Monday Morning Memo

Monday, June 12, 2017

Partnership Presents

IDA Selects Top Urban Champions

Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce that Shaun Drinkard, Director of Placemaking, has been selected to participate in the International Downtown Association’s 2017 Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program. Shaun is one of the 28 selected by IDA as the industry’s brightest professionals for the 2017 Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program. These senior staff members hail from 4 countries and 17 provinces or states, including London (UK), Dartmouth (Nova Scotia), Washington DC, Salt Lake City, Louisville, Dallas, Santa Monica, and Malmö (Sweden). “We are extremely proud and excited  for Shaun and the opportunities this program will bring to Tampa’s Downtown,” said Christine Burdick, Tampa Downtown Partnership President and CEO.

What to Expect at Our Annual Meeting

Once a year the Tampa Downtown Partnership has the opportunity to share with our members and the downtown community a celebration of our organization’s accomplishments and induct the Partnership’s new leadership at our Annual Meeting and Luncheon. This year’s event promises to deliver thoughtful discussion and exciting downtown updates. Please join us on June 15 from 11:30pm to 1:30pm at the Hilton Tampa Downtown Hotel. This year features a Development Panel featuring; Larry Feldman of Feldman Equities, John LaRocca of Hillsborough River Realty Corp. / The Jeffries Corporation, and Arturo Pena of Related Group. Register here.

ICYMI: Celebrating 100K Downtowner Riders

At 6pm on May 18 the 100,000th person requested a Downtowner ride and last Tuesday we handed off an amazing Tampa Bay Sports package to rider Jake as a celebration of the milestone. The package included tickets and gifts from the Rays, Bucs, Lightning and Storm. Ray’s mascot Raymond joined Christine Burdick, President and CEO of Tampa Downtown Partnership, City of Tampa’s Economic Opportunity Administrator Bob McDonaugh, Stephen Murray, CEO and Founder of Downtowner, and FDOT District Secretary Paul Steinman to present the award and make remarks on the significance of the free ride service, Downtowner, to Downtown Tampa. View the video.

New Bikeable Restaurants: Courtesy of Coast

There are six new restaurants opening up within biking distance of Downtown Tampa and Coast Bike Share wants you to know about them. Burgerim, opening at 800 N Franklin St in Tampa in July, will offer diners a selection of customizable mini burgers. Also expected to open in July, the upscale American Social Bar & Kitchen will be located 601 S Harbour Island Blvd. In Ybor City, preparation is underway for the opening of award-winning brewer Paul Rutherford’s Zydeco Brew Works at 1902 E 7th Avenue. If you’re a fan of Datz Deli, you’ll be delighted to hear the popular South Tampa hotspot has secured a new space at the Tampa Convention Center and is expected to open this fall. Better Byrd is set to replace Piquant at 1633 West Snow Avenue in Hyde Park Village and will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also opening at the Tampa Convention Center this fall is Ballast Point favorite Big Ray’s Fish Camp.
“New Restaurant Round-Up: 6 New Restaurants Opening in Tampa”

Funding Needed for New Downtowner Vehicles

Buoyed by hitting the 100,000-rider benchmark in just seven months of operation, the Tampa Downtown Partnership is planning to expand the popular app-based service with the addition of four electric Chevrolet Bolts, beginning with two this summer. The expansion is needed to meet demand, which in peak periods sees wait times run 30 minutes or longer. Additionally, Bolts can also run longer on a single charge, about 230 miles, compared to the six-seater GEM, which averages about 60 miles before its needs more juice. Including insurance, maintenance and driver, each Bolt will cost about $110,000 per year to put on the road. Downtowner is seeking sponsorship including advertisers who want their logos on the cars. The service now costs about $1 million per year. If your company is interested in advertising on the exterior of the Bolts to help fund the new cars, please contact Karen Kress or call 813.221.3686. More news will be sent via a press release by Tampa Downtown Partnership. To receive press releases or to subscribe to our other email lists, please click here and indicate your interests. We are dedicated to sharing news evenly and fairly. View the Tampa Bay Times article here. Read an article by Tampa Bay Business Journal about customized downtown transit models.

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

Chance the Rapper

Wednesday, June 14, begins 8pm
Amalie Arena
Chance the Rapper brings his burgeoning popularity to Downtown Tampa for a show that will excite longtime fans and newcomers alike. The Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist has gained the support of many music fans with his unique style. Get your tickets for a memorable live show. Chance the Rapper

31st Annual Meeting & Luncheon

Thursday, June 15, 11:30am to 1:30pm
Hilton Tampa Downtown
The Partnership’s signature event celebrates accomplishments and inducts new leadership for Tampa Downtown Partnership. Keynote speakers deliver thoughtful discussion, exciting downtown updates, and the Partnership’s vision for the upcoming year. 31st Annual Meeting & Luncheon

Creative Loafing’s Meet The Chefs 2017

Thursday, June 15, 6pm to 9pm
The Vault
Foodies, you won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to rub elbows with the chefs behind some of your favorite restaurants and menu items during an intimate meet and greet with more than ten of the area’s amazing, local chefs! Creative Loafing’s Meet The Chefs 2017

Flicks and Food Trucks

Thursday, June 15, 6pm to 10pm
Grand Central at Kennedy
Gourmet food truck fun paired with independent short flicks and live music! This urban, hip event features microbrews and tasty cocktails from the Pour House and City Dog Cantina. Gourmet food trucks line up to offer everything from burgers to vegetarian bites. There will be something for everyone! For more information, go to Flicks and Food Trucks

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Last Action Hero – Friday, June 16, 10pm to 12:30am
Raising Arizona – Sunday, June 18, 3pm to 4:30pm

This Week at the Straz Center

mad Theatre presents Company – Thursday, June 15 to Sunday, July 2
Showstoppers, Jr. : Thunder Mountain Revue – Friday, June 16, begins 3pm
Junior Intensive Showcase – Friday, June 16, begins 4:30pm
Tig Notaro – Friday, June 16, begins 8pm
Jim Jefferies: The Unusual Punishment Tour – Friday, June 16, begins  8:30pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Fabrica Woodfired Pizza

If you’ve eaten at Fabrica Woodfired Pizza at Pierhouse, you have seen their retail display of gourmet products. Gourmet imports include products from Sapori, Confectioners since 1832 and Loaker’s pastry bakers since  1925. You will also find  Poma Rosa San Marzano tomatoes that are grown in the soils near Naples, Italy, Dalmatia brand Fig Spread from Croatia, and Fabrica’s own spicy olive oil blend.  Stop in for lunch or dinner, and pick up some epicurean delights!

Marketplace News

Maple Street is looking for a Tampa location. They just opened up in Downtown St. Pete on Central Avenue.

Seacoast Bank  is hosting “Hey There, Small Business Neighbor”  on  June 16 with three free events: “Donut Date Breakfast” runs from 8:30am to 10:30am,” Lunch on Seacoast” runs from 11:30am to 1:30pm, and “Happy Hour with Seacoast” runs from 4pm and to 6pm. The bank is located at 401 S. Florida Avenue.

Fitzgerald Channelside Luxury Apartments celebrated their official Grand Opening with Great Gatsby Night, that included a ribbon cutting, champagne, and special performances. The Fitzgerald is a community of 300 luxury rentals ranging from studios, one’s, two’s and three bedrooms, owned by FCI Residential Corporation.

The Olive Café has settled well onto Madison Street, with an interesting menu of organic-fresh selections, gluten free options, vegetarian & vegan items, and homemade specials. Their opening special is still going on with $3.50 for basic sandwiches.  They deliver small orders and catered events too.

Tampa Bay Rays ProShop’s Sizzlin Summer Sale is going on now through July 14! Get all Nike women’s, men’s apparel and sports caps at 50% off.

The Vault of Souls, Tampa’s unique Halloween event, is scheduling auditions on June 28th and June 29 between 7pm and 10pm. Auditions are by appointment only. To schedule your audition, email your name and phone number to

Florida Wellness Medical Group is offering current and new patients the following deals for the month of June: Introductory acupuncture evaluation & one treatment for $25; introductory chiropractic evaluation, 2-view x-ray, and one adjustment for $25; male physical including labwork and testosterone evaluation for just $225. Mention their new hashtag #GetHealthyGiveWellness when making your appointment to receive the discount. 

Restaurant Week in Tampa’s Downtown

Creative Loafing’s annual Food Issue hits stands on June 15 and, to celebrate, they’re hosting the 10th annual Tampa Bay Restaurant Week from June 15th through 25. For a limited time, participating Tampa Bay area restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe menus for only $30 or $45 per couple or person. It’s a great way for you to dine at restaurants you’ve been dying to try (or can’t get enough of). Meet the chefs at The Vault on June 15! Participating restaurants Downtown include: Bizou Brasserie, Cena, Franklin Manor, Holy Hog, Mise en Place, Noble Rice, Sono Café, Waterside Grill, Taps Wine and Grill Restaurant, Urban Cantina, and more.   

Glazer Children’s Museum Named a Top Nonprofit

Glazer Children’s Museum was awarded a Nonprofit of the Year in the Arts, Culture and Humanities category by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. It was one of thirty-eight Tampa Bay area organizations that were honored as finalists for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2017 Nonprofit of the Year Awards. These awards recognize nonprofit organizations in the Bay area that work for a range of social, civic and healthy causes. An independent panel of judges chose category winners based on the organizations’ overall financial health, including how much of their expenses are spent directly on programs, as well as mission and scope of services.
“TBBJ names 2017 Nonprofit of the Year”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development and Transportation

Makeover on Tap for Park Tower

The oldest office tower in Tampa’s urban core will receive a multimillion-dollar facelift in the coming months. City Office REIT, Tower Realty Partners and Feldman Equities, which acquired Park Tower in late 2016, said Tuesday that they have started construction on an extensive renovation that will transform the building’s facade and add a slew of modern amenities. The exterior will be repainted and bright lighting will be added to the ground-floor storefronts; the amenities will include a new fitness center, tenant lounge and high-end cafe. It will also add a “light box” on the corner of Tampa and Madison streets.
Dramatic Makeover On Tap For Downtown Tampa’s Original Office Tower (Rendering) (Video)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Three Developers Capitalizing on Tampa’s Growth

Three of the Tampa Bay area’s largest landowners and property developers gathered at the recent ULI Florida Summit to discuss Tampa Bay’s changing landscape and the unique approach required for developing large master-planned communities in Florida. J.D. Porter, the chief executive officer (CEO) of family-owned Wiregrass Ranch, notes that real estate development in Tampa is evolving at an unprecedentedly fast rate. Tim Johnson, the CFO of Strategic Property Partners, says that building a truly mixed-use community is a top priority for his firm, which remains a relatively new player in the Tampa market. Compared with Porter and Lakewood Ranch developer Rex Jensen, Johnson’s approach is decidedly urban, since Strategic Property Partners—a joint venture between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and equity firm Cascade Investments—has chosen to develop on prime downtown Tampa waterfront.
“Three Developers Capitalizing on Tampa’s Growth” UrbanLand

Armature Works Gets Final Funding

Florida Community Loan Fund has provided the last part of the funding required for Armature Works, a historic building north of downtown Tampa that’s being renovated into an events venue, food hall and co-working space for small businesses. The funding comes from New Markets Tax Credits, a program that provides incentives for economic development through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“Final Funding Comes Together For One Of Tampa’s Most-Anticipated Development Projects”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Tampa Bay Next Meetings

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will consider the Tampa Bay Next project (previously known as Tampa Bay Express) on their list of Transportation Improvement Program projects at their June 13 meeting. The meeting will begin at 6pm at County Center, 601 Kennedy Boulevard. Prior to the meeting on June 13, we encourage members to participate in the Florida Department of Transportation’s Working Group Meetings. This is the best way for the public to provide input to FDOT throughout the process. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 21 for the Westshore Community Working Group. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus – Student Services Building located at 4001 W. Tampa Bay Boulevard.

Herman Massey Park Upgrades

It’s easy to overlook Herman Massey Park in Downtown Tampa. It’s modest half-acre size and predilection for having the homeless congregate there in the past has made it appear “dark and foreboding” in the words of City Councilman Harry Cohen. That may soon change, however,after Councilmembers Frank Reddick and Charlie Miranda recently requested that the downtown Community Redevelopment Agency take a look at what the park needs,with the hope that CRA revenues can pay for those upgrades.
“Will Tampa revive Herman Massey Park?”

Member Corner

Tampa General Hospital Names CEO

Tampa General Hospital is pleased to announce that John Couris will become its next president and chief executive officer. Couris currently is president and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center, a 327-bed not-for-profit hospital in Jupiter, FL, a position he has held since June 2010. Couris will start on Sept. 1, 2017. Until then, TGH will continue to be led by Steve Short, acting President and CEO. “It is a true honor to be selected as the next leader of TGH,” said Couris. “It is a great institution with a long history of excellence. Working together as a team, I know in my heart that TGH’s best days lie ahead, and together with USF and all the members of our medical staff, we will achieve its full potential as a world class destination for healthcare excellence.”

Lightning Announce Preseason Schedule

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced their seven-game 2017 preseason schedule today. The Lightning’s home games at AMALIE Arena will be played Tuesday, September 19 against the Carolina Hurricanes; Friday, September 22 against the Nashville Predators and Sunday, September 24 against the Florida Panthers. The Lightning will play home-and-home series against the Hurricanes, Predators and Panthers this upcoming fall.  The schedule also includes a make-up game at Florida due to the postponement of an October 6, 2016 game because of Hurricane Matthew. Full schedule.

Hillsborough County Seeks Applications

Hillsborough County is seeking residents to serve on several County citizen advisory boards and councils. Residents interested in seeking appointment must reside in and be registered voters in Hillsborough County. These are voluntary positions and members serve without compensation.  The deadline to apply is June 29, 2017. Appointments will be scheduled for a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners in July or August 2017. More information.

Lightning Girls Host Summer Camp

The Tampa Bay Lightning Girls are excited to announce the first-ever Lightning Girls Summer Camp! The camp will be five days of summer fun at AMALIE Arena in downtown Tampa, led by our very own Lightning Girls team members. During this fitness- and wellness-based, week-long program, campers will have the opportunity to participate in dance instruction, arts & crafts, yoga, performance opportunities, Lightning Girls autographs, photo sessions, guest appearances and much more. For more information and to register, visit

Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium and its Center for Conservation team were thrilled to release eight rehabilitated Kemp’s ridley sea turtles on the Canaveral National Seashore in New Smyrna, Florida on June 8—World Oceans Day. These eight were part of a group of 12 the Aquarium received and has been rehabilitating, with the remaining four currently continuing to undergo rehabilitation at the downtown facility. The Aquarium’s veterinary team expects a full recovery for the remaining sea turtles and is optimistic they will also be ready for release soon. Watch the video.

Around Town

Hillsborough County, Vinik to Save MOSI

Hillsborough County is preparing a seven-figure bailout of the beleaguered Museum of Science and Industry, and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is going to help. The museum, known as MOSI, owes more than $2 million to vendors, banks and creditors and doesn’t have the money to pay them. Additionally, MOSI leaders need $350,000 to bankroll their plan to shutter part of the museum’s building and move operations to a smaller wing of the 80-acre north Tampa campus. Downsizing operations is expected to save money, but in the meantime, they need cash to close the old building and reopen as a smaller science center.
“Hillsborough County, Jeff Vinik Plan To Bail Out Museum Of Science And Industry”Tampa Bay Times

Iconic Office Tower Sells in St. Pete

Third Lake Capital, the Tampa-based investment fund for Ashley Furniture Inc.’s Wanek family, has acquired Priatek Plaza, the 28-story tower at 200 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg.  Kucera Properties, which had owned the tower since 2002, was the seller. Kucera paid $41 million for the building in 2002, according to Pinellas County property records. A purchase price for the transaction was not disclosed, and a deed for the transaction has not yet been filed. Commercial real estate observers have pegged the sales price in the $60 million range.
“Downtown St. Pete’s Priatek Plaza Sold To Tampa Buyer”Tampa Bay Business Journal

EPC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the EPC’s 50th anniversary of protecting the natural resources of Hillsborough County and our Bay on Thursday, June 15. There will be a short program featuring local environmental figures, a film produced by Hillsborough Television, a time capsule and the announcement of the Executive Director’s first Environmental Hall-of-Fame inductees. The event is free.

Clearwater Transit a Possibility

For the first time since 2010 there is a funding commitment to build a dedicated bus lane connecting downtown Clearwater to Clearwater Beach, now that the state Legislature approved and the governor upheld a $1 million appropriation for an engineering study. That study will look at the feasibility of building a transit connection as well as how much it would cost. A 2010 study estimated about $12 million.
Clearwater Beach Transit Connection Is Back On The Table”Tampa Bay Business Journal

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