6 tons of trash Sunday morning after Gasparilla. That equates to just over 260 bags of trash. The Partnership’s Downtown Clean Team provides supplemental maintenance to Tampa’s downtown sidewalks, gutters and public spaces through edging, weed eradication, and litter abatement. The team collects approximately 25 tons of debris each month, Using a structured maintenance work plan, the team also ensures that all 220 square blocks of downtown’s sidewalks and gutters located within the Special Services District are maintained at least once per quarter. Regular pressure washing is also a service of the Clean Team. Learn more about Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team.

Save the Date: Development Forum

Be sure to mark your calendar for March 23 from 7:30am until noon. for our 13th Annual Development Forum.   This half-day event focuses on the exploration of innovative ideas in urban development and serves as a catalyst for discussion and problem solving for major urban issues. Attendees hear from developers and industry experts on the front lines of the most significant projects in downtown and learn about Tampa’s city center progress in economic development, transportation, and commercial and residential development. The event features local and national keynote speakers who provide insights on the state of downtown as well as provide recommendations for future improvements. Additionally, representatives from some of the most significant and innovative Downtown industries give “barometer” reports of activities in their respective business sectors and provide a picture of how each sector is performing and what to expect in the near future.  Each year, hundreds of downtown stakeholders, urban planners, developers, real estate professionals, property owners, public officials, non-profit organizations, and arts and entertainment professionals and those interested in improving downtown are in attendance. Mark your calendar, tell your colleagues, and we look forward to seeing you there! Register today.

Debriefing Series: Attainable and Micro Housing

Last Tuesday, Tampa Downtown Partnership hosted a Debriefing on Attainable and Micro Housing featuring a panel of experts with Omar Garcia, David Bailey, Rob Rosner and Mickey Jacob as moderator. The following is an excerpt from an article written by Richard Danielson of the Tampa Bay Times, appearing online Tuesday, January 23.

When Omar Garcia announced plans to transform a vacant downtown office building into 120 micro apartments of about 300 square feet each, the calls and checks poured in. “We got 90 reservations like that,” Garcia said Tuesday, snapping his fingers at a Tampa Downtown Partnership panel discussion on micro housing, and 88 percent came from people who already worked downtown. “People were like, ‘Yes!’ ” But while interest in micro housing isn’t hard to find, developers said local regulations and the availability of financing are still catching up to a market that evolved sooner in some cities (Seattle, Nashville) than in Tampa.

Read the full article at View Omar Garcia’s presentation that was presented during the event.

Proposed Expansion of our Special Service District

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is hosting community meetings on Wednesday, January 31 and Thursday, February 8 to discuss the proposed expansion of the Special Service District (SSD). The SSD was created in 1994 to provide enhanced safety, maintenance, business development, beautification, planning and urban design, and other management services (the “Special Services”) in Tampa’s downtown. The SSD was initiated by property owners and is funded by a special assessment on properties located within the SSD. Through a contract with the City of Tampa, the Tampa Downtown Partnership provides the Special Services in the SSD. Recently, property owners in the Potential Expansion Area have requested the provision of Special Services in the Potential Expansion Area. In response to these requests and the growth of Tampa’s downtown and adjacent neighborhoods, the City of Tampa is considering expanding the SSD. View the posted Community Meeting Notice and map of the proposed expansion area. Both meetings are also posted on Facebook.

The Values of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities

Last Thursday, the International Downtown Association released their report, The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities. Driven by their strategic interest to establish quantifiable metrics which demonstrate the economic value and the quality-of-life-benefits that downtowns and center cities deliver to their cities and regions, the report clearly shows how downtowns and center cities make up a small share of citywide land area, but wields substantial municipal and regional influence. Highlights from the report include:

  • Downtowns average just 3% of citywide land, but account for 31% of citywide tax revenue. This means for every 1% of citywide land, downtowns contribute approximately 10% of citywide tax revenue.
  • Despite the uncertain future of retail, downtown retail is still a strong economic driver – averaging 16% of citywide retail sales and retail offerings. On average, downtowns saw nine times more retail sales than their citywide counterparts.
  • Downtowns continue to serve as major employment centers, accounting for 30% of citywide jobs and 40% of citywide office space. Downtown residential is increasing much faster than the rest of the city (38% compared to 5%). Downtowns also saw a 27% increase in residential housing units from 2010-2015, compared to the city’s average of 6%.

Download the free report today.

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. Going to one of the events? Snap a photo and tag #UrbanInsiderTPA

Rock the Park

Thursday, February 1, 6:30pm to 9pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Listen to some great musical talent in a beautiful, relaxing setting. This month’s show features The Badda Skat Band, Dean Johanesen, and When Particles Collide. With food and drinks on the premises and an always exciting vibe, this free concert is guaranteed not to disappoint. For more information, go to Rock the Park.

World Wetlands Day Celebration

Friday, February 2, 9:30am to 5pm
The Florida Aquarium
Wetlands are the most ecologically diverse habitats in Florida. Get up-close with many animals and plants that call wetlands habitats home. Start your journey on the Florida Wetlands Trail under the aquarium’s iconic glass dome that houses one of the world’s largest indoor mangrove forests, playful river otters, free-flying birds, alligators and more! For more information, go to World Wetlands Day Celebration.

Meals on Wheels 5k & Fun Run Music Fest

Saturday, February 3, begins 10am
Tampa Riverwalk
The Meals On Wheels High School Leadership Board is hosting this event to raise awareness of senior hunger in Tampa and to collect funds to purchase an emergency safety kit, which will include a radio and flashlight, for all 800 senior and homebound neighbors served each day. The event this year was developed in direct response to Hurricane Irma and its effects on our seniors and homebound neighbors, as many did not have power for days. For more information, go to Meals on Wheels 5k & Fun Run Music Fest.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

The Tempest – Through Sunday, February 11 at Jobsite Theatre
Forever Plaid – Through Sunday, March 11
The Magic of Adam Trent – Monday, January 29, begins 6pm
Black Violin – Thursday, February 1, begins 7pm
Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville – Friday, February 2 to Sunday, February 4
Take Me to The River: Memphis Soul & R&B Revue featuring William Bell, Bobby Rush & Don Bryant – Friday, February 2, begins 7pm
The Lightning Thief – Saturday, February 3, begins 2pm

Now Showing at Tampa Theatre

FACES PLACES (2017) – Friday, February 2, 7:30pm to 9pm
First Blood (1982) – Friday, February 2, 10:30pm to Midnight
In The Mood – Saturday, February 3, 2pm to 4:30pm
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) – Sunday, February 4, 3pm to 5pm
The Square (2017) – Sunday, February 4, 6:30pm to 9pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Marketplace News

Harbourside Animal Hospital is celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month! From February 1st – 28th, Harbourside is offering $50.00 off a professional veterinary dental cleaning for dogs and cats.  Contact them for information and to schedule by calling 813-229-3322.

The Vault is celebrating Valentine’s Day with an evening of romance featuring sensual live entertainment, sexy crafted cocktails, and scintillating food. Throughout the night live musicians, dancers and performance artists from around the world will create a sultry atmosphere of nonstop entertainment. $100/person includes valet parking, champagne cocktail, hors d’oeuvres, dessert buffet, & live performances.  Cash bar available. All guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Bizou Brasserie celebrates Valentine’s Day with their Love in Santa Margherita: Valentine Wine Dinner. Bizou is capturing your heart with five delicious courses this Valentine’s Day, each expertly paired with innovative Santa Margherita Wines. Explore the wines that live up to your life along with the food that you’ll forever taste in your memories. Guests should arrive at 6:30pm with dinner starting at 7pm. Reservations required.

CW’s Gin Joint is featured in Creative Loafing’s annual Cocktail Issue. “Upon entering this elegant place with an updated speakeasy ambience, you feel like you’ve gone back in time — in a good way. It’s as if the old-fashioned yet something-for-everyone bar has encapsulated the experience of drinking in the 1920s. The cocktail menu overflows with classics that every connoisseur should be familiar with, and not just gin, either.”

Sheraton Riverwalk Unveils Renovations

Standing on a balcony overlooking the Hillsborough River, Jeff Brinda, the general manager of the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel, talked about the extensive renovation being completed in the property’s 277 guest rooms. “We went into every single room and upgraded the air conditioning with new vents,” he said from a sixth-floor standard king guest room. That was one of the behind-the-scenes improvements made in the rooms. They were also rewired for Wi-Fi with more charging stations, allowing travelers to stream multiple laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Guest room changes began last July and are part of a larger renewal of the property, which is estimated at $7 million and should be completed by next year. The hotel is making the most of its proximity to the Tampa Bay Convention Center, Amalie Arena, the museums and the rest of downtown Tampa.
“Take a Look at the Sheraton Riverwalk’s Multimillion-dollar Renovation (Photos)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

SPP Outlines Marriott Waterside Renovation Plans

Water Street Tampa developers outlined some broad goals for their planned $40 million renovation of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina in a video posted to social media on Monday. In short, they want a hotel that feels inclusive, not exclusive. And they want it to draw not just out-of-towners, but Tampanians. “It’s going to be a major makeover to the building, something that’s been needed for quite some time,” said Damian Presiga, senior construction manager for Strategic Property Partners, the joint venture between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment. “Sometimes we forget about the locals. Locals are extremely important a part of hotels in general and of the city, so let’s bring them all here to enjoy what we put together.”
Water Street Tampa Sketches Vision for Marriott Waterside (with video)”

Single Contractor Named for Water Street

The developer of Water Street Tampa has parted ways with the majority of contractors doing preconstruction work on the massive, mixed-use project, instead hiring a Miami firm for most of the buildings in the district’s first phase. Strategic Property Partners, which is controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, is awarding the majority of the construction work in the first phase of its $3 billion district to Coastal Construction, the developer confirmed Tuesday. In June, SPP announced the construction firms it had hired for the first phase. One of them was Coastal, which was to build apartments, condominiums and retail.
“Water Street Tampa Switches Up General Contractors For First Phase Of Development”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development and Transportation

Making Bus Rapid Transit Work

For years, the Tampa Bay region has been stuck in a prolonged transit fight: bus vs. rail. The latest solution to that problem is bus rapid transit, also known as BRT. Local planners have set rail aside for now and are pursuing a 41-mile rapid bus route as a potential answer to Tampa Bay’s transportation woes. Political and business leaders alike hope the three-county BRT line will provide a quicker, more reliable alternative to being trapped in highway traffic. National experts say the service will need to be fast and frequent, and connect stations primed for development around them. The proposed Tampa Bay BRT line includes 17 stops and would link Wesley Chapel, the University of South Florida, Tampa and St. Petersburg. Buses would have their own lane for a majority of that route, but what constitutes a dedicated lane would change based on each segment. The only segment where planners are currently discussing building a new, separate lane is in the median of I-275 between the West Shore district and downtown Tampa. That’s the same corridor where many transit advocates had hoped to see light rail one day.
Bus Rapid Transit Service Must Be Fast, Frequent, Experts Say”Tampa Bay Times

Armature Works to Open Soon

The newly redeveloped Armature Works building overlooking the Hillsborough River in Tampa has undergone a $20 million dollar makeover to create the Heights Public Market, with more than a dozen local food vendors and retail, plus a courtyard, event space, co-working facilities with offices and meeting rooms, restaurants and a rooftop bar. The 73,000-square-foot renovation at 1910 N Ola Ave. does include some new construction, such as a 10,000-square-foot ballroom. But even there it’s hard to tell where the weathered red brick of the original 1910 warehouse ends and the virtually identical red brick of the new building begins. The public market is inside what used to be a 22,000-square-foot maintenance bay for Tampa Electric trolley cars.  In the market, more than a dozen local vendors will serve up everything from coffee to coal-fired pizza to cocktails to cold-pressed juice, and from burritos to butcher-carved cuts of meat to breakfast all day. Plus ice cream. In coming months, Harden and Bruck plan to start construction on two more projects at the Heights. One will be a $41 million office building with 150,000 square feet of space on six floors. It’s expected to be done in July 2019.
The Long-Awaited Transformation of The Armature Works In Tampa Is Nearly Ready For Its Debut”Tampa Bay Times

Ray’s to Announce Tampa Stadium Within Weeks

Another key member of the group trying to bring the Tampa Bay Rays to Ybor City said he’s confident the team has made their choice for the Tampa site and expects an announcement within the next two to three weeks. After talks with team presidents Brian Auld and Matt Silverman as well as the team’s principal owner, Stu Sternberg, Tampa attorney Ron Christaldi said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Business Journal that the team wants to move forward with a Tampa baseball stadium. Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, who helped broker the option agreements with land owners, said late last year he was confident based on conversations with Rays leadership that the team’s first choice in a new stadium site is in Ybor City, but would only say “soon” and did not provide a time frame.
Rays’ Silence On Ybor Stadium Site Could Be Broken Within Weeks” Tampa Bay Business Journal

New Flagship Hotel Planned for Downtown

A new 519-room Marriott International JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts hotel will be coming to Tampa, Fla., in 2020, thanks to Strategic Property Partners LLC’s upcoming $3 billion development in the Water Street Tampa neighborhood. Construction on the new hotel, designed by Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates with interiors by Champalimaud Design, will begin sometime in the next few months. The JW Marriott Tampa will boast more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the largest hotel ballroom in Tampa Bay at approximately 30,000 square feet. It will also feature numerous social spaces and amenities across six levels.
Downtown Tampa Hotel to Open in 2020”Commercial Property Executive

Member Corner

Join Do the Local Motion Tours

February is “I am for the Child” month and Do the Local Motion, powered by Where Love Grows, encourages you to support foster programs in our community by making the time to visit with the Guardian ad Litem Program. Join Do the Local Motion on Friday, Feb. 16 for the anticipated “After” tour of Historic Tampa Theatre. This tour is limited to 50 participants, register here. Meet at the Poe Plaza Esplanade at the intersection of N. Franklin and Jackson St. Walks depart at 12:05pm. Tours remain free, but a $5.00 donation is appreciated to support Where Love Grows. All of the donations go to help fight childhood hunger in our community.

ChappellRoberts Promotes Within

ChappellRoberts, the agency of record for notable clients such as Florida Cancer Specialists, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has promoted Charlie Militello, to Associate Creative Director and Adam Alvis, to Senior Web Developer.  Militello and Alvis will lead digital strategies for the Ybor City-based agency’s diverse roster of clients. In his new role Militello will lead creative strategies and development for ChappellRoberts’ digital services. His focus will be on transforming strategic marketing plans into effective visual executions and experiential branding across traditional digital platforms. In his new role as Senior Web Developer, Alvis will continue to lead the agency’s development team in building enterprise-class web projects, while focusing on further growing the department’s web capabilities.

Hill Ward Henderson Welcomes Senior Counsel

Connolly C. McArthur joins Hill Ward Henderson as a Senior Counsel in the firm’s Litigation Group. Ms. McArthur’s practice primarily focuses on the defense of long-term care communities, including assisted living facility and nursing home claims, and premises liability defense. Ms. McArthur has extensive experience in drafting and enforcing arbitration agreements for Long-Term Care communities. She has also authored numerous successful appeals in this area of the law, including Tandem Health Care v. Whitney, Alterra Healthcare v. Linton, Alterra Healthcare v. Bryant, and Himmelmann v. Alterra Healthcare. Ms. McArthur also represents medical professionals in claims made by their patients and the Department of Health, and has experience in Creditors’ Rights law. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at

UT’s Writers At The University Series Continues

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, The University of Tampa’s Writers at the University series continues with a reading by fiction author Cary Holladay. The reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, 310 North Blvd., and is free and open to the public. Holladay is the author of seven volumes of fiction, including Horse People: Stories, The Deer in the Mirror, The Quick-Change Artist: Stories and The Palace of Wasted Footsteps: Stories, and more than 80 of her stories and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies. Her awards include fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her 1999 story, Merry-Go-Sorry, based on the West Memphis Three murder case, was selected by Stephen King for an O. Henry Award. For more information, contact Donald Morrill, Dana professor of English and associate dean of graduate and continuing studies, at

Around Town

Tampa is Tops for Dog Walking

To no surprise, Tampa has been ranked one of the top 10 most “walkable” cities for dogs by The three factors determining this rating were average minutes per dog walk, the amount of dog parks per 10,000 residents, and the city’s official “WalkScore.” Tampa is ranked 4th on the list. From nature paths to bustling dog-friendly venues this city is full of adventure for man’s best friend. Walking your dog is extremely important to your pet’s health, but to an owner this task can sometimes feel like a chore. However, with palm tree paths leading to pet-friendly destinations Tampa has transformed dog walking from a dull task into the best experience of the day. It’s safe to say pups, as well as owners, would rate this city five paws.  You can find restaurants and breweries that welcome your furry friend here.
“Tampa Ranked Among Top Cities for Dog Walking”That’s So Tampa

Gobioff Foundation Supports Placemaking Efforts

The Tampa-based Gobioff Foundation, a private family philanthropic organization supporting creative placemaking in Tampa, has launched its second round of funding for artistic endeavors that help create a sense of place and spur economic development in a neighborhood. The Foundation accepted letters of interest through January 15 for its Treasure Tampa (T²) initiative, which will award $30,000 to one or more projects. Each proposal must be for a project within the city of Tampa or within the neighborhood served by the University Area CDC. It needs to involve a nonprofit organization, either as the executor of the project or as a fiscal agent. It also must involve a collaboration between at least two of these sectors — public, private, or nonprofit. Learn more about Treasure Tampa (T²) by visiting current projects on the Gobioff Foundation website.
“Treasure Tampa Offers $30K For Local Placemaking Project”83 Degrees Media

Recycle Your Gasparilla Beads

The City of Tampa’s  Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management and MacDonald Training Center, a local non-profit working to empower people with disabilities, has launched a bead reuse collection program.  The program’s intent is to reduce the amount of bead waste generated from local parades entering into the waste stream, while providing a creative reuse opportunity. Although the beads are not recyclable through curbside recycling, they can be reused.  Gasparilla revelers are encouraged to drop their unwanted beads off at any of the established bead reuse collection sites located at:  Port Tampa Community Center, Kate Jackson Community Center, Loretta Ingraham Recreation Complex, Copeland Park Center and the MacDonald Training Center, during regular operating hours.  For additional information on the bead reuse collection program, please call the City of Tampa’s Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management at (813) 348-1146, or visit our website at

Westshore Marina District Breaks Ground

The Related Group has broken ground on Town Westshore at Marina District, its newest luxury community in Tampa, Fla. LandSouth Construction is serving as contractor, while MSA Architects designed the apartments. Town Westshore is one of four Related projects in the Tampa Bay area, and is scheduled for completion in summer of 2019. The 396-unit waterfront property will offer residents 11 spacious floorplans of studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom apartments. Common area amenities will include access to the waterfront walkway, saunas, E-lounges, concierge services, fitness and yoga studios, massage treatment rooms and executive dining rooms. In the pipeline is a marina nearby with shopping and dining that will offer 51 acres of live, work, play amenities as well.
Related Breaks Ground on Tampa Luxury Development”Multi-Housing News

Save the Date for Fiesta Day

On February 24, join for a family-friendly, FREE “street festival” celebration commemorating Cuban, Italian, Spanish, Jewish and German immigrants that settled in Ybor City in the late 1800’s as the cigar factories thrived. Fiesta Day attracts families and people of all ages. Fiesta Day started out as a “verbena” or day of rest for the cigar workers who settled in Ybor City’s, “Cigar City Capital of the World” from Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy and now attracts thousands of passionate people to the festival’s exquisite ethnic food and entertainment. Ybor City’s famed “La Setima” or 7th Avenue is closed to traffic and the festival celebrates the “Best of Ybor” and includes ethnic food, arts & crafts, and ethnic music on our 7th Avenue Stage. View the Facebook event.

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