Monday Morning Memo

Monday, July 24, 2017

Partnership Presents

Executive Committee Profile

Comprised of the top decision makers in Downtown Tampa, the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Executive Committee includes developers, architects, and heads of companies who are changing the Downtown skyline. This week, we highlight Executive Committee member John LaRocca, senior vice president for Hillsborough River Realty Co. In October 2016, Hillsborough River Realty Company introduced plans for “Lafayette Place,” a premier mixed-use development blending residential, hotel, office, and retail uses along the west side of the Hillsborough River. That plan received City Council approval in March. LaRocca said the company initially planned only offices but rethought the project as the city began to revitalize both sides of the river. We’re honored to have John on our Executive Committee!


Welcome, New Members!

Tampa Downtown Partnership is excited to welcome our new members, Dechert LLP and the Oxford Exchange. Dechert is a global specialist law firm focused on sectors with the greatest complexities, legal intricacies and highest regulatory demands. Oxford Exchange opened its doors in September 2012 as a restaurant, bookstore, lifestyle gift store, co-working space, design studio and event venue. Dechert and Oxford Exchange join over 200 of our member companies who are actively involved in fostering a vibrant, diverse, and growing Downtown Tampa neighborhood. If you and/or your company is interested in getting more information on joining Tampa Downtown Partnership, please contact Kimberly Finn. Read more about membership.

Celebrate Tampa’s Arts & Culture Scene

This Fourth Friday, explore Tampa’s rich arts and culture scene in Downtown, Ybor City, and Tampa Heights at a fraction of the cost! On the Fourth Friday of every month, museums, galleries, performing arts venues, restaurants, bars, and even transportation options offer free or reduced admissions, special programming and discounts for Fourth Friday participants. The key to unlock all of the specials is a free wristband which can be picked up at any of the partcipating arts and cultural venues. Be sure to grab your wristband and tag @FourthFridayTPA in your posts! Check out this month’s schedule and specials at or on Facebook.

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


Through Sunday, July 30
Stageworks Theatre
Can genius exist without madness? David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning script delves into this question while its characters try to uncover the truth behind the authorship of a revolutionary mathematical proof. For more information, go to Proof.

Art Meets Jazz at the Barrymore Hotel

Tuesday, July 25, 6pm to 9pm
Waterworks Bar and Grill Restaurant at the Barrymore
Join us for Art Meets Jazz Night at The Barrymore Hotel, featuring live jazz music from Johnny Magnussun, art exhibition by local Tampa artist(s), a full buffet and full bar. The event will be hosted in the Riverwalk Room adjacent to Waterworks Bar and Grill Restaurant. For more information, go to Art Meets Jazz Night.

Shawn Mendes

Tuesday, July 25, 7:30pm to 9pm
Amalie Arena
The multi-platinum singer and songwriter brings his first-ever headlining arena tour to Downtown Tampa. Hear all your favorites, including “Treat You Better”, “Stitches”, “Mercy”, and many more. This sensational artist will put on a show that should not be missed! For more information, go to Shawn Mendes.

Tampa Bay Comic Con

Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30
Tampa Convention Center
This event is Tampa’s largest comic book convention, catering to a wide-spectrum of interests including comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, cosplay, artwork, sketches, and apparel. In addition, a roster of comic industry professionals and celebrities will be in attendance for meet and greets. For more information, go to Tampa Bay Comic Con. Join the Downtown Crawlers on Saturday, June 29, for their Heroes and Villains Last Saturday Bar Crawl!

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

The Little Hours (2017) – Through Thursday, July 20
Maudie (2017) – Through Thursday, August 3
Batman (1989) – Friday, July 28, 10:30pm to Midnight
It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) – Sunday, July 30, 3pm to 5:30pm

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9 – Through Sunday, August 6
Paw Patrol Live! – Saturday, July 29, 10am to Noon


Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Maven Designs

Maven Designs in the Channel District that specializes in sales of refurbished and painted furniture.  Shoppers always fine a and wide variety of furnishings from older homes in the area, including unique home décor. Recently, a downtown resident purchased all of the furniture right out of the front window, including a beautiful antique bedroom ensemble. The store is still full of amazing finds for your home or office, and the window displays will be replenished soon!   

Marketplace News

Studio K Spa Salon opened its doors last Thursday at 406 N. Morgan Street. They are open from 10an to 6pm Monday through Saturday and by appointment on Sunday, selling the new Kae line of skincare/body care products that are non-GMO, organic, with no parabens, sulfates, preservatives, or alcohol products.

Yacht StarShip invites you to Savor the Summer with the best prices of the year running now through September 22.

First Watch introduces their mobile app, which allows customers the ability to add their names to the wait list remotely, among other interactive features. The First Watch app is free and available on iTunes and Google Play.

Visit Tampa Bay is combining its offices and retail presence at One Tampa City Center with a store in Poe Plaza that will offer a wide range of locally produced merchandise.  The new 29th floor office’s collaborative 15,000-square-foot floorplan will serve more than 60 employees. The move of office and store will take place in August.

Greiner’s Fine Men’s Clothing is currently holding their summer sale with discounts up to 50%.  Gift cards and complimentary gift wrapping services are also available at the store.

Original Chicken Station at 508 N. Franklin Street, will begin serving dinner beginning August 1st, and to welcome the restaurant’s first week of evening diners, they’re offering 10% off your bill!

Shop Magnolia & Vine, a fashion company known for its interchangeable snap collections for footwear, jewelry, handbags, and wallets this Tuesday, June 25th  from 10am to 2pm, at 100 N. Tampa’s  Conference Center, Suite 2140.

The Tampa Club is taking steps to generate cash during the Summer slow season.

Port Tampa Bay’s New Spokesperson

Port Tampa Bay has hired a former local broadcaster as its new director of public relations. Samara Sodos, a former anchor with WFLA, is coming on board at Port Tampa Bay, replacing Ed Miyagishima, who left in March and has become a principal at Shumaker Advisors. Sodos, who also speaks Spanish, brings extensive television news reporting experience and expertise in crisis communications. From 2000 to 2012, she was a reporter and anchor with WFLA before joining the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
“Port Tampa Bay Hires Media Pro For Spokesperson Job” Tampa Bay Business Journal

Element Nearing Record Sales Price

Element, a prominent residential tower in the urban core, is nearing a sale that could come close to a record price per apartment in Tampa. The 35-story tower is under contract to be sold, according to real estate sources and the website of the brokerage firm marketing the property. Crescent Heights, which bought Element in 2013 as part of a portfolio deal, has asked the city to verify the zoning of the property — a move that’s typically done before a commercial property changes hands. Large commercial properties typically aren’t brought to market with asking prices. But sources say the whisper price for Element — a price the seller is hoping to get but doesn’t advertise — is around $300,000 per apartment, which would mean an aggregate sales price of $118.5 million.  In 2014, 2Bayshore — then known as Crescent Bayshore — sold for a record-setting $303,814 per apartment or $111.5 million.
“Element, 35-Story Apartment Tower In Downtown Tampa, On Verge Of Being Sold”Tampa Bay Business Journal


Development and Transportation

Cass Street Safety Improvements

A portion of Cass Street between North Boulevard and the Hillsborough River closed today for the West River Trail Safety Improvement project.  The Safety project includes constructing an enhanced crosswalk with a center median on Cass Street at the intersection of University of Tampa University Drive. Lane closures on Cass Street between North Boulevard and University Drive will occur daily from 9 am to 4 pm beginning on July 24.  One (1) lane of eastbound and westbound traffic on Cass Street will remain open at all times during the construction. All lanes on Cass Street between North Boulevard and University Drive will be open to traffic by 4 pm on Friday, July 28, weather permitting.

From TBX to TB Next

Statewide transportation leaders are at the center of a fierce debate over Tampa Bay’s woeful traffic problems, as they mull plans for spending at least $6 billion on road improvements. The Florida Department of Transportation began feeling the heat last year during discussions about its Tampa Bay Express plan, which included more than 90 miles of tolled express lanes as well as massive highway expansion plans. Both proposals faced intense backlash from the community. After mounting controversy surrounding TBX, the District 7 department hit the brakes and went back to the drawing board. It came back this year with Tampa Bay Next. Unlike TBX, TB Next is not yet a plan, rather a series of concepts the agency will brainstorm with engineers, transportation experts and the public for at least 18 months.
“From TBX To TB Next: Navigating The Tampa Bay Region’s Transportation Plan”Tampa Bay Business Journal

ICYMI: CapTrust Demolition

CapTrust Advisors, whose name adorns the CapTrust building at 102 W. Whiting St., has signed a lease for 10,500 square feet in Park Tower. Feldman Equities is planning the 53-story, mixed-use Riverwalk Tower on the site of the CapTrust building and adjacent vacant lot. In late 2016, Feldman partnered with City Office REIT to buy Park Tower, Tampa’s first skyscraper, and has since unveiled a glitzy, multimillion-dollar renovation plan. Relocating tenants out of CapTrust building is another sign that Riverwalk Tower — a highly anticipated, first-of-its-kind-in-Tampa project that will transform the city’s skyline — is moving forward.
“In Prep For Demolition To Make Way For Riverwalk Tower, Feldman Shuffles Office Tenants”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Newest Office Tower Turns 25

Tampa’s tallest office tower will officially celebrate its silver anniversary next week, but 100 North Tampa’s milestone is about more than just a birthday. The 25th anniversary of the 42-story skyscraper’s completion also says a considerable amount about the trend toward re-urbanization, the complexities of development, businesses’ “flight to quality” in the Tampa area and the overall changes in office usage over the past two-plus decades. For the 900,000-square-foot tower isn’t only the tallest building along the Gulf Coast — at 579 feet in height — it’s also the newest. Since summer 1992, when the building at 100 N. Tampa St.  debuted after nearly two years of construction, not a single office tower has been built in downtown Tampa.
“Towering Figure” Business Observer

Member Corner

HART Appoints TBARTA Representative

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority’s Board of Directors kicked off their July meeting with the vote to appoint Director Kathleen Shanahan as the representative to the newly reconstructed TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority) Board. Director John Melendez will serve as the alternate HART Board representative. In addition, the Board approved Resolution #R2017-07-30 adopting the proposed Ad Valorem Tax Millage Rate of 0.5000 mills for FY2018. In other matters, HART public outreach on the Proposed Service Changes & Transit Development Plan update will culminate with a public hearing on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the HART Ybor office.

TGH Earns Fifth Most Wired Award

For the fifth consecutive year, Tampa General Hospital (TGH) has been named one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum. The 2017 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. According to the 19th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, released by the AHA’s Health Forum, Most Wired hospitals use smart phones, telehealth, and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access health care services and capture health information. Results showed 76 percent of Most Wired hospitals offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices, and 40 percent offer virtual physician visits.
“Tampa General Hospital Earns Its Fifth Most Wired Hospital Award”Tampa Bay Newswire

Blog: How HART is Funded

HART is funded from a variety of sources from advertising, to state and federal funding. The largest portion of this is actually via Hillsborough County Ad Valorem/property tax revenue. HART is currently capped at a millage rate of .5000. A millage rate is the amount per $1,000 used to calculate property taxes owed. Paying your $2.00 HART fare in 2017 only covers roughly 22.5% of the cost of operating that trip! For those commuting on the other side of the Bay, that drops to only 18% or so. This is not just relative to the Tampa Bay area. DART, in Dallas, recovers roughly 15%, while MTA, the New York Subway system, recovers roughly 38%. So, if fares only cover 22.5% of the true cost of operations, where does the rest of the funding come from? Click here to see a breakdown of the HART budget.

Lightning Call for Artists

Now in its sixth year, the Tampa Bay Lightning  are looking for artwork to display in the 2017-2018 season and again invite all emerging and established local artists to submit pieces of original artwork. There is a special, separate category for artists under 18 years of age.  The exhibit’s goal is to display images that embrace and celebrate the greater Tampa Bay community, and that reflect the vibrancy of the area. Though not required, images that creatively incorporate Lightning hockey are welcome! Please note the submission deadline of September 7, 2017. More information.

Around Town

Apply for a Neighborhood Grant

There is still time left to apply for the Hillsborough County Neighborhood Grants. Completion of an online webinar is required to apply for the grant and there are two webinars remaining that you can participate in. Access the following link for information on the grant criteria and application process. The Hillsborough County Neighborhood Grants supports activities that improve communities, strengthen neighborhood associations, and encourage civic involvement. Potential uses of the grant include:

  • Communications
  • Beautification
  • Neighborhood Engagement
  • Events

Tampa Looks to Raise Property Tax

On Thursday, Mayor Bob Buckhorn proposed a$974.2 million budget for next year to the City Council that would raise the city’s property tax rate for the first time since 1989 and use the additional revenue to improve parks, expand fire service and prepare for looming financial challenges. Property tax bills are based on two factors. The first is the tax rate — known as millage — levied by local governments, School Boards and other agencies such as the port, children’s board and water management districts. In Tampa, the tax rate is 5.7326 mills — or about $5.73 in city property taxes for every $1,000 of assessed, non-exempt property value. The second factor is the assessed value of the property being taxed. As the value of property rises in value, it generates more tax revenue for local governments, even if the millage rate does not change, too.
“Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn Proposes $974 Million Budget For 2018”Tampa Bay Times

10 Leading People in Tampa

As the cranes slowly begin rising, it cannot be denied: Tampa is growing, and we are looking to our leaders now more than ever for guidance and vision. This year, Tampa Magazine sat down with 10 of Tampa’s leaders from nearly every industry, all of whom will play a distinct and crucial role in the city’s growth, to get their perspective on the innovations to come and to learn a thing or two about giving back. Read on to be motivated and inspired.

Walmart Opens E-Commerce Fulfillment Center

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has officially opened an e-commerce fulfillment center in Polk County that will eventually employ more than 1,000 people. The fulfillment center, which is near the intersection of Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27 in Davenport, includes two buildings and totals more than 2 million square feet. More than 550 people have already been hired, and Walmart said Tuesday that there are plans to hire “least 1,000 more” in the next year.
“Walmart Opens Massive $300M E-Commerce Fulfillment Center In Polk County”Tampa Bay Business Journal

St. Joseph’s Hospital Recognition, the web’s leading career site for nurses, has recognized St. Joseph’s Hospital as one of the best hospitals for nurses to work for in Florida. Over the past two years, has collected more than 3,000 Florida reviews from nurses about their workplace satisfaction. Reviews in Florida state have revealed that St. Joseph’s Hospital has one of the highest levels of satisfaction among its nurses. Reviewers cited “excellent benefits” and the “opportunity to learn” as the basis for the 4.5 star rating with 96% of the nurses surveyed recommending the hospital as an employer. View the full rankings of the Best Hospitals for Nurses in Florida.

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