Monday Morning Memo

Monday, March 11, 2019

Member Spotlight: Tampa Museum of Art Welcomes New Staff Members

Kate Douglass joins the Tampa Museum of Art as the Patron and Individual Giving Manager. An experienced professional in nonprofit management, fundraising and donor relations, she holds her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Kate most recently comes from Moffitt Cancer Center where she was the Foundation’s first Director of Stewardship and Communications, tasked with building two programs from the ground up and growing a team from one to five. Before Moffitt, her passion for museums as spaces for interactive education across communities began at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York, where Kate was part of the major gifts and capital campaign teams responsible for fund development within the President’s Circle and the successful $120 million campaign. Prior to this, Kate spent three years at Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville, Georgia, where she provided hands-on support in visitor services, curatorial and collections management, and the opening of a new gallery floor. 

Nina Contreras Womeldurf joins the team as its first Director of Marketing and Communications.  Her expertise is in the creative side of communications and marketing, both as a designer and as a project manager.  The bulk of her career has focused on helping arts organizations in the Tampa Bay area, including the Straz Center and the USF College of The Arts, reach new audiences.  She brings with her over 10 years of experience directing creative teams and creating engaging content for social media, websites, digital communications, and advertisements.   A digital creative who works in graphic design, illustration, UX/UI development, and online communications. Nina’s design work earned two American Graphic Design Awards from GDUSA in 2011 and 2013, as well as a Visix Expression Award top 3 recognition in 2012.  Nina earned a BFA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida where she specialized in video and digital art. She also earned an MS in Marketing from USF where her research focused on marketing strategy for non-profit organizations through branding, promotion management, consumer behavior, and e-commerce.

Tampa State of the Market – Here is Your 20 Percent Off Discount Code

Lynda Remund, President and CEO of the Tampa Downtown Partnership joins a panel of real estate experts and developers on March 13th to discuss the State of Tampa’s Real Estate Market.

Register today and use code SOTMTT20GL to earn 20% off the total cost.

Tampa is thriving with tons of development and economic growth. Multifamily development has been booming within the past 5 years, and rental rates are continuing to increase due to the growing population flooding into Tampa. Companies are starting to move their offices to Tampa, which is contributing to the increase of vacancy, as well as development.

Tampa’s industrial sector is booming as well. Tampa has one of the largest ports in the state, as well as direct access to Interstates 4 and 75, which makes it a very popular destination for new industrial tenants. Retailers are also expanding to Tampa, which will increase a demand for vacant space.

Hear from some of the biggest names in CRE, as they discuss the hottest projects, and the future of real estate in Tampa.

Check Out These Upcoming Partnership Events

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has several upcoming events offering opportunities to learn, network, and to watch the Hillsborough River turn green for St. Patrick’s Day. Join us!


Downtown Debriefing Series: Economic Impact of Tourism

Join us on Tuesday, March 26 at the Florida Aquarium for our Downtown Debriefing, Land, Air & Sea: Economic Impact of Tourism and Events. Visitors pumped nearly $6 billion into Tampa Bay’s economy in 2016, helping to support nearly 50,000 jobs and reduce the tax burden on local residents in the process, according to an analysis of tourism data commissioned by Visit Tampa Bay. Hear from tourism experts Santiago Corrada with Visit Tampa Bay, Roger Germann with The Florida Aquarium, and Joe Lapano from the Tama International Airport as they discuss how events and visitors to Tampa’s Downtown contribute to its economic health. This event includes a buffet breakfast and a panel discussion. Check-in and breakfast starts at 7:30am with the program beginning promptly at 8am. Register today! Interested in getting your company’s name in front of Tampa’s most engaged business leaders and decision makers? Check out our sponsorship opportunities. The Florida Aquarium is a Gold Sponsor of this event.


Save the Date: Downtown Development Forum

This half-day event focuses on the exploration of innovative ideas in urban development and serves as a catalyst for discussion and problem solving for major urban issues. Each year, hundreds of downtown stakeholders, urban planners, developers, real estate professionals, property owners, public officials, non-profit organizations, and arts and entertainment professionals and those interested in improving downtown are in attendance. This year we welcome David Downey, President and CEO of the International Downtown Association (IDA), as our keynote speaker as well as HCP who will present the results of our 2018 Biennial Survey of Workers and Residents.

April 12, 2019
Armature Works

7:30am: Check-in and Breakfast
8am – 11:30pm: Program

Partnership Welcome
Lynda Remund, Tampa Downtown Partnership
Mickey Jacob, BDG Architects

Opening Remarks
Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

Straight Talk >> Advocacy Updates
U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor (via video)

Opening The Door For Urban Living >> Workforce and Attainable Housing
Owen LaFave, Bank of Tampa
Special Guest: Ashon Nesbitt, Florida Housing Coalition

Downtown Lifestyle >> Biennial Survey Results
HCP Associates

Spinning Our Wheels >> Comprehensive Parking Plan Joel Mann, Stantec

Keynote Speaker: David T. Downey, President & CEO
International Downtown Association (IDA)

Shopping for the Right Fit >> Viable Retail in Downtown
Danielle Evans, Don Me Now & Bubbly Barchique
Adam Harden, SoHo Capital
Special Guest: Heather Arnold, Streetsense

More speakers to be announced!

Save the date, register, and tell your colleagues to join. We look forward to seeing you at this signature Tampa Downtown Partnership event!

Registration is open!


Mayor’s River O’Green 

Join us for the 8th Annual Mayor’s River O’Green Fest, presented by Grow Financial, on Saturday, March 16, 2019, beginning at 11am! In partnership with the City of Tampa, this signature event of the Tampa Downtown Partnership takes place in the beautiful Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

The Irish-themed party is centered around the Hillsborough River, which will be transformed into a bright shade of green for the occasion. The river provides a perfect backdrop to the celebration which includes live entertainment, games, kids activities, food trucks, and of course, beer!

We will kick off the festivities in the morning with the River O’ Green Gallop, a fun run/walk along the Riverwalk and continue with a family scavenger hunt, a Leprechaun costume contest, as well as the River O’Green Scavenger Hunt for adults. The entire family is welcome, including four-legged members!

Downtown Debriefing Series Recap: West River Development

The Tampa Downtown Partnership hopped the Hillsborough River to focus on the West River redevelopment project in the latest installment of its monthly Downtown Debriefing series.

A mixed-use development with more than 1,600 residential units, retail, and commercial development is planned on 120 acres bounded by Rome Avenue, Columbus Avenue, the river, and Interstate 275. The development will rise on the former site of North Boulevard Homes, which was Tampa’s oldest public housing community.

“It’s a mixed-use development that will hopefully breathe some life into that side of the river and make connections to downtown,” says Mickey Jacob, the chairman of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, principal of Design Studio at BDG Architects, and moderator of the discussion.

The transformation of the area will go beyond residential and retail construction to include street projects that improve safety and connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists. Already, the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park has gone through a massive $35 million facelift and improvement project, boosting the recreation and quality of life options in the area.

Jacob says the public schools already in the neighborhood, the new retail and employment opportunities, the addition of mixed-income housing and the close proximity to downtown will all help the area go through the same type of redevelopment boom now occurring downtown.

“We’re hopeful that as we get rolling and projects come in, you’re going to see a variety of different people who choose to live there,” Jacob says.

The panel discussion also included Tampa Housing Authority Sr. VP and Chief Operating Officer Leroy Moore, City of Tampa Urban Planning Coordinator Randy Goers, Keith Greminger, an architect with Kimley-Horn & Associate who was part of the design team for the West River master plan, and Brett Green with the Related Group, the developer of West River.

“Tampa Downtown Partnership focuses on west side of river” – 83 Degrees

Lane Closures on East Twiggs Street Begin Today

Beginning today, Monday, March 11, 2019, both eastbound lanes of East Twiggs Street between N Franklin Street and N Florida Avenue are closing while department crews begin repairs to a sewer lateral. The westbound lane will remain open at all times, with delays. Barricades and signs will be in the area to assist with rerouting and traffic flow.

The repair and restoration of the area will be completed by close of business on Thursday, March 14, 2019, weather permitting.

The City of Tampa recommends that motorists use alternative routes to avoid traffic congestion.

See all road closures at

Sneak peek: Inside Gen-X Tavern, Opening Soon!

Everywhere you look at the Gen-X Tavern in downtown Tampa is a new piece of memorabilia, another relic of a simpler time.

There are custom-built chandeliers made out of floppy disks, references to MTV, “Seinfeld” and “Friends” and Ray Finkle’s Miami Dolphins jersey hanging in a locker. (Finkle was a fictional Dolphins player from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”) A massive mural has more than 175 references to ’80s and ’90s pop culture, from Tab to Atari to “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Curating the Gen-X Tavern, which is on East Jackson Street on the ground level of the Bank of America Plaza parking garage next to European Wax Center, has been a “passion project” for restaurateur Dave Burton, whose other concepts include Tampa Pizza Co., The Getaway and Flock and Stock at Sparkman Wharf. Burton, a Gen Xer himself, says the space will always be somewhat fluid, as he finds additional pieces for it.

“What I want is for people to come in, start smiling and start to feel nostalgic,” Burton said. “I think people, no matter their age, are going to feel that way.”

The Gen-X Tavern is almost ready to open; once its gas lines are connected, Burton said, it will open to the public after two to three weeks of kitchen and server training. It is 5,200 square feet, with capacity for 252 people.

Burton’s startup costs were originally estimated at $250,000 to $300,000, and that was before he leased additional space necessary for the kitchen infrastructure. He declined to say exactly how much he’s invested, but he is over budget. But he said it’s been a fun, creative, hands-on endeavor, working closely with Tampa Murals Inc., which created the main mural in the restaurant, as well as Mike Gorecki of Summit Bay Contractors Inc.

Burton and Gorecki went to Tampa’s Jesuit High School together in the 1990s; there are references to their high school years throughout the mural.

Pep Rally Inc. created an installment of CRT TVs; on Monday afternoon, they were set to Super Mario World (someone had reached Vanilla Dome 1 before walking away from the game). There’s Skee-Ball and several other arcade games, but Burton says Gen-X Tavern is first and foremost a restaurant that will be open for lunch as well as dinner and happy hour.

The menu features mostly bar food, alongside salads and other healthy offerings inspired by ’90s fitness guru Richard Simmons. There are 18 cocktails and seven shots on the menu, including a “Top Gun” shot flight (it comes with three shots: Goose, Maverick and Iceman) and a margarita made with Tang. An upgraded Long Island iced tea is The Hamptons.

“The ’80s and ’90s weren’t really known for great cocktails, so we took some of the themes and ideas that were popular and modernized them,” Burton said.

“Sneak peek: Inside Gen-X Tavern, opening soon in downtown Tampa (Photos)”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Glazer Children’s Museum Launches Pigeon Comes to Tampa Campaign

The Glazer Children’s Museum (GCM) in Tampa opened a new traveling exhibit, The Pigeon Comes to Tampa! A Mo Willems Exhibit, on January 19 and it has been a huge hit with children all around the Tampa Bay area. In preparation for The Pigeon coming to the museum, GCM’s creative duo, Kate White and Lauren Colombo, came up with a marketing campaign to build up momentum for The Pigeon’s arrival.

“The name of the exhibit is The Pigeon Comes to Tampa! A Mo Willems Exhibit,” White said. “So, we got to thinking, if The Pigeon was coming to Tampa, what would he want to do? Well, he would want to see the sights, of course.”

The Pigeon Comes to Tampa! A Mo Willems Exhibit will be at GCM through May 12. Guests get to visit the whimsical world of Mo and Willems and his cast of lovable characters, including best friend duo Elephant and Piggie, faithful companion Knuffle Bunny and The Pigeon, the wily city bird best known for his antics in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

The exhibit showcases how Willems’ simple stories can inspire hours of play and reveals the rich emotional lives of his characters. The exhibit teaches social and emotional skills like making yourself understood and figuring out what it means to be a good friend. Along the way, children get to make their own art, surprises abound and every exploration ends in fits of laughter.

White and Colombo reached out to guests and staff at GCM as well as friends and family to get suggestions as to where The Pigeon should visit while he is here in Tampa. “We started out by picking some of our favorite spots in Tampa, but soon other organizations saw our campaign and started inviting us behind the scenes at their venues,” White said. “We have also engaged our staff, who has really taken ownership of the project by reaching out to their friends and family to get us access to exciting locations in Tampa Bay.”

So far, The Pigeon has been to a USF Women’s Basketball game, traveled to Tropicana Field to throw a baseball out on the field, rode in News Channel 8’s Eagle 8 helicopter and most recently, spent the day at the Florida State Fair & more. The Pigeon enjoyed some funnel cake while he was at the fair!

“The response has been so positive,” White said. “My favorite part of this campaign has been seeing the reactions on social media. A highlight for me has been when Yottoy, the toy company that created the stuffed animal we use, shares our posts and images!”

If you would like to see The Pigeon’s journey around Tampa, use #thepigeoncomstotampa on Instagram to follow The Pigeon’s adventures.

To learn more about the exhibit, visit The museum is located at 110 W. Gasparilla Plaza in downtown Tampa. Hours of operations are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays from 1-6 p.m.

“The Pigeon Comes To Tampa To Promote New Children’s Museum Exhibit”Osprey Observer

Streetcar Begins Morning Service

Thanks to a $2.7-million Florida Department of Transportation grant, the TECO Line Streetcar starts weekday service at 7am and weekend service at 8:30am! the Streetcar is the PERFECT way to relax on your way into work. Visit for a map and system schedules.

Oak & Ola Opens at Armature Works

The highly anticipated 2nd restaurant within Armature Works is officially open to the public and accepting reservations for dinner seven days a week. It is the 2nd full-service restaurant, following Steelbach, to provide guests a sit down experience as part of the vision for the fully restored, 73,000-square foot mixed-use building in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood.

Oak & Ola was created by a group of friends who’s innovative and unique approach to dining offers a sharing experience for guests. James Beard Award-winning chef, Anne Kearney, from Dayton, Ohio, partnered with Bay area restaurateurs John and Trudy Cooper, Chris Arreola (co-founders of On Swann in Hyde Park Village) and Andy Ganger, reveal a dinner menu curated around ‘classics revisiting’ that is casual yet elevated cuisine.

“Anne is amazingly talented, lovely, and genuine,” says Chris Arreola, co-founder of Oak & Ola. “Her motto, “food of love”, says it all, keeping her staff ever mindful of their mission to create culinary excellence in every dish that is placed before a guest.”

Oak & Ola restaurant, inside Armature Works, is located on the West side of the building. With 154-seats including both indoor dining and patio seating, Oak and Ola is a study in design and function and is a place to gather where food and libations are thoughtfully sourced, hand-crafted and change seasonally.

“The vision and execution of Armature Works and its amenities are amazing,” says Andy Ganger, partner of Oak & Ola. “To be a part of it and the community of supporters around it was an opportunity we are fortunate and proud to be a part of.”

“Oak & Ola fits beautifully in Tampa’s ever-growing food and beverage scene,” says Taryn Bruck, co-owner of Armature Works.  “We are so fortunate to be able to offer our guests a variety of elevated dining experiences when visiting Armature Works.”

Armature Works is one step further to its complete restoration and phase one of SoHo Capital’s revitalization of the Heights neighborhood. A rooftop bar, a riverside bar and paddle board rental, a 90-foot pier, and the extension of the Tampa Riverwalk to N Boulevard Bridge are set to be completed in early 2019.

Oak & Ola will soon offer lunch and brunch, service is set to begin in late March. For more information on Oak & Ola and to view the menu, visit or follow Oak & Ola on Instagram for daily updates.

Ferg’s Live Closes, Makes Way for Water Street Development

Fans of Ferg’s Live will have one last chance to pre and post-game party at the large outdoor hangout partially constructed from shipping containers near Amalie Arena.

The sports bar and music venue at 490 Water Street has been a staple for hockey fans and concertgoers. It will close permanently after Saturday night, when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Detroit Redwings across the street.

Owner Jay Mize said Ferg’s Live was always meant to be temporary, since property owner Strategic Property Partners had plans to develop the lot as part of its Water Street Tampa development. He said Ferg’s Live had been on a month-to-month lease since March 2018.

Mize would have loved to keep the bar running through the NHL playoffs, he said, but noted that Strategic Property Partners had been “more than gracious” in extending the lease for as long as their demolition and permitting schedule allowed.

“I thank the entire Tampa Bay community, our staff, the Lightning and SPP,” he said. “We knew we were on borrowed time. … It was only four years, but we packed a bunch of memories in over that four years.”

Mize, who also owns the Irish 31 restaurants in Tampa and Wesley Chapel, said the Ferg’s Live staff would have the option of working at one of those locations.

On Friday, a sign was up on the building advertising an “everything goes” auction on March 13 via Bay Area Auction Services that will include stage audio and video equipment, furnishings, decorations and containers.

Ferg’s Live first announced the closing on its Facebook page with a post that said, “… you haven’t seen the last of us… we shall raise a glass together again soon.” Mize said he’s actively working to open another bar and restaurant somewhere in downtown Tampa, but is not sure yet what the concept will be, or if it would use the Ferg’s brand.

Mize, a former University of South Florida football player, opened Ferg’s Live with partner and then Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson in 2015. The Ferg’s name was used via a licensing agreement with Mark Ferguson, founder of the original Ferg’s Sports Bar near St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field.

“Ferg’s Live is closing in Tampa to make way for Water Street development” – Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)

Downtown Calendar

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.

Heights Night Market

Wednesday, March 13, begins 6pm
Armature Works
A monthly evening market taking place on 7th Ave in front of Armature Works, feature a rotating cast of artisanal creators, makers, and artists selling handmade goods, jewelry, art, wood-work, gifts and so much more. Heights Night Market is free to attend, family-friendly, and features live music at each event. For more information, go to Heights Night Market.

Glazer Children’s Museum Pi Day

Thursday, March 14, begins 11am
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
March 14 (3.14) is Pi Day and it is also Einstein’s birthday! To celebrate this fun holiday, share the love of the iconic number Pi, and make math cool for kids, Glazer Children’s Museum is throwing a giant pie fight in the park. This event is free to all and includes pizza pie from Tampa Pizza Co. The pie fight festivities will begin at 3:14pm. For more information, go to Glazer Children’s Museum Pi Day.

8th Annual Mayor’s River O’ Green

Saturday, March 16, begins 11am
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
This Irish-themed party is centered around the Hillsborough River, which will be transformed into a bright shade of green for the occasion. The river provides a perfect backdrop to the celebration which includes live entertainment, games, kids activities, food trucks, and of course, beer! The festivities include the River O’ Green Gallop, a fun run/walk along the Riverwalk, and continue with a family scavenger hunt, a Leprechaun costume contest, and the Shamrock Scavenger Crawl for adults. The entire family is welcome, including four-legged members! For more information, go to 8th Annual Mayor’s River O’ Green.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Hundred Days – Through Sunday, March 24
Wine & Crime – Monday, March 11, begins 7:30pm
Jeremy Douglass: Broadway Pre-Show – Tuesday, March 12, begins 7pm
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] by Adam Long, Daniel Singer & Jess Winfield – Wednesday, March 13 to Sunday, April 7
Patel Conservatory Music presents Vivaldi’s Gloria –  Thursday, March 14, begins 7pm
Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers – Friday, March 15 and Sunday, March 17
And That’s Why We Drink – Saturday, March 16, begins 8pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Patrick Smith’s Florida IS a Land Remembered – Monday, March 11, begins 7pm
Lou Holtz – Tuesday, March 12, begins 7:30pm
Jeff Tweedy – Thursday, March 14, begins 7:30pm
Deep Impact (1998) – Sunday, March 17, 3pm to 5pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Bob Seger – Friday, March 15, begins 8pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals – Saturday, March 16, begins 7pm
Travis Scott – Sunday, March 17, begins 8pm

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