Monday, June 4, 2018
Save the Date, Celebrate with us on June 27
Mark your calendars for our 32nd Annual Meeting happening June 27 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown. The Annual Meeting and Luncheon is the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s premier event. Once a year the Partnership has the opportunity to share with our members and the downtown community a celebration of our organization’s successes and accomplishments throughout the year, recognize our outgoing and incoming Board Chair and induct Board officers and directors for the upcoming year. The event features dynamic speakers, the release of the Partnership’s Annual Year in Review, remarks from the Partnership’s Board leadership, and a look at what lays ahead for downtown and our organization. The Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to connect with downtown stakeholders, learn about key issues, and celebrate downtown’s continued growth. This year we welcome Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Mayor Joe Riley from the City of Charleston. Register today! Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Hurricane Preparedness Meeting, June 13
Hurricane season begins June 1st. After last year’s active and deadly season, be sure your business and employees are prepared by joining our Annual Hurricane Preparedness meeting on Wednesday, June 13 at TECO Hall in Tampa’s Downtown. Attendees will hear from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Electric Company, Tampa Fire Rescue, Tampa Police Department, NOAA Operations Center, National Weather Center, and USF Health, CAMLS as they discuss best practices to implement in planning for an incoming storm. Register today!
Franklin Street Block Party
On Thursday, June 14, Tampa Theatre will be one of only a handful of theatres in the country to open the new documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? And in the spirit of Mr. Rogers’ enduring message, the historic movie palace and the Tampa Downtown Partnership will host a Franklin Street Block Party from 5:00 to 7:00pm before the 7:30pm screening of the film. Restaurants along the surrounding blocks of Franklin Street will be sampling house favorites out on the sidewalks in front of each location. Under the Theatre’s historic marquee at 711 N. Franklin Street, guests will experience a pop-up art exhibit, live chalk art, and the opportunity to meet representatives from community organizations. Inside, Tampa Theatre will be collecting new and gently used sweaters and sneakers for adults and children to benefit The Spring of Tampa Bay and other local charities who care for our neighbors in need. Click here to get more information and buy tickets.
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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.
Through Sunday, June 17
Charles Condomine, a mediocre novelist, summons a medium to his hime to study “the techniques” of spiritualists for his new book. Along with Ruth, his second wife, and Dr. and Mrs. Bradman, close friends, he participates in a seance conducted by Madame Arcati, who supplies Charles with more than he bargained for. She produces a “protoplasmic manifestation” in the form of Elvira, Charles’s deceased first wife whom only he (and the audience) can see and hear. With farce and wit unleashed, playwright Noel Coward presents some of his best comic characters in a situation full of spirits and satire. For more information, go to Blithe Spirit.
Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta
Wednesday, June 6, 11am to 2pm
Lykes Gaslight Square
Looking for a larger selection of lunch options? Step outside for a meal in the park! Choose from a wide variety of local food trucks serving up all sorts of delicious culinary creations. You’ll have your pick of dishes from plenty of delectable kitchens on wheels! For more information, go to Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.
Rock the Park
Thursday, June 7, 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 Porch Sessions, Nathanael Her & The Rail Car Choir, and HoneyWhat. 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 Oceans Day Celebration
Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10
The Florida Aquarium
Explore different habitats and learn why they’re important to us and the ocean through special activities and programs. Find out what The Florida Aquarium is doing to help protect the ocean and the life in it, as well as easy ways you can help, too! Enjoy ocean-themed activities throughout the Aquarium and special presentations each day. The world’s oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface and are facing threats including pollution, habitat damage, overfishing, coral reef bleaching and species loss. The Florida Aquarium plays a critical role in research, education, and action to address these threats. For more info, go to World Oceans Day Celebration.
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
On Stage at the Straz Center
The Sound of Music – Tuesday, June 5 to Sunday, June 10
Patel Conservatory presents Choral and Chamber Music Intensive Concert – Friday, June 8, begins 7:30pm
Ricky Wilcox – Live & Local – Saturday, June 9, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Doing Business in Downtown
Celebrity to Help Design Riverwalk Place
For several top-rated seasons of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Thom Filicia and the rest of the Fab Five specialized in makeovers — or “make betters” — of nerdy, fashion-backward heterosexual males. Since the Emmy-winning show ended in 2007, Filicia and his interior design firm have worked with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Tina Fey, David Bowie and Jennifer Lopez. And now he’s adding a really big client — Tampa’s 50-plus story Riverwalk Place. Filicia will design several areas in the mixed use tower including the residential entrances and fixtures, condominium floor plans and the social “Sky Lobby” on the 20th floor overlooking the bay.
“‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’ Star Will Help Design Tampa’s Riverwalk Place” – Tampa Bay Times
New Hours for Tampa Museum of Art
Beginning Friday, June 1, the Tampa Museum of Art and Sono Café will have new hours of operation. Most days they will be open 10am until 5pm with closings at 8pm on Thursday and Fourth Friday. View their new hours here.
Cuts Proposed for City Departments
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is asking most of the city’s departments to take a 3 percent cut in order to bridge a $13.5 million deficit in what could be a nearly $1 billion 2019 fiscal year budget, according to documents obtained by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Buckhorn and Tampa Chief Financial Officer Sonya Little are still working on the budget, currently at $974 million, but a worksheet shared with all city departments lists targeted budget reductions totaling $7.6 million. The largest proposed cut is to the Parks and Recreation Department, which is being asked to slash $1.2 million from its $41 million budget. Buckhorn’s budget memo lays out a series of priorities to uphold despite a strapped budget. Those include creating jobs and growing the economy as well as public safety, quality of life and improving the city’s infrastructure. Buckhorn also wants to balance the budget without reaching into the city’s reserves. The 2019 budget takes effect Oct. 1. City Council has to approve the budget before then.
“Facing $13.5M Deficit, Buckhorn Proposes Deep Cuts” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Tampa General CEO Shares Big Plans
John Couris has been in his new job for less than a year, but the president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital already has big plans. “We spent the last eight or nine months building our blueprint for the next five years,” Couris said. “We’re going to continue to expand our services on our campus,” he said in a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Business Journal. There will be more building on the main campus and more ambulatory and urgent care out in the community, he said. “The difference will be how we’re using technology and using it to enable and empower the health care consumer.” Couris said the changes will be achieved in a less expensive way and will be completely centered around the patient.
“Tampa General’s New CEO Shares Details On Plans To Make The Hospital More Patient-Centric” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Development and Transportation
ENCORE Grocer Project Stalls
Publix and Walmart have already passed on building a new store at the Encore public housing project. Now, a third effort to bring a grocery store to the downtown Tampa urban renewal project has stalled. St. Petersburg firm J Square Developers recently backed out of a $2.2 million contract with the Tampa Housing Authority to build a midsize grocery store on a two-acre lot at the northwest corner of Nebraska Avenue and E Harrison Street. The deal was expected to bring a retailer that caters to lower-income shoppers, such as Lidl or Aldi. But J Square exercised a provision that allowed it to back out without penalty after a 120-day inspection period. To keep Encore walkable, the Housing Authority doesn’t want a store that requires surface parking like a typical strip mall supermarket. That likely means the project will need to include a parking garage.
“Tampa Housing Authority Unable To Ring Up Sale On New Grocer For Encore” – Tampa Bay Times
Maintenance on the SunPass System
Maintenance on the state’s SunPass system won’t affect daily commutes, according to educational materials shared by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority notifying drivers of what to expect with their accounts when the system is down next week. Beginning June 5 at 7 pm, SunPass services including the website, mobile application, various replenishment methods and walk-in centers will be shut down until June 11 at 9am. Drivers on Tampa Bay area toll roads like the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, Veterans Expressway or the Sunshine Skyway Bridge can still utilize SunPass lanes to bypass tolling booths. However, some customers might notice several credit card transactions associated with tolling once the SunPass systems are back online.
“Commuter Alert: Sunpass Updates Won’t Affect Tolls, But Might Raise Billing Questions” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Lane Closure Alerts on Kennedy and Jackson
The Florida Department of Transportation’s contractor, Preferred Materials, Inc., is repaving approximately 1.2 miles of SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard/Jackson Street) and US Business 41 (Nebraska Avenue) from Brevard Avenue to Meridian Avenue in Downtown Tampa. Other improvements include; Upgrading sidewalks and curb ramps, Constructing curb extensions, Changing the number of travel lanes and on-street parking spaces at select locations, Adding a new two-way protected bike lane (cycle track) along Jackson Street, Adding a new traffic signal with pedestrian crossing at Jackson St. and Governor St. The following lane closures are occurring this week:
SR 60 (Jackson Street) sidewalk installation from Ashley Drive to Nebraska Avenue Lane closures: Monday, June 4 through Friday, June 8 from 8am to 3pm
SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard) sidewalk installation from Ashley Drive to UT University Drive Lane closures: Monday, June 4 through Friday, June 8 from 8am to 3pm
SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard) repaving from Brevard Avenue to Ashley Drive Nightly lane closures: Sunday, June 3 through Thursday, June 7 from 8pm to 6am
HART to Receive Federal Funding
Florida is receiving more than $22 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration for emergency relief funding following Hurricane Irma last year, the department announced Thursday. The allocation is part of a broader relief effort in Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also impacted by hurricanes last season. The department is allocating a total of $277.5 million with most covering response, recovery and rebuilding expenses and $44.2 million of the funds going to resiliency projects. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority is receiving $110,000 and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is getting $80,000. The biggest award, $11.4 million, is going to the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works. The Florida Department of Transportation is receiving $6.6 million for resiliency projects.
“Hillsborough, Pinellas Transit Agencies To Get A Piece Of $277M Federal Transit Grant” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
HART Considers Taking Over Downtowner
The network of six-seat electric golf carts that gives free rides around downtown Tampa may be joining the transportation big leagues. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit is in talks with the Tampa Downtown Partnership to take over running the Downtowner free shuttle service. The partnership started the service in 2016, putting a fleet of 12 electric cars known as GEMs on downtown streets. The smartphone-app service averages about 500 riders per day and notched just under 280,000 rides in its first 18 months. “The partnership isn’t necessarily in the business of running a transit system,” said Karen Kress, the partnership’s director of transportation and planning. “We had an opportunity to get something going, and long term it would fit better under a transportation company.” Talks are at an early stage, but HART could take over around the middle of 2019. The agency is already planning to scrap its In-Towner, a rubber-wheel trolley service that operates on many of the same streets as the Downtowner but has “extremely low ridership,” HART spokeswoman Vanessa Brooks said.
“Hillsborough Bus Agency In Talks To Take Over Free Downtowner Shuttle Service” – Tampa Bay Times
Architectural Photography Contest
Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture & Design & FMoPA present the annual 2018 Architectural Photography Contest. The top entries will be exhibited at FMoPA. There will be a special reception announcing the winners on September 28, 2018. The images will be displayed from September 1-30, 2018. The competition is open Florida residents only. The general public, as well as, amateur photographers are eligible to enter. Professional photographers are not eligible for prize money, but are welcome to participate and have their work displayed at FMoPA. Entry(s) must be received by 5:00 PM on August 27, 2018. View more information here.
LIVE for 24 5K/Mile Fun Run
The Livefor24 Foundation along with The University of Tampa Athletic Department is hosting The Livefor24 5K/Mile Fun Run on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8am on the beautiful University of Tampa campus in Downtown Tampa, FL. Race proceeds will help The Livefor24 Foundation support youth athletic and educational programs in the Tampa Bay area and award student scholarships. Participants are welcome to run, walk or stroll their way through campus on a scenic 3.12 mile course which includes a portion of the race alongside the Hillsborough River. A separate 1 mile fun run will also be offered for those who are interested in a shorter race or wish to run with younger participants. The 5K race will be chip-timed and participants of the 5K and Mile Fun Run will receive a T-shirt and certificate with registration. The top 3 male and female finishers in each age category will receive a metal and recognition. A family friendly post-race event will be held at Pepin Field immediately after the race, which will include food, refreshments, music, bounce houses and local vendor tents to enjoy. Register today!
Deadline for Arts Council Grants Approaching
If you are a Hillsborough County nonprofit planning to apply for one the Arts Council’s 2018-19 Cultural Development Grants, the deadline of June 15 is coming up fast! This longstanding program offers general program support to 501c3 arts and cultural organizations based in Hillsborough. All applications must be submitted through our online grant system. Register and start your application early. They are also accepting applications to our new Community Arts Impact Grant program which is open to any type of 501c3 organization in Hillsborough for specific project support.
Tampa’s Riverwalk Offers History & Entertainment
Downtown Tampa is full of amenities and activities for individuals and families to enjoy. One of the newest additions is the completed Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is approximately 2.6 miles in length. It begins or ends from either the Tampa History Center or the Armature Works. You can begin at either end or anywhere in the middle. A walk along the Riverwalk is not only fun, but you get a look at Tampa’s entertainment and cultural places and a walk back in time to Tampa’s history. The Friends of the Riverwalk have placed historical busts along the Riverwalk. These include Clara Frye, an African American nurse. The original Tampa General Hospital building was renamed after her in 1991. Blanche Armwood was an educator, activist and first African American woman to graduate from an accredited law school. Armwood High School in Seffner is named in her honor. Ossian Bingley Hart was the 10th Governor of the State of Florida and the first one to be born in the state. There are many more historical busts strategically located along the Riverwalk. Read the full article as it appeared in the Osprey Observer on May 31, 2018.
Westshore Office Park to Expand
Highwoods Properties Inc., one of the largest office landlords in Tampa Bay, has asked the city to rezone its Bay Center office park to make way for a new seven-story, 207,966-square-foot office building and expand the existing parking structure on the site. Highwoods representatives in Tampa did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday. Preleasing efforts for the building are underway, according to Highwoods’ marketing materials. It’s not known if Highwoods has secured an anchor tenant for the building or is simply laying the groundwork for the next phase of Bay Center. Highwoods owns 24 properties in Tampa, including SunTrust Financial Centre in downtown Tampa and several suburban office parks.
“Highwoods Plans To Expand Office Park On Westshore Waterfront In Tampa” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Seminole Hard Rock Plans $700M Expansion
The owners of Florida’s biggest casino are starting a massive, nearly $700 million expansion that will make it even larger. The Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Tampa announced on Wednesday that they will have 5,000 slot machines and nearly 200 tables when the expansion is concluded in 2019. The casino is located near Interstate 4 east of downtown Tampa. The expansion includes a new 15-story hotel tower with an additional 564 hotel rooms and suites. The casino will add about 700 parking spots, bringing the total to 6,000, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The expansion will bring an additional 1,000 part-time and full-time jobs, according to the newspaper, plus about 2,000 on-site construction jobs during the next two years.
“Seminole Hard Rock Casino In Tampa Plans Massive $700M Expansion” – Orlando Sentinel
T. Rowe Price to Close Tampa Office
About 150 jobs are expected to be eliminated and 220 or more Tampa employees could be looking at a move to Maryland or Colorado next year when T. Rowe Price closes its office in the West Shore business district. The Baltimore investment management giant announced plans late Wednesday not to renew its lease and to close its Tampa operations center at 4211 W Boy Scout Blvd., in June 2019. It will consolidate that operation into existing campuses in Owings Mills, Md., and Colorado Springs, Colo. Tampa employees were told of the decision Wednesday, which the company said was driven by its clients’ growing desire to handle their business online or by mobile app instead of over the phone. T. Rowe Price has had a Tampa operations center since 1994 in various locations, most recently in the Corporate Center Two building at International Plaza.
“T. Rowe Price To Close 400-Employee Tampa Office In 2019” – TBO.com
Discussions Begin Over Cross Bay Ferry’s Return
HMS Ferries, the same company that operated the Cross Bay Ferry pilot project in late 2016 through April of last year, will operate a second round if local governments approve funding. The city of St. Petersburg selected HMS Ferries after a competitive bid process in which one other company submitted a proposal. St. Pete City Council will decide whether to approve the city’s pick during a meeting on June 7. HMS Ferries would charge $747,000 for another six-month service with routes seven days a week. Of that, St. Pete would pay $150,000. The proposal assumes an equal contribution from Pinellas and Hillsborough counties as well as the city of Tampa. Those boards would each have to approve funding. But Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said during the ferry pilot project that he would not support using public funding for the service to come back. Hillsborough County confirmed it has not placed an item on the commission’s agenda to consider funding. The Florida Department of Transportation has agreed to fund up to $438,000 for ferry service, which works out to about $150,000 over three years.
“As St. Pete Moves Forward With Cross Bay Ferry Return, Tampa Mayor Opposes Funding” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
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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.