Monday, July 29, 2019
Member Spotlight: Wade Trim
Learn more about Wade Trim here.
Tampa Downtown Partnership Promotes Two Staff Members
Tampa Downtown Partnership is pleased to announce the promotion of two employees; Ashly Anderson as Director of Marketing and Design, and Michele Smith as Operations Coordinator.
Ashly has spent the past eleven years working to designing urban places for communities of people to live and have fun. Joining the Partnership in 2013, Ashly has previously served as Senior Design Manager and Placemaking and Urban Design Manager for the organization. Through brand consistency and collaboration with staff, Ashly is responsible for overseeing the organization’s creative direction, strategic marketing, communications, public relations, and social media programs. She also administers two grant programs related to design improvements in Downtown, and leads the Special Services District and Arts and Culture Committees.
Michele’s international career acquainted her to best-practices for systems operations and logistics in a variety of organizations. She previously served as Administrative Assistant to the Tampa Downtown Partnership since 2017. In her new role, she coordinates all on-street services provided by the Special Services District to ensure a clean, safe, and welcoming environment in Downtown Tampa. Michele oversees Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team, assists with planning and implementing overall operations of the Special Services District, and serves as a liaison with partner agencies and downtown stakeholders. She also leads the Property Manager’s and the Arts & Culture Round-tables.
Wellness at the Core of Water Street Tampa's Design
The Water Street Tampa project is not just growing the city’s skyline. The downtown waterfront is being transformed into a neighborhood with wellness at its core.
“Just gonna revitalize the whole area down there,” said Taylor Zeisloft.
By the end of 2019, 12 projects will be under construction.
The entire Water Street Tampa community has been designed from the ground up, and every detail is intentional. The neighborhood is set to be the healthiest in the world.
“It’s fundamentally changing the way that we’re approaching the entire community, the entire neighborhood, it’s really creating the heart of downtown Tampa,” said James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners.
The plans recently earned the WELL Design & Operations designation from the International WELL Building Institute, an achievement no other neighborhood has reached.
Every aspect of Water Street Tampa focuses on the impact to people, and how the buildings, sidewalks and streets can promote healthy living.
“There’s things like water filling stations that will be on every single block, a tree canopy that promotes an active walkable outdoor lifestyle,” Nozar explained. “All of our street lights within all of the public realm across all 56-acres dim at night.”
23,000 people are expected to live, work and visit the transformed district every day. The goal is for the public spaces to positively impact people and their well-being.
About 13-acres of green space are woven throughout the neighborhood, and the layout will connect Water Street Tampa with other existing areas of the city.
“It’s really just about providing options for people, places to gather, to shop, to eat, to recreate,” said Nozar. “Thinking holistically about all the things that are important to you, and that you do in your daily life, and allowing you to live your best life.”
The WELL Community Standard has seven key concepts. To learn more about what it takes for projects to be certified, visit https://www.wellcertified.com/certification/v2/dando.
“Wellness at the core of downtown Tampa’s design” – FOX 13 News (with video)
Tampa Bay Office Rents Hit Their Highest Level Ever
As prices continue to rise, Tampa Bay’s housing market gets most of the attention but the office market isn’t doing too badly, either.
Average office rents climbed to $24.54 per square foot in the first half of this year, the highest ever and 14 percent higher than at the peak in 2008, a new report by the commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank shows.
The top average rent for premium Class A space was in Tampa’s West Shore business district — Florida’s largest office market — at almost $34 per square foot. Next were the central business districts of Tampa ($31.67) and St. Petersburg ($30.27).
Although Tampa Bay office rents have risen, “they remain an attractive alternative to the higher rates in South Florida,” the report said. “The trend of fleeing to the suburbs has softened, as demand in the region’s central business districts has outpaced supply for the past three quarters.”
The West Shore submarket, comprised of 4,000 businesses with nearly 97,000 employees, overshadowed all other submarkets in Central Florida as it accounted for 22 percent of midsize to large lease deals in the second quarter. In the Tampa Bay area overall, the real estate sector moved into the top spot with 156,000 square feet of larger lease deals followed by the financial sector with 149,000 square feet.
The travel and tourism sector took third place with 13,000 square feet of leasing, and the education and retail fields rounded out the bottom with less than 13,000 square feet.
Despite the demand for Class A space, only three new office construction projects to fill that need were underway in the first half of the year. The largest, the 10-story MetWest Three building on Boy Scout Boulevard, is due to be finished this summer. The professional services firm PwC has pre-leased all 250,000 square feet.
Earlier this month, Strategic Property Partners started construction on what is touted as downtown Tampa’s first high-end new office tower in more than a quarter of a century. The 20-story 1001 Water Street tower, being built on speculation, is one of three office buildings planned as part of Water Street Tampa, a $3 billion mixed-use development near the Amalie Arena.
No new office projects have been announced for St. Petersburg’s central business district despite the downtown area’s booming growth.
How Tampa Bay office submarkets compare by rents and vacancy rates*
South Tampa — $37.56, 1.1% vacancy
Tampa CBD — $30.38. 6% vacancy
West Shore — $29.93, 8.9% vacancy
St. Petersburg CBD — $26.79, 12.2% vacancy
East Tampa — $23.62, 14.4% vacancy
NW Hillsborough — $21.95, 7% vacancy
Pinellas Gateway — $21.87, 10.7% vacancy
Clearwater CBD — $18.42, 5.3% vacancy
South Pinellas — $11.39, 4.4% vacancy
Average of Class A, B, C rents in second quarter 2019
Source: Newmark Knight Frank
“Tampa Bay Office Rents Hit Their Highest Level Ever” – Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)
Shhh! There's a New Secret Speakeasy in Downtown Tampa
Tampa’s modern cocktail scene started with Ciro’s, a Prohibition-themed speakeasy with a hidden entrance that required a password.
The concept seems familiar now, as it’s been repeated in various forms across the bay area and, indeed, across the nation over the years. The gimmick is still fun, but the novelty of the speakeasy theme has faded, as the emphasis has rightfully shifted from secret passwords and attire from the 1920s to high-end crafted drinks in intimate settings.
A glimmer of the early speakeasy excitement appeared late last month with the unveiling of the Hidden Star Tiki Bar, a mysterious concept launched by the folks at Anise Global Gastrobar in downtown Tampa. Open just two nights a week and with a near-guaranteed wait of an hour or more to get in, Hidden Star quickly generated a buzz despite no exterior sign and precious little online presence.
A friend visiting from Miami graciously did the heavy lifting for me, checking in at the Anise podium and reserving our spot in line as I drove from the other side of the bay. I arrived at Anise and shot the breeze while we waited some more, occasionally scanning the room for the entrance to this alleged tiki bar, hidden somewhere in the depths of the restaurant.
Finally, our number came up. A host met us at the podium, and then walked us outside and around the corner of the building, to the entrance of a clothing shop. We walked through a room of sewing machines and fabric and ended up at a tall mirror that was actually a secret door leading into Hidden Star Tiki Bar.
The place is tiny, which explains the wait. It can seat about eight people at the bar, while accommodating another 10 or so comfortably at tables along the wall. With bar staff, you’re looking at about 20 people to really pack the house. The bar is open until 2 a.m. and sometimes later, but seating ends at midnight, so plan on showing up before 11 p.m.
The first thing I noticed was the fun and colorful decor, which had no resemblance whatsoever to anything you’d expect to find in a speakeasy-style lounge.
The next thing I noticed as I pulled apart the cocktail menu — folded into an origami paper fortune teller with a small yellow flower nested in the middle — was the elaborate presentation of the drinks on the bar. Exactly zero drinks were served in a typical glass or tiki mug; instead, cocktails were in glass bulbs swinging from chains attached to a wide metal base (the Oh Mai! Tai cocktail), in football-sized palm frond-styled mugs adorned with little metal flowers (Under Doug) and in decked out coconut milk cans (Call Me in the Morning).
If the drinks inside these bold vessels were anything short of excellent, scoffing might be warranted. Rest assured that this is not the case. The eight cocktails on the menu are the real deal: potent tropical drinks made with various rums, fresh fruits and juices and exotic house-made syrups.
Some are mostly traditional, like the Hidden Star Rum Barrel (Santa Teresa 1796 rum, citrus, pineapple, lime, allspice, Angostura and orange bitters) and the aforementioned Oh Mai! Tai. Others, like the 5 Spice Daiquiri, give a tiki classic some Anise flair with the addition of Chinese five-spice syrup.
Other drinks are wholly original, like the surprising Under Doug, a blend of Barcelo Imperial rum, Cynar (an artichoke-flavored Italian amaro), Cointreau, coffee, pineapple and citrus.
The next time I looked at my watch, it was closing time. Tiki bars and speakeasies are well-trodden territory in Tampa Bay, but Hidden Star manages to feel special in spite of this. The bar’s small quarters come with an inherent vibe of exclusivity elevated by the over-the-top presentation of the bar’s eight excellent cocktails, and the dialed-in focus of the beverage program really makes it all shine.
— Contact Justin Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @WordsWithJG.
Hidden Star Tiki Bar
777 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 225-4272.
The vibe: A tiki-speakeasy crossover filled with fun kitsch and excellent rum drinks.
Food: Snacks, $7.
Booze: Cocktails, $14-$18.
Specialty: It’s no surprise that rum is the focus of this tiki bar, with an honorable mention going to the cachaça featured in the Bird of Paradise cocktail. The drinks are outstanding across the board, but even more noteworthy is the elaborate presentation, from a bisected upside-down pineapple used as a mug in the aforementioned Bird of Paradise, to a massive thatched elephant housing a punchbowl used to serve the shareable Tiki for Two.
Hours: 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Closed Sunday-Thursday. Seating ends at midnight on Friday and Saturday.
“Bar review: Shhh, this Hidden Star shines” – Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)
ICYMI: Mayor Jane Castor Discusses Tampa's Transformation at Partnership's Annual Meeting
The Tampa Downtown Partnership annual meeting and luncheon, held June 19 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown Hotel, included remarks from Tampa’s former police chief and recently elected mayor, Jane Castor.
She proved that public safety still weighs heavily on her mind when she repeatedly used the word “firearms” instead of “fireworks” when referring to the city’s upcoming Boom by the Bay Fourth of July celebration. The malapropism elicited chuckles from both the crowd and the slightly flustered mayor herself.
So Castor has some work to do to live up to former Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s finely tuned ability to turn a phrase. But give her time. As Buckhorn’s handpicked successor, Castor knows not to mess with the formula that fueled Tampa’s run of success during her predecessor’s two-term tenure.
“We have undergone an incredible transformation over the last decade, thanks to organizations like the Tampa Downtown Partnership,” Castor says. “It’s exciting that we are attracting so many businesses. Downtown is on fire, and we’re on so many lists now; it’s just incredible.”
A Tampa native, Castor marveled at how far Tampa has already come and how poised it is to compete for talent and business. “This city is going to grow more in the next 10 years than it has in my entire lifetime,” she says.
However, citing the lack of affordable housing that’s been a byproduct of Tampa’s economic growth, Castor says development must be more “thoughtful” in the future.
“It’s something we need to pay attention to,” she says. “We have one opportunity to create the city that we all want to live and work in, a city that we are going to be proud to pass off to the next generation. The last thing we want to do is push people out of the city of Tampa because of rising housing costs and stagnant wages.”
“Jane Castor Discusses Tampa’s Transformation” – Florida Business Observer
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!
Donuts & the Download on Downtown
Wednesday, July 31, begins 8:30am
Tampa Downtown Partnership
This morning event will highlight what’s happening in Tampa’s Downtown and ways to engage with the Partnership’s programs and initiatives. Get the download on the benefits of membership, networking opportunities, transportation initiatives, marketing efforts, new developments, public art, crime prevention, beautification efforts, and much more. Complimentary pastries and coffee will be served. For more info, go to Donuts & the Download on Downtown.
Rock the Park
Thursday, August 1, 6:30pm to 9pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Listen to some great musical talent in a beautiful setting. This month’s show features Brother Cephus, Hotbox, and Charles Irwin. Greg Wolf will host. 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.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention
Friday, August 2 to Sunday, August 4
Tampa Convention Center
The Tampa Bay Comic Convention has been exciting comic fans from all over the area since 2000. The convention features comic books (of course), toys, cosplay, art, and more. Everything you need for a cornucopia of nerdy fun! In addition, a roster of comic industry professionals and comic con-related celebrities will be in attendance for attendees to meet and greet. As Florida’s #1 family-friendly and fan-owned comic book convention, the Tampa Bay Comic Con is the perfect place to let your inner-nerd run wild and free! For more information, go to Tampa Bay Comic Convention.
Innovocative Theatre’s production of The Hundred Dresses
Friday, August 2 to Sunday, August 11
Innovocative Theatre continues its devotion to examining violence and bullying among American children and adolescents with The Hundred Dresses. The time is September 1938, and ten-year-old Wanda Petronski is trying to fit in among the other students in her small Connecticut town, but her poor reading skills, shy nature, and social status makes it difficult. The added stigma Wanda faces as a member of a Polish immigrant family comes to a head when she claims she has one hundred beautiful dresses; though she’s only ever been seen in one. In this unique stage adaptation, Wanda’s story unfolds through the eyes of another student: Maddie, the best friend of Peggy, the most popular girl in school. When Peggy and other students start to make fun of Wanda, Maddie is confronted with an uncomfortable choice. For more information, go to Innovocative Theatre’s production of The Hundred Dresses.
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
Sword of Trust (2019) – Through Wednesday, July 31
Because of Sam “First Look” Screening (2019) – Monday, July 29, begins 7:30pm
WarGames (1983) – Tuesday, July 30, 7pm to 9pm
Grateful Dead: Meet-Up at the Movies (2019) – Thursday, August 1, 7:30pm to 11:15pm
Marianne & Leonard: Words Of Love (2019) – Friday, August 2 to Thursday, August 8
The Philadelphia Story (1940) – Sunday, August 4, 3pm to 5pm
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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.
- Member Spotlight: Wade Trim
- Tampa Downtown Partnership Promotes Two Staff Members
- Wellness at the Core of Water Street Tampa's Design
- Tampa Bay Office Rents Hit Their Highest Level Ever
- Shhh! There's a New Secret Speakeasy in Downtown Tampa
- ICYMI: Mayor Jane Castor Discusses Tampa's Transformation at Partnership's Annual Meeting
- Downtown Calendar
- Connect With Us!