Monday Morning Memo

Monday, July 2, 2018

Partnership Presents

Tampa Downtown Partnership Staff Expands

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to welcome Kacie Blucher to the team as Bookkeeper and Executive Assistant, and Alana Brasier as Operations & Public Space Manager. In addition to processing all funds to and from the Partnership, Blucher will prepare monthly financial reports for the Finance Committee and board meetings and help develop the annual budget. She will also serve as Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Brasier will manage all on-street services provided by the Special Services District to ensure a clean, safe, and welcoming environment in Downtown Tampa. She will report directly to the Senior Director of Public Programming & Operations, Shaun Drinkard, and assist him and the Partnership with special events and other ongoing projects.  We are so proud to have such a talented staff! Read Kacie’s press release and read Alana’s press release in full.

Summer Series at Curtis Hixon Park

We are proud to bring 12,000 square feet of shade and free children’s programs to Tampa’s Downtown with our Summer Series at Curtis Hixon Park. Beginning July 5, there will be programs at 9am, 2pm and 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday through August 4 brought to you by Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park, YMCA, Hillsborough County Library, Salt Block Catering, and Barrett School of Music, and more. Make a play date to enjoy the sandboxes and arts and crafts available. We hope to see you out there! Get more information here.

What you Missed at our Annual Meeting and Luncheon

Our 32nd Annual Meeting and Luncheon, held Wednesday June 27 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa, broke previous attendance records with over 500 Downtown stakeholders in attendance celebrating our previous year of accomplishments and welcoming our new Board of Directors and Officers. “I am so proud of what our talented team has accomplished this past year,” said Lynda Remund, Acting President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “With the strategic initiatives set, we were able to build momentum right away,” said Remund. “This allowed us to quickly leverage our engaged Board Officers and turn those guiding principles into actionable goals with tangible results.” This year, Chief Marketing Officer for BDG Architects, Mickey Jacob, FAIA, returns as the Chairman for the Tampa Downtown Partnership for a second term. “It’s truly an honor to work with such an amazing staff, Board, Executive Committee, and group of stakeholders who are focused each and every day on making Downtown Tampa the best it can be for everyone who lives, works, plays, learns and visits our city,” said Jacob. “This year we are going to focus on three things – leadership, advocacy, and communication – to ensure our message and those issues impacting our Downtown are shared with everyone so they can make informed decisions to make our city great.”

See who was there by viewing photos from the event. View the video presented during the meeting.

Rock the Park Celebrates 8 Years

Join us as we celebrate free, live, and local music in Tampa’s Downtown with Rock the Park’s 8th Anniversary on July 5th at Curtis Hixon waterfront Park. Festivities kick off at 6:30pm including food trucks, Lightning giveaways, kids activities, photo booth, live painting, 800 cupcakes, and of course live music. In addition, we will be making a fun announcement you won’t want to miss! This month we feature musical talent from Ray Olan y su Nuevo Sason, Hannah Harber & The Lionhearts, and Mike Mass. Let your friends know you are going by sharing the Facebook event!

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.

Tampa Red White & Blue Fest 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2pm to 7pm
Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park
Everyone’s favorite free Independence Day Fest in the park returns to Channelside this 4th of July and all are invited. This year’s event will feature live music as well as made in America arts and crafts, food vendors, family-friendly competitions, a best-dressed contest for big prize giveaways, a celebrity magician, and appearances by Uncle Sam on Stilts! For more info, go to Tampa Red White & Blue Fest 2018.

Downtown Tampa Independence Day Fireworks Celebration

Wednesday, July 4, begins 9pm
Tampa Convention Center
Firework viewing will be available along the Tampa Riverwalk adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center as well as from other venues in the vicinity that offer a direct view of the harbor. Come out early to enjoy food, entertainment, and fun all while getting a good spot to view the fireworks! For more information, go to Downtown Tampa Independence Day Fireworks Celebration.

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Sunday, July 8, 3pm to 4:45pm
Tampa Theatre
Off the cuff yet perfectly planned, Dr. Strangelove is one of the most memorable comedies (and most important cultural artifacts of the Cold War era) ever. Immediately after the film, Tampa Theatre’s own James DeFord will lead a short discussion of Dr. Strangelove and an audience Q&A. For more info, go to Dr. Strangelove (1964).

On Stage at the Straz Center

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella – Thursday, July 5 to Sunday, July 8

On Stage at Jobsite Theater

Dancing at Lughnasa – Through Sunday, July 8

Doing Business in Downtown

Preferred Caterer for River Center Named

The City of Tampa recently selected Catering By The Family (CBTF) as a preferred caterer for the long-awaited River Center at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, which is now open. As one of its exclusive caterers, CBTF is proud to provide quality cuisine and service that will honor the City of Tampa’s vision for this beautiful new venue and the people it serves. Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park is a stunning 25-acre park, located just outside of downtown Tampa. The River Center is a 2,880 square foot premier event space on west bank of the Hillsborough River. The venue features floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open to a covered terrace offering a breathtaking view of Tampa.
“Catering By The Family Is a Preferred Caterer for the River Center”Tampa Bay Newswire

Splitsville Closed for Renovations

Change is underway at Channelside Bay Plaza — a portion has been demolished, and a beer garden with pop-up restaurant space is under construction — and that includes Splitsville, which opened its original location there more than 15 years ago. Splitsville is closed for renovations that will update the interior and add several new features, including indoor bocce ball and golf simulators. A reopening date hasn’t been revealed, but the renovated location will also have a new menu — fried chicken, deviled eggs, shrimp and grits have been added while mainstays like pizza, sliders and nachos remain.
“Splitsville Renovating Original Location Inside Channelside Bay Plaza”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Lector Social Club: Two Passions, One Store

Ever since Michael Hooker saw pictures in a Havana, Cuba, history museum of the legendary Jose Marti a few years ago, the former Ybor City resident felt more connected to Tampa’s social identity and history. The photos of Marti posing in Tampa cigar factories prompted her to research the Cuban hero’s relationship with Tampa, as well as the city’s historical lineage with los lectores, the readers who entertained factory workers while they rolled cigars. Her intrigue grew about los lectores, who read the daily newspapers in multiple languages, recited poetry, great works of literature and even comical dramas. These experiences along with her passion for the environment inspired Hooker to open Lector Social Club, a small space to honor Tampa’s history and combine natural wine with books. The small wine shoppe covers just over 500 square feet features a small stage open to local authors or musicians. It also holds a lending library with more than 800 donated books designed to create literary pairings with each wine in the store.
“Literature And Wine Combine At Lector Social Club In Downtown Tampa”Tampa Bay Times

Channel Club Now Pre-Leasing for Fall 2018

The Channel Club, a 22-story high-rise in the Channel District featuring 324 apartment homes atop the new Publix Super Market is now pre-leasing for Fall 2018. According to their website, prices range from $1,425 for a 511 sqft. Studio to $3,385 for a two-bedroom, two and a half bath. There are 17 floorplans to choose from all with varying price points. All apartments come with Channel Club amenities including an indoor and outdoor club room, fitness center, dog park, and more. Visit their website for more information.

Development and Transportation

HART Launches New Airport Route

Commuting to/from the Tampa International Airport and downtown Tampa is now easier and more affordable. On Sunday, July 1, HART launched the new Route 275LX, connecting Pasco County and North Tampa to Tampa International Airport and business districts in downtown Tampa and Westshore area. This seven day a week limited express route, the first of its kind in the region, provides hourly service, connecting Hillsborough and Pasco Counties, and easy access throughout the Tampa Bay region for employment, entertainment, medical and educational opportunities. With direct access to the airport, more travelers can save money by choosing affordable bus fares over the high cost of gasoline, airport parking or rideshare services. Customers can enjoy half-hourly express rides (60LX and 275LX) between downtown and the airport, seven days a week for only $2 per trip and stay connected with free on-board Wi-Fi. More information at

Water Street Tampa Unveils Vision for Public Spaces

Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP) released its vision for Water Street Tampa’s public spaces today, showcasing a collaboration of work by a talented team of architects, planners, and landscape architects, who have together crafted the overall vision of Water Street Tampa, the 50-acre mixed-use waterfront district located on historic Hillsborough Bay. Once complete, more than 23,000 people will live, work, dine, shop and visit Water Street Tampa daily. The neighborhood will be a place where great streets and vibrant, accessible, open spaces encourage the community to come together and enjoy the outdoors. The public realm master plan has been designed around three core values: reveal and improve connections, prioritize pedestrian comfort, and provide a diversity of public spaces. Further, Water Street Tampa ensures strong connections to the existing Central Business District of downtown Tampa and surrounding neighborhoods of Harbour Island and the Channel District. This will make it much easier and more comfortable to travel between Water Street Tampa and other close-in neighborhoods, as well as between the area’s numerous existing cultural amenities. For more information, visit and view a video here.

Could High-Speed Rail Come to Tampa?
State officials will consider private bids to build a high-speed rail link between Tampa and Orlando, reviving a dormant project to link the two cities, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday. Brightline, the high-speed railroad linking Miami and West Palm Beach with hopes of reaching Orlando, said it has put it in a bid to build track along Interstate 4, leasing land owned by the state and the Central Florida Expressway Authority. “As one of the nation’s fastest growing regions, Tampa Bay is a natural extension for Brightline,” said Patrick Goddard, president and COO of Brightline, in a statement. “We are currently engaged in the (bidding) process, which is the first step needed to extend the system to the Tampa Bay region.” Brightline’s pitch has prompted the Florida Department of Transportation to open up for other competitive bids. Interested parties would have 120 days to submit proposals. Where the rail would go, how many stops it would have and the cost of a ride are details that are likely years away, but Tampa Bay officials praised the news as long overdue.
“Rick Scott Announces Potential High-Speed Rail Linking Tampa And Orlando”Tampa Bay Times

ICYMI: City Parking Lot Transforming into Hotel

Plans to transform a surface parking lot in downtown Tampa into a hotel with street-level retail are moving forward, a city official said. New Orleans-based HRI won a bid to redevelop the city-owned lot at 405 E. Kennedy Blvd. in September 2016 with a proposal to build a hotel on the property. The agreement with the city outlines a 17-story, dual-branded hotel with at least 106 rooms franchised as a Hyatt House and at least 239 rooms franchised as a Hyatt Place, along with 3,400 square feet of meeting and event space, a fitness center and rooftop amenity deck with pool. HRI’s closing date on the sale has been extended several times after the developer’s due diligence revealed petroleum contamination — the property was previously home to gas stations, and at least six underground tanks were discovered during the inspection. Terracon Consultants Inc. has the contract on the project and  cleanup is expected to begin in July.
“New Orleans Developer Moving Forward With Plans For Prime Property In Downtown Tampa (Renderings)”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Is a Gold Standard BRT in Tampa Bay Possible

A successful bus rapid transit system attracts increased ridership and robust transit-oriented development, making systems financially feasible and worth the intense capital investment necessary to build them. But a system is only successful if all of its parts function together. “BRT creep” is what happens when those features start being systematically removed to cut costs, resulting in a route that is only marginally better than traditional bus service. A Jacobs Engineering study is currently recommending a 41-mile BRT route along Interstate 275 connecting St. Petersburg and Wesley Chapel, but transit activists aren’t buying it. In the United States, only one BRT system has the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s coveted gold rating — Albuquerque, New Mexico. It has dedicated lanes along the city’s historic Route 66, which also serves as a main street with existing development and has opportunities for more mixed-use projects to incorporate a thriving local population that would support a transit network. It has upscale stations with high-tech ticketing and raised platforms so riders can get on and off the bus quickly. While the Tampa Bay transit plan could become gold standard BRT, it’s a plan that doesn’t have much else on which to model itself. Most successful BRT routes are much shorter. They travel through a dense, urban environment. In areas where routes are longer, they are part of a much more robust transit network which the Tampa Bay region lacks.
“The Notorious BRT”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Member Corner

Tampa Bay Wave Celebrates 10 Years

Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. (Wave), a local nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build, launch, and grow breakout tech businesses in Tampa Bay, celebrates ten years of accelerating startups in Tampa Bay. Founded in 2008, Tampa Bay Wave originally started as a peer group for local tech entrepreneurs. In the early days, Wave existed primarily to give these entrepreneurs a forum to share ideas, find peer support, and even give a voice to their collective needs of capital, customers, and talent for local startups.  Tampa Bay Wave has since grown into a locally recognized resource for tech entrepreneurs and a nationally recognized tech accelerator program. Since launching its programs and services in 2013, Wave has worked with over 200 startups in the Tampa Bay ecosystem. Those 200+ startups have raised over $150 million in investment capital and have created over 1200 jobs in the Tampa Bay area. Of the $150 million of investment capital raised, $100 million of that was raised solely by Wave’s top fourteen companies in Wave’s GROW program. Today, Tampa Bay Wave currently works with over 100 tech startups and 250 entrepreneurs annually. To view learn more about Tampa Bay Wave, please visit

TBSE Names Senior VP of People Operations

Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC, an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik, has named Lorisse Garcia to the newly created position of Senior Vice President of People Operations, Chief Executive Officer Steve Griggs announced today. Garcia, who brings more than 35 years of human resources experience to TBSE and the Tampa Bay Lightning, will begin with the organization on Monday, July 9. Garcia had previously been working as a consultant, assisting corporate (including the Lightning and TBSE) and individual clients in a variety of areas. Her appointment coincides with the company’s rebrand of the human resources department to “People Operations,” further reinforcing the importance of its number one asset, its people. Under Garcia the People Operations department will develop an employee experience and environment at both AMALIE Arena and the Yuengling Center that will emulate the world class guest experience for which the company has become so well known. 

On the Move: Hill Ward Henderson

Hill Ward Henderson attorneys Matthew F. Hall, Jeffrey J. Wilcox, and Anisha P. Patel were sworn in to leadership roles for the Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA) at the HCBA’s annual Installation of Officers and Directors on June 8 at the Chester H. Ferguson Law Center. Shareholder S. Gordon Hill was recognized as Immediate Past President of the HCBA after completing his term as 2017-2018 President. Matthew F. Hall was sworn in as a returning member of the HCBA Board of Directors; Jeffrey J. Wilcox was sworn in as President-Elect of the HCBA’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Board; and Anisha Patel was sworn in as an ex-officio member of the YLD Board.  Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service law firm with multi-disciplinary practices. Headquartered in downtown Tampa, with more than 100 attorneys, the firm has a wide range of local, regional and national clients.  For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at

USF Hires Athletic Director

Michael Kelly, chief operating officer of the College Football Playoff (CFP) and a former USF associate AD to Lee Roy Selmon, has been hired as the Bulls’ next athletic director. Former ESPN college football insider Brett McMurphy first reported Kelly’s hiring Tuesday morning. The school made it official around noon. His official title is vice president of athletics.  He was formally introduced on Friday. Kelly, 47, replaces Mark Harlan, who resigned earlier this month after four years to take the same position at Utah. Kelly, who earned a master’s degree from St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, essentially has run the CFP’s day-to-day operations as COO. Hancock said he has managed all the events in connection with the championship game (including the game itself), as well as the external activities (concerts, fan festivals, etc.).
“Michael Kelly Hired As USF Athletic Director”Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Partnership’s New Effort

The Tampa Bay Partnership is applying lessons from Houston to its newly launched effort to increase the region’s talent pipeline. A group of 15 local business executives, university leaders and members of the nonprofit Partnership traveled to the Texas city last week for an aggressive two-day benchmarking trip. The takeaways were clear: Communicating with the local business community to establish a demand-driven talent development strategy is crucial. The Tampa Bay workforce initiative was born of a regional competitiveness report the Partnership released last year that found an alarmingly low level of education attainment and workforce talent in the region. The realization prompted the Partnership to include improving the Tampa Bay talent pipeline in its short list of priorities.
“Here are the lessons the Tampa Bay Partnership brought back from Houston”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Around Town

City of Tampa Holiday Collection Schedule

In observance of Independence Day, City of Tampa offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Residential customers are unaffected (there are no residential collections services on Wednesday).  Commercial customers will not receive collection service on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.  Customers who normally receive service on Wednesday, will receive service on Thursday, July 5, 2018.  Collection service will continue to run one day behind through Saturday, July 7, 2018.   Regular Commercial Solid Waste collection service schedules will resume Monday, July 9, 2018. Customers may contact the City of Tampa Utilities Consolidated Call Center at (813) 274-8811, or visit the website at  if they have any questions or concerns.

Validity Inc. Opens New Office in Tampa

Validity, Inc., a global leader in data quality and compliance, announced today that it has opened a new hub in Tampa because of the city’s commitment to cultivate a spirit of technology and innovation for tech-based businesses. The company will hire 75 local employees for sales and marketing positions with a significant investment through 2018. The Tampa Hillsborough EDC connected Validity to resources for workforce training grants. Validity, Inc. joins a growing number of technology solutions companies that have recently chosen to expand their operations in Tampa and Hillsborough County, including Revature, Vendita, and Frank Recruitment Group. The company’s new 23,000 square-foot Tampa office is located at 4010 Boy Scout Blvd.  Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the Validity website to learn more about available positions.
“Validity Inc., Global Leader in Data Quality, Opens New Office in Tampa”Florida Trend

HART Launches New Temple Terrace Route

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is proud to launch the Route 48 on July 1, 2018.  Customers spoke, and HART is providing a shorter, more efficient and enhanced version of the previous Route 57. Route 48 will serve critical areas along the Route 57, corridor discontinued after the Mission Max system redesign. Effective July 1, 2018, Route 48 will offer daily, hourly service operating Monday-Sunday. The route will operate between the University Area Transit Center (UATC) and the Netpark Transfer Center, via Temple Terrace. HART anticipates 150,000 annual trips along the new and improved route, which includes a 50th St. segment added during public outreach. The Route 48 will replace HART HyperLINK service in the Temple Terrace area. For more information on HART, visit

Copa Airlines’ Business Strategy

Copa Airlines’ decision to expand its Tampa-to-Panama City service to seven days a week is about more than just those two destinations. Instead, for the airline, bringing daily service to Tampa starting next month is part of an effort to knit together a growing network that will have 79 destinations in 32 countries by year’s end. “As we added new destinations, we had the need of getting the Tampa Bay community closer to Latin America,” said Fernando Fondevila, Copa’s regional manager for North American commercial operations, who was in Tampa on Thursday for business meetings. “Connecting through Panama, Copa offers more international destinations than any other airline in the region.” The airport has estimated that daily flights will have an economic impact of $33.8 million a year. Copa’s daily service to and from Tampa begins July 14. The flights leave Panama’s Tocumen International Airport at 9:10 a.m., arriving in Tampa at 1:30 p.m. They fly out of Tampa at 3:09 p.m., landing in Panama at 5:33 p.m.
“Copa Airlines’ Expansion Of Tampa Flights Has A Broader Purpose”Tampa Bay Times

Connect With Us!

Connect with us on social media to get the latest on downtown events!

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.

Sign Up Now