Meet our New Director of Membership & Programming
Tampa Downtown Partnership staff, Executive Committee and Board of Directors is excited to welcome our new Director of Membership & Programming, Lindsey Parks. Lindsey is responsible for the acquisition of new members, as well as engagement and retention of current members. In her role, Lindsey will be building strong relationships that lead to long-term and increased investment; cultivating strategic partnerships and communicating innovative member benefits. Previously, Lindsey served as a Project Manager for Ballard Partners. She also Lindsey served as the Public Policy and Programs manager at the Tampa Bay Partnership, the regional economic development organization. Lindsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome to the team, Lindsey!
Downtown Bike to Work Ride & Rally Postponed
Due to inclement weather conditions expected in our area for tomorrow morning, we have decided to postpone the Downtown Bike Ride & Rally to Friday, May 18. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please stay tuned for announcements and updates.
Join us This Friday for our Development Forum
The 22nd Annual Downtown Development Forum is taking place March 23 at the Tampa Convention Center. 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. Join us to hear from developers and industry experts on the front lines of the most significant projects in downtown including sports and learn about Tampa’s city center progress in economic development, higher education, and commercial and residential development. Learn more about the event including panelists and presenters, and register today!
Exclusive Offer for our Readers
With Tampa’s CRE Market tailwinds from tax reform becoming clear to investors, interest in Tampa’s investment opportunities is at all-time high. Join Bisnow on Tuesday, March 27, for an all-star line-up of CRE titans, high-ranking government officials, innovators and entrepreneurs for an in-depth look at Tampa, St. Petersburg and W. Florida’s hottest new projects, cross-border investor opinions, growth opportunities across major asset classes, and, finally, what keeps the panelists up at night. Our readers get 20% off the price of admission with Discount Code TDP20VHISN. Get tickets.
Celebrate Florida’s Bike Month
Did you know that there are over 200 public bike racks and 20 bike lanes and trails in and near downtown? There are also bicycle self-repair stations located along the Riverwalk and throughout downtown allowing bicyclists to fix flat tires or tighten a loose screw on your basket. Be sure to check out the City of Tampa’s bike lane and trail map online to help you navigate all the places you can explore on your bike in Downtown Tampa. Featured event: Pedals & Pints on March 20. Check out the full calendar here.
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
Friday, March 23, 4pm to 10pm Downtown Tampa and Ybor City When the sun goes down, the streets of Tampa and Ybor will light up with music, laughter, art, friends and FREE fun. This evening of special offerings and programs by cultural venues, restaurants, and more takes place on the fourth Friday of every month! For more information, go to Fourth Friday.
Art Meets Jazz
Join us for an evening of live smooth jazz saxophone music by professional musician Johnny Magnuson, a delicious dinner provided by WaterWorks Bar & Grill and an art exhibition by local Tampa artists. For more information, go to Art Meets Jazz.
Tampa Beer & Brunch Festival
Saturday, March 24, begins 11am Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park Enjoy a beautiful day on the water while enjoying plenty of beer and the weekend’s favorite meal: brunch. What a terrific combination! Over 60 cocktails and craft beers will be on hand, plus tons of delicious brunch dishes. There will also be live music, games, and prizes. For more information, go to Tampa Beer & Brunch Festival.
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
HIR – Through Sunday, April 1 The Bodyguard – Tuesday, March 20 to Sunday, March 25 The Florida Orchestra – A Little Night Music – Friday, March 23, begins 8pm Eden Shireen – Live & Local – Saturday, March 24, 6:45pm to 8:45pm
This Week at Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – Tuesday, March 20, begins 7:30pm Disney On Ice presents Reach For The Stars – Thursday, March 22 to Sunday, March 25
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
Concert for George – Monday, March 19, 7:30pm to 10pm The Party – Wednesday, March 21 to Monday, March 28
Tariffs Could Harm Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is the state’s largest port for handling steel products and has served as the host of the Tampa Steel Conference. Metals come in from all over the world including from countries such as Turkey, Brazil and Italy. In the last fiscal year, the port saw approximately 330,000 tons of imported steel products. That marked a 33 percent increase over the previous fiscal year and contributed to record operating revenue of $55.4 million for fiscal year 2017. Critics of the president’s tariffs say that a global trade war could result. Already the European Union has vowed to impose its own tariffs on certain U.S. goods in retaliation. The tariffs could also spell trouble for the ongoing construction that has propelled the Tampa Bay and regional economy. “How Trump’s Tariffs Could Harm Port Tampa Bay and Industries” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
DC Leasing Giant Coming to Tampa
The head of leasing for one of D.C.’s largest office owners is leaving the market. Brookfield Property Partners Senior Vice President Dave Bevirt is going south to lead the leasing effort for the $3B Water Street Tampa development, the Washington Business Journal reports. Bevirt, a 32-year veteran of D.C.’s commercial real estate industry, has spent the last six years with Brookfield, and before that he worked for JLL and CarrAmerica. In Tampa, Bevirt will be in charge of leasing the city’s largest mixed-use development. The 2M SF of office space planned at Water Street Tampa totals one-third the size of the cities’ existing 6M SF central business district. The 50-acre project is also slated for 3,500 residential units, 1M SF of retail, two hotels, two museums, 13 acres of parks and a school of medicine for the University of South Florida. “Brookfield’s Dave Bevirt Leaving D.C. To Spearhead Leasing Of $3B Tampa Project” – Bisnow
Hillsborough Passes Tourism Threshold
Hillsborough County generated more than $600 million in hotel revenue last year, making it one of just nine counties to pass the threshold for becoming a “high-impact” tourism destination in Florida. With the designation, the county is now allowed to raise the tax on overnight stays from 5 percent to 6 percent. The county generated about $644 million in taxable hotel revenue last year — or about $700 million before taxes. That sent bed-tax revenue past Visit Tampa Bay’s $30 million goal at $32.3 million — an 8 percent increase compared to 2016. Pinellas County beat the same threshold in 2014. “Hillsborough’s Record Hotel Revenue Makes It ‘High-Impact’ Tourism Destination” – Tampa Bay Times
SPP Looking to Lease Port Tampa Bay Land
The developer of Water Street Tampa is laying the groundwork for a mixed-use project on what’s currently the Garrison lot, a surface parking lot directly adjacent to Channelside Bay Plaza. The port board is set to consider several agreements with Strategic Property Partners at its regular meeting Tuesday, including the sale of a 20,000-square-foot parcel within the Garrison lot. SPP will pay $9.86 million for that land over the next 10 years, at $82,234 per month or $986,812 per year. The deal is set to close by June 1. SPP is also seeking to lease 120,000 to 130,000 square feet of the Garrison lot at a cost of $517,667 per year. A 362,000-square-foot mixed-use building is planned on the parcel SPP intends to purchase, according to the port agenda. “To Make Way For New Building, Water Street Developer Pursues Land Deal With Port Tampa Bay” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Regional Transit Plan Criticized for Cost per Trip
The company charged with establishing a regional transit plan in Tampa Bay told attendees at a transportation meeting on Friday that access to transit-oriented development is not being considered when deciding which projects are fiscally feasible. During the Tampa Bay Area Transportation Management Leadership Group, Scott Pringle with Jacobs Engineering said the cost estimates for various transit projects take into consideration current demographics and don’t look at the potential for future land use development. That’s a problem for many who look at the millions, sometimes billions of dollars that can be harnessed by creating hubs of lucrative, taxable development around transit stations. Federal Transit Authority guidelines recommend a transit project’s cost per trip come in at no more than $10. Meeting that benchmark is key to attracting federal grants. Jacobs Engineering studies of different rail corridors in Tampa Bay using existing CSX tracks all came out above that — some more than double. “Here’s Why Future Development Is Not A Part of The Equation For Regional Transit Plans In Tampa Bay” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
New Tampa Bay Next Concepts Released
The Florida Department of Transportation is also no longer considering express lanes north of the downtown Tampa interchange along Interstate 275, District 7 Secretary David Gwynn told the Tampa Bay Business Journal last Tuesday. The agency also stated that estimates on the number of parcels FDOT would acquire and demolish to make room for highway improvements varies based on which plan the agency chooses. It can range anywhere from 30 parcels of land to 190. The department’s original plan stems from the 90s and was used as a basis for the Tampa Bay Express, or TBX process FDOT paused last year. It would gobble up more land than other concepts, up to 190 parcels, by substantially increasing the I-275 footprint around the downtown Tampa interchange and north. FDOT expects to hold a public hearing to approve a highway improvement plan in mid-2019 to move forward with next steps. The agency then hopes to obtain all of the required environmental documents to implement improvements by late 2019 or early 2020. “FDOT Announces How Many Homes and Businesses It Would Demolish In Highway Plans” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Fortune Taylor Bridge Historic Marker
The public is invited to join the leaders of the Tampa Area for an unveiling of the Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge Historic Marker on May 20, 2018 at the Fortune Taylor Bridge (formerly Laurel Street Bridge). A former slave, Fortune Taylor ran a successful business selling baked goods and married her longtime partner, Benjamin Taylor, in 1866. A woman with presence, she was known to neighbors as Madame Fortune Taylor. Historical accounts are unclear how she ended up with the title to 33 acres on the eastern bank of the Hillsborough River, though one possibility is that the land might have been confiscated from the Confederacy and deeded to her during Reconstruction. Learn more about Madame Fortune Taylor in this Tampa Bay Times article.
Status on USF Water Street Tampa Construction
The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute is moving in 2019, bringing approximately 1,800 students, faculty and staff to live, work and study along the downtown waterfront as a key anchor at Water Street Tampa. By moving within a mile of its primary teaching hospital Tampa General Hospital, USF will attract the brightest students and faculty, and will increase federal research dollars to fight heart disease. The downtown site will position the medical school in close proximity to USF Health’s primary teaching and clinical affiliate, Tampa General Hospital, as well as its world-class simulation center, the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation and other surrounding facilities. View a live webcam tracking the construction!
FMoPA Call for Entries
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) is now accepting submissions for its 8th annual “International Photography Competition.” Photographers from all over the world are invited to submit their work. All styles and levels of experience are welcome. Winners will be selected by a jury and announced on May 4. The winning selections will be printed and framed by FMoPA and exhibited in the Community Gallery from June 1-July 23. There will be a formal opening reception from 5-7 p.m. June 22 at the museum. Entries must be submitted online here. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. on April 13. Non-refundable entry fees are $10. Multiple submissions are permitted.
Celebrate Earth Hour at the Hilton
Hilton Tampa Downtown will be celebrating Earth Hour on March 24, 2018 from 8:30pm-9:30pm. This is an annual celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about the future of our planet. Be part of the celebration and turn off your lights wherever you are and join us from 8:30pm-9:30pm at our lounge for a cocktail by candlelight. We will be offering a “Black Out” Martini for $5 (Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Sour mix, Blue Curacao, cranberry juice) only during Earth Hour.
Serve on the Citizen Advisory Board
Hillsborough County Commissioners are 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 April 12, 2018. Appointments will be scheduled for a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners in May or June 2018. The forms are available in the Commissioners’ reception area on the second floor of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa; by calling the Boards and Councils Coordinator at 813-272-5826; or on the County’s website at: HCFLGov.net. Click on the “Government” link on the top of the page, then the “Boards and Committees” sublink. The forms can be filled out and printed, then scanned and emailed, faxed, hand-delivered, or mailed.
Competitive Edge Series
Join the Chamber for their monthly Competitive Edge Series featuring a panel discussion with executives from the Chamber’s 2017 Small Business of the Year award-winning companies. They will highlight what makes their company successful and share their personal thoughts. The Competitive Edge Series is the premier educational program of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Business and professional development classes under this umbrella offer attendees new skill sets and a practical application for implementation in their own business. A unique class takes place each month during the lunchtime hour.
Ybor City Available Properties
The Ybor City Development Corporation offers an online available properties page that features Office/Industrial, Retail/Commercial, Residential and Vacant Land listings in the historic district. If you have available property in the district, please take a moment to review the existing information and indicate if there is a new property to add or if one listed should be removed. To provide property details, please click here and complete the form.
University Mall Buys Out Sears, Unveils New Name
One of the city’s oldest malls is vying for a comeback and on Tuesday its New York owners announced not only a new purchase, but a new name, too. RD Management bought out the Sears inside University Plaza for $7 million, according to a deed filed with Hillsborough County last week. Now that it owns that 144,941-square-foot chunk of the complex, it can go forward with plans to revamp the nearly 50-year-old mall under the new name “Uptown.” This is the first time since the mall was constructed in the 1970s that the entire nearly 100-acre property will be under one owner. The Sears location, which was owned by Sears, Roebuck & Co,, will remain as a tenant, according to the management company. Developers say it will be part of a dynamic mixed-use center that has been long envisioned. “University Mall Buys Out Sears, Unveils New Name For Its Makeover” – Tampa Bay Times
Westshore Gets New Office Building
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. has begun constructing the final office building in its 32-acre MetWest International corporate park in the Westshore area of Tampa, bringing full circle an investment the giant insurer made three decades ago. The 10-story building, which will be anchored by consulting and accounting firm PwC, represents one of the first new office buildings to be built in the Tampa area since 2012. Even more significantly, the building will be the first in the wake of last decade’s economic recession to contain any substantive speculative, uncommitted office space — an inclusion that will test the market’s strength amid robust absorption and a dearth of new construction. “The occupancy for the other offices in the park is currently 99%, and overall the Westshore submarket is very strong and the economy remains strong, so all the fundamentals support this,” says Hank Brenner, managing principal of investment services for commercial real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield, which will be overseeing development of MetWest Three for MetLife. “Paying Off” – Business Observer
Puerto Ricans Settle in Florida
‘I’m staying.’ It is a refrain that has been repeated in recent months by tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have closed shops, quit jobs and raced to Florida, transforming cities across the state. It’s the largest migration ever from the Caribbean island, already surpassing the one after World War II. Over 135,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to the U.S. mainland since the hurricane, according to a report released by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York. The majority have gone to Florida. Stefan Rayer, the population program director at the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, estimates that roughly 50,000 to 75,000 Puerto Ricans may have permanently settled in Florida since the storm. “’I’m staying’: Months after Maria, Puerto Ricans settle in Florida” – NBC News
PSTA Extending Route
Downtown St. Petersburg is on track to get an express bus connection to the Gateway business district in June. A Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority committee voted Wednesday to accept funds from the Florida Department of Transportation to pay for extending an existing route. The downtown connection fills a transit gap that has existed for decades. FDOT agreed to pay PSTA $234,000 annually to cover the cost of expanding the 100x route currently serving mid-Pinellas County, South Tampa’s Britton Plaza and downtown Tampa over the Gandy Bridge. The expanded route would extend to downtown St. Pete along Fourth Street with another extension north of Gandy Boulevard to the Gateway Mall near Ulmerton Boulevard. The agency is also adding a stop to its 300x route over the Howard Frankland Bridge from Ulmerton Boulevard to downtown Tampa. The bus will begin stopping at Tampa International Airport’s new consolidated rental car facility in June. “Express Bus Service Connecting Gateway To Downtown St. Pete Expected By Summer” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
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.
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