Monday, March 13, 2017
Downtown Security Series Breakfast
The next Downtown Security Series breakfast is scheduled for March 30 at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) featuring Operations Chief Oliver Greene and Emergency Management Coordinator Chauncia Willis. Learn about the purpose and need of the EOC in this interactive and informative breakfast. Networking and a breakfast buffet begin at 7:30am followed by a presentation and tour from 8am to 9am. Click here for more information and to register.
Be an Urban Insider
Snap a selfie or photo with your friends out enjoying Downtown, tag it with #UrbanInsiderTPA, and post it to social media – your photo could end up on our online photo album! Share with us your favorite thing about Downtown Tampa during March and you could be our next Urban Insider. Get out and explore your Downtown!
Celebrate Bike Month
In honor of bike month (and our fabulous weather), take a few minutes to figure out whether a bike commute could make sense for you. If you live within five miles of Downtown, here are a few resources to help:
- Want to find a “bike buddy” for your commute? Find one here!
- All HART buses hold 2 bikes on the front rack and allow folding bikes to be brought on-board.
- The Emergency Ride Home Program offers a free taxi ride home from work to registered bike commuters.
- Most high rises have bike parking and access to showers. There are also over 200 public bike racks downtown.
Exclusive Gasp! Offer
Readers are able to receive $5 off their tickets to Gasp!, Creative Loafing’s fourth annual performing arts event, presented by Tampa International. Taking place March 31 at the Tampa Museum of Art, the event offers a kaleidoscopic circus of theater, dance, music, spoken word, visual art, scoundscapes, cabaret and more. Enter promo code TAMPADOWNTOWN at checkout by Wednesday, March 22, at midnight, to receive $5 off your ticket purchase.
Development Forum: Downtown In Motion
Mark your calendar! Tampa Downtown Partnership’s 21st Annual Development Forum will take place on Friday, March 24 from 8am until noon at the Tampa Convention Center. The Development Forum is a half-day event that explores innovative ideas in urban development and serves as a catalyst for discussion and problem solving for major urban issues. Participants hear from public and private leaders, and industry specialists who offer insight into local, regional and national trends in their field of expertise. View the agenda and register.
The River Will Run Green
Join us for the 6th Annual Mayor’s River O’Green Fest, presented by Grow Financial, on Saturday, March 18! 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 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, free bike valet (in honor of Bike Month) and of course, beer! New this year, we will kick off the festivities in the morning with a Walk/Run along the Riverwalk and continue with a family scavenger hunt as well as a pub crawl and a Leprechaun costume contest! The entire family is welcome, including four-legged members. Interested in volunteering during this fun-filled day? Register here. Your help ensures we are able to keep these events fun and free to attend.
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
Kick Butt Day
Wednesday, March 15, begins 11:30am
Lykes Gaslight Square
Did you know that more than 16 million Americans live with a disease caused by smoking? Get active on National Kick Butts Day to raise awareness about quitting smoking. Smoking cessation guides will be distributed, as well as material from Tobacco Free Florida. Play fun games to earn tickets for the raffle and let’s kick some butt! For more information, go to Kick Butt Day.
Martin McDonagh’s A Skull in Connemara
Wednesday, March 15 to Sunday, April 9
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Mick Dowd is hired once a year to disinter the bones in certain sections of the local cemetery to make way for the new arrivals. As the time approaches for him to dig up those of his wife, rumors surrounding his involvement in her sudden death seven years ago begin to resurface. For more information, go to Martin McDonagh’s A Skull in Connemara.
Friday, March 17, begins 3pm
There is plenty in store for one truly legendary St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy live bands, Fireball ice luge, flip cup tournament, Scariff dancers, green beer, corned beef & cabbage, and a free party trolley between Ferg’s Live and Irish 31 Hyde Park Village! For more information, go to Paddyfest Extravaganza.
Mayor’s River O’Green Fest
Saturday, March 18, begins 11am
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
The party is centered around the Hillsborough River, which will be transformed into a bright shade of green for the occasion (at 11am). The river provides a perfect backdrop to the celebration which includes live entertainment, games, kids activities, food trucks, and of course, beer! For more information, go to Mayor’s River O’Green Fest.
Doing Business in Downtown
|Retail Spotlight: Beauty Brought Out
Beauty Brought Out is a Beauty Studio venture of Julissa who moved her cosmetology business from Chicago to Tampa. Julissa and her team keep busy with bridal parties, photo shoots, and cosmetology and skin care services, including facials and waxing. On Friday nights, she holds Beauty & Bottles girls night out where up to eight women are invited to a hands-on make-up class while learning new tips and enjoying their favorite bottle of wine. Beauty Brought Out will also be the site for LuLaRoe fashions pop-up shop monthly. March dates will be the 21st, 23rd and 24th. Visit their website or call 813.453.3355 for more information.
Franklin Street Fine Woodwork, located within Franklin Street Furniture, also operates a Woodwork School, offering a wide selection of classes, including beginner and master level seminars. Franklin Street Furniture are makers of fine custom made tables, buffets, seating, cabinets, and custom made objects.
The Oxford Exchange’s Book Club is featuring the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick this Tuesday, March 14, at 6:30pm. This science fiction classic was adapted to form the famous film, Blade Runner.
The Attic Café is now open both Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am-2pm, serving up all the best brunch dishes and delicious mimosas.
District Tavern recently announced that they’re open for lunch from Monday through Friday, starting at 11am. Chef Roger is cooking up his famous mushroom burgers and buffalo chicken salad, and much more!
Tampa Downtown Partnership has set a date for the next Downtown Merchant Meeting, April 4, 3pm at Pokey’s Pub. All Downtown storefront businesses are invited to attend. To RSVP for the meeting, contact Angela Ruth.
The YMCA is looking for both participants to walk/run the IOA Corporate 5k as volunteers. If you would like to join our Y team as a participant, register here. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Amber via email at Amber.Lee@tampaymca.org.
Tampa a Finalist for Lucrative Convention
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has its eye on Tampa as a possible location for its 2018 convention. The 15-year-old organization, known as the business voice of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, highlights the economic strength of LGBT business owners, employers, taxpayers, and providers of health care, among others.The economic impact is estimated to be $2.1 million with 2,450 hotel rooms to be booked, including 700 on the peak night. Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce are working as a team to bring the conference to Tampa.
“Tampa A Finalist For Lucrative National Gay & Lesbian Chamber Convention” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Armature Works Announces New Restaurant
On March 7, Armature Works announced their newest restaurant coming to The Heights Public Market via their Facebook page. Metropolitan Ministries bringing their Inside The Box concept to the market and it is slated to be their biggest location. Inside The Box is planning to have everything from locally-sourced breads, cured meats and artisan cheeses to a specialty items grocery store and even a community garden accessible to the entire market. All proceeds will directly support the hunger programs of Metropolitan Ministries throughout Tampa Bay.
Development and Transportation
Transportation App: Coast Bike Share
In honor of Florida Bike Month, our app of the week is Coast Bike Share. The entire Coast Bike Share fleet in Downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg is GPS enabled and can be rented with a smartphone. Any of the 300 bikes can be returned to 30 hub locations or locked to any public bike rack for a small fee. Use the mobile app to locate bikes, reserve in advance and create and manage your account.
InVision: Tampa Streetcar
The Tampa Historic Streetcar System is a 2.7-mile long streetcar transportation network that provides a unique connection from downtown Tampa and the Channelside District to the Ybor City historic district. Today, the system is used mainly by tourists. But the City of Tampa is exploring a future for the streetcar as a true transportation option for residents, visitors, and employees in the downtown core and kicked off the process with a public brainstorm on Tuesday, March 7. If you weren’t one of the 100+ attendees, please take a few moments to complete an online survey. You can help determine the future “purpose and need” of the 2.7 mile line. On a related note, HART has just kicked off their Regional Transit Feasibility Plan. This is meant to be a “Route Map to Implementation.” Your input on longer-distance transit travel options are requested by completing their survey.
Now is the Time for Ultra-Luxury
While thousands of rental units have been built in downtown Tampa in the last five years, there’s been zero construction of new condo units. The price per square foot of existing units still isn’t high enough to justify new construction, but Greg Minder, president of InTown Goup LLC and residential partner in Riverwalk Tower, and Feldman Equities CEO Larry Feldman say Riverwalk Tower’s residences will be ultra-luxurious — unlike anything else in Tampa and comparable to some of the new towers in downtown St. Petersburg, which are beating even their own developers’ expectations of pre-sales. That same demand – at the very highest end of the market – exists in Tampa as well, Minder and Feldman believe.
“Residential Developer For Tampa’s 52-Story Riverwalk Tower Says The Time Is Right For Ultra-Luxury In The Urban Core” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Cross Bay Ferry Proves Profitable
The four local governments that funded the Cross Bay Ferry are now earning revenue from ferry operator HMS Ferries. The Cross Bay Ferry, which started in November, signed a contract promising to refund any revenue that exceeded $150,000. HMS Ferries met that sometime in January and is refunding the four governments nearly $10,000 for that month and another nearly $45,000 in February. Operators are seeing an acceleration in ticket sales and anticipate another record-breaking month in March. The ferry sold 2,000-plus tickets during the first week of March, with as many weekday tickets sold as weekend tickets. For tickets and more information, visit crossbayferry.com.
Advocates for Regional Transit
Two bills were filed last week in the Florida Legislature aimed at shifting multimodal transit issues to a more regional mindset. The bills, filed by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) and Rep. Dan Raulerson (R-Plant City), would restructure the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority by changing “transportation” to “transit.” The agency would be charged with coordinating regionally significant transportation projects and creating a conflict resolution process to address problems associated with implementing regional plans. If considered, the bills will first be heard in a series of committee stops in the House and Senate. The annual session began Tuesday, March 7.
“Transit Advocates: Regional Transportation Plan Gives Tallahassee Too Much Local Power” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
UT Counselors to Host Cigar City Nights
You’re invited! Join the UT Board of Counselors on Friday, April 7, for Cigars City Nights. The event will be held from 5:30–8pm at the Tampa Museum of Art’s Sono Café, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, and provides a perfect place to relax with your clients, co-workers and friends. The evening will feature hors d’oeuvres from Sono Café, a mojito bar, hand-rolled cigars and live music. To purchase tickets, go to cigarcitynights.eventbrite.com. Presale tickets only.
Our Members Give Back
Tampa Downtown Partnership members Shumaker Loop & Kendrick and Hill Ward Henderson helped to support another member organization, MacDonald Training Center (MTC), and their art exhibitions at the Gasparilla Festival of Arts. Hill Ward Henderson sponsored the MTC exhibit and matched sales while Shumaker Loop & Kendrick sponsored artist prizes.
CushWake Adds Management Assignments
Cushman & Wakefield’s Florida Asset Services Group secured the management rights to 33 buildings totaling 2.4 million square feet throughout Central Florida. The buildings are spread over 16 sites and comprise a mix of industrial, office, flex and retail space. The properties include Beachline Distribution Center and Crossroads Business Park in Orlando; Benjamin Distribution Center and Thompson Center I & II in Tampa; Konica Minolta in Saint Petersburg, FL; Northdale I and II in Tampa; 4500 Seaboard in Orlando; Benjamin Centers VII and IX in Tampa, and several others. GlobeSt.com.
A Call for Entries: Photography Competition
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) has launched a call for entries for our 7th annual International Photography Competition. Worldwide photographers are invited to take part in the competition. This year, FMoPA will partner with Creative Loafing to celebrate local photographers who participate in the competition and promote the exciting prizes available to all participants. For additional information, visit the competition website.
JLL Completes Two Leases
JLL completes two lease transactions totaling 302,875 square feet of warehouse distribution space with Plastipak Packaging at two commercial properties. The national provider of packaging solutions is expanding its current space at 5200 Region Court in Lakeland from 60,000 square feet to 112,557 square feet and has inked a 190,270-square-foot renewal at Lakeland Distribution Center located at 7105 New Tampa Highway. With the signing of these deals, both properties have reached 100% occupancy. JLL associate Ryan Vaught represented the ownership for both. GlobeSt.com.
Tampa Named a Fastest Growing City
Forbes ranked Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater the eighth fastest growing city for its 2017 list. Forbes’ annual list of America’s fastest-growing cities provides a holistic picture of places on the upswing. They look at growth of population, employment, wages, economic output and use home price growth as a proxy for wealth. Forbes named 25 metropolitan areas across the country experiencing the biggest surges, plus the growth rates and projections that got them on the list.
“Full List: America’s Fastest-Growing Cities 2017” – Forbes
Future of the Region Awards
The 25th Annual Future of the Region Awards will be held on Friday, April 28nd, 2017, 8:30am at the Hilton Carillon Park in St. Petersburg. The Future of the Region Awards event highlights projects and programs that exemplify regionalism, and recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions that benefit the regional community. For general information on TBRPC’s Future of the Region Awards program, please contact Ms. Wren Krahl, (727) 570-5151 ext. 22 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Future of Downtown Clearwater
In a rare dynamic where the constituent is beckoning each council member to his headquarters instead of going to theirs, Scientology leader David Miscavige will host individual meetings at the church’s Fort Harrison Hotel on Tuesday to discuss his downtown retail strategy. Miscavige has not announced plans for a presentation to the general public. Those who plan to visit Miscavige say it is their chance to learn more about the church’s intentions for downtown and advocate for transparency. It is only the second time in Miscavige’s 30 years leading Scientology that he has called for formal meetings with each elected official. The first time was in July to emphasize the church’s interest in a 1.4-acre lot across the street from City Hall that is owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The City Council is expected to vote Thursday on whether to buy the land.
“Dynamic of City Council Meetings with Scientology Leader a Rarity” – Tampa Bay Times
Tampa International Wins Top Award
Tampa International was named Best Airport in North America in the 15-25 million passengers per year category, as part of the Airport Service Quality awards. The program is conducted by Airports Council International, the international trade group representing airports. The award was announced as TIA continues the massive expansion under the master plan, which includes increasing the footprint of its main terminal, and building both a new rental car facility and a 1.4-mile automated people mover.
“Global Trade Group Honors Tampa International with Top Award” – Tampa Bay Business Journal