Monday Morning Memo

Monday, March 25, 2019

Member Spotlight: GrayRobinson Shareholder Receives High Accolades for Ethics

Tampa Downtown Partnership Members since 1995, law firm GrayRobinson is proud to announce that Johanna P. Wood, shareholder the Tampa law firm office, has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell® as Av Preeminent ™. This is the highest accolade an attorney can receive for legal ability and adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability and diligence. The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings enable members of the legal community to benefit from the candid and objective peer-to-peer feedback of other lawyers. Legal Ability ratings are based on performance in five key areas, those being: legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience.

Wood focuses her practice in commercial real estate law, including acquisition, development, financing and leasing of commercial properties such as residential subdivisions, office buildings, data centers, apartments, medical facilities and shopping centers.  She represents developers, institutional lenders and borrowers, commercial landlords and tenants and real estate investment trusts. She also practices cannabis law and represents farmers, manufacturers, retailers and other stakeholders in the industry.

Advocacy Update: Tampa Downtown Partnership Supports Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs)

Florida’s community redevelopment agencies (CRAs) serve to revitalize communities through projects such as streetscapes and roadway improvements, building renovations, neighborhood parks and more. Without local CRAs, the progress that has been made in redevelopment will come to a halt; property values will drop, and communities will suffer.

There are currently 220 CRAs in the State of Florida and seven in the City of Tampa, including; Central Park, Channel District, Downtown, Drew Park, East Tampa, Tampa Heights Riverfront, and Ybor City. CRAs are created by local governments and funded by tax increment funding, which captures tax revenue from property value increases in a designated area – increases that are the result of effective redevelopment.

Florida Senate Bill 1054  and Florida House Bill 9  aim to impose limitations that will have an enormous negative impact on the survival of local CRAs.

Tampa Downtown Partnership strongly believes CRAs must be left intact to continue to improve our communities. To ensure forward movement, and not regressive policy development, we’re calling on lawmakers to protect our CRAs.

We encourage our members to email our local legislators and express your support for CRAs.


Janet Cruz (D) – 18th District

Darryl Rouson (D) – 19th District

Tom Lee (R) – 20th District

Bill Galvano (R) – 21st District



Mike Beltran (R) – 57th District

Lawrence McClure (R) – 58th District

Adam Hattersley (D) – 59th District

Jackie Toledo (R) – 60th District

Dianne Hart (D) – 61st District

Susan L. Valdes (D) – 62nd District

Fentrice Driskell (D) – 63rd District

Jamie Grant (R) – 64th District

Wengay Newton, Sr. (D) – 70th District


Thank you for your consideration to participate in this important process.


Lynda Remund
President & CEO – Tampa Downtown Partnership


Mickey Jacob
Chair – Tampa Downtown Partnership

Check Out These Upcoming Partnership Events

The Tampa Downtown Partnership has several upcoming events offering opportunities to learn, network, and to work outside for Office in the Park. 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, Shaun Drinkard with the Tampa Downtown Partnership, Greg Lovelace with the Tampa Port Authority, and Roger Germann with The Florida Aquarium 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!

The Florida Aquarium is a Gold Sponsor of this event.


Office in the Park

Join us during the week of April 1st through the 5th as we make our way down from our office in Rivergate Tower to the ground floor level in Gaslight Square Park (corner of Madison and Franklin). While we set up shop for a week in the park we invite you to join us to talk about how you feel about Downtown. What do you love, what would you like to see more of, what could use some improvement? We want to hear from you, because at the end of the day we work to make your Downtown experience better. Our staff will have scheduled office hours, so be sure to check when would be the best time to come and discuss your thoughts.

Not only will we be working in the park for a full week, but we also invite you all to work with us. We have some awesome co-working space that will be available to anyone, with FREE wifi, all week long. Set up at communal sit/stand desk or take a more relaxed approach in our Green Space office lounge. However you choose to work, we have an option for you.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at work schedules and discussion topics as we get closer to the event. Tell your friends, it’s time to talk about Downtown!


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 – Noon: 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)
FL Representative Jackie Toledo (pending due to legislative session schedule)

Opening The Door For Urban Living >> Workforce and Attainable Housing
Owen LaFave, Bank of Tampa
Brett Green, Related Group
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
Jackie Burridge Centamore, WS Development
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!

Register today!

Thank you to our sponsors!

Jeffries Company

BDG Architects
Tampa Bay Business Journal

Downtown Crawlers Recognize and Award Tampa Downtown Partnership

The Tampa Downtown Partnership was humbled to be named a “Best Supporting Company” by the Downtown Crawlers at their inaugural Crawly Awards event on Thursday, March 7th at the Zydeco Brew Werks in Ybor City. The Partnership tied with 813 Area and UNATION for the award!

Downtown Guides and Clean Team Sport New Uniforms

You may have noticed a change in the Downtown Guides and Clean Team – in their uniforms, to be exact. Since last Monday the men and women who help you find your way around town, keep our Downtown clean, safe, and help you in a pinch are wearing new uniforms. The new “Florida Outdoor” attire feature wide-brim hats and the signature yellow shirts for the Guides. Clean Team members are wearing navy polos with yellow accents and baseball caps. Both teams will have either “Guide” or Clean Team” written on their shirts to more easily identify our distinct team members. So, if you see them around town, be sure to say hello and compliment their crisp new outfit. Learn more about the Downtown Guides and Clean Team.

WeWork Secures Naming Rights for 501 E. Kennedy

WeWork’s first home in Tampa is still under construction, but the coworking company is already doubling down on the city, signing a massive lease and securing naming rights to a downtown office tower.

WeWork has committed to 60,000 square feet — three floors — in the 20-story tower at 501 E. Kennedy Blvd., which will be renamed WeWork Place. That’s enough space for 1,000 desks, WeWork said.

The location is slated to open later this year. The company said it worked wth Parkway Property Investments, which owns 501 E. Kennedy Blvd., as well as Commercial Florida Realty Partners and Cushman & Wakefield Inc. to execute the lease.

It will be WeWork’s second location in Tampa. The company has also signed a lease for 50,000 square feet in Heights Union, an office building under construction in The Heights where its neighbors will include med-tech firm AxoGen Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN)

The new location in WeWork Place is roughly 20 percent bigger than Heights Union, which has space for 800 desks. By signing deals in that size range, WeWork is already more than a cool new name. It is a major office tenant: In Tampa Bay, the vast majority of office leases are between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet. Leases for 50,000 square feet or more are considered very large in this market.

WeWork is known for the high end amenities it brings to shared office space, from business supplies and IT services to stocked refrigerators.

“WeWork is excited to provide our future members in downtown Tampa with the space and community to create their life’s work at WeWork,” Bobby Condon, Southeast general manager for WeWork, said in a statement. “Centrally located on Kennedy Boulevard, WeWork Place will be the largest, highly amenitized shared workspace in the Tampa Bay area. We see great potential in Tampa and look forward to expanding our footprint in the area for years to come.”

Condon’s statement hints at more locations to come — and according to commercial real estate sources, WeWork is already in talks for office space in downtown St. Petersburg and Midtown Tampa. Nicholas Haines, CEO of Bromley Cos., which is developing Midtown Tampa, declined comment after appearing on a “hottest new projects” panel discussion in Tampa in mid-March.

A spokeswoman for WeWork declined comment on specific future locations.

“Regarding expansion, we’re always considering new areas and neighborhoods,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email. “However, we’re hyper-focused on our plans for these first two Tampa Bay WeWork communities at this time. We see great potential for growth in and around Tampa and we’re excited to continue expanding in the area for years to come.”

WeWork is aggressively expanding throughout the U.S. Since entering Atlanta in 2016, for example, the company has signed leases for more than 500,000 square feetof office space there and wants 20 locations throughout Atlanta by 2020.

In late 2018, WeWork was named the world’s second most valuable startup, with rideshare app Uber in the top spot.

But the rapid expansion hasn’t come without growing pains. In early March, WeWork parent The We Co. laid off 300 people or 3 percent of its workforce in performance-related dismissals. It has 10,000 employees and said after the layoffs that it plans to hire another 6,000 in 2019.

In April 2018, bond-offering documents showed that WeWork had revenue of $866 million in 2017, its losses totaled $933 million. Japanese conglomerate Softbank invested another $2 billion in WeWork in early 2019 — after scaling back plans to invest $16 billion in the company.

“WeWork signs massive lease, secures naming rights in downtown Tampa for second location”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Rents are Falling Downtown Tampa

Apartment dwellers in downtown Tampa and Hyde Park pay the highest average rents of any in the Tampa Bay area, a new report shows.

That might not be true much longer. Rents in downtown Tampa have dropped 4 percent in the last three months while they have climbed in downtown St. Petersburg and other part of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Overall, though, Tampa Bay rents are “not out of line by any stretch” compared to the rest of the country, according to Bruce McClenny, president of The Texas-based company tracks rental rates, occupancies and apartment construction in several U.S. metro areas and submarkets.

In the submarket that includes Tampa’s downtown, Hyde Park and West River areas, rents average $1,627. But they have steadily declined because of so much new construction — of the 8,526 units in the area, half were built in the last five years.

“All of a sudden you’re looking at an oversupply of units,” McClenny said. “It will definitely be a desirable place to live, it’s just the timing of all these units coming on got a little ahead of the demand. The nice part about it for renters is there are some deals to be had in very nice brand new units.”

Compare those figures to the West Shore/Rocky Point submarket, where the average rent rose nearly 5 percent in the last three months to $1,557. Long known as a business district, West Shore with its wealth of restaurants and shopping has increasingly become a live-work-play area where demand for apartments has outstripped the supply — it has half as many units as downtown Tampa/Hyde Park.

South Tampa saw an even bigger jump in rents, up 8.3 percent to an average of $1,274. It too has far fewer apartments than downtown Tampa although 351 units have recently been completed and 1,284 are under construction, primarily in the West Shore Marina District at the east end of the Gandy Bridge.

On the Pinellas County side of the bay, the downtown St. Petersburg/Kenwood submarket has seen a steady increase in rents over the last 12 months. They now average $1,229.

As its reputation as an arts and entertainment area grows, drawing ever more people, downtown St. Petersburg continues to experience an apartment boom. In the last 12 months, 304 new units have become available while nearly 1,000 more are under construction.

Still, the new units account for only about 13 percent of the supply in the submarket, which stretches south to Pinellas Point and north to Lealman. “It’s not as severe a number as we’re seeing in the (downtown) Tampa area so it’s at a level where the demand is keeping up with it and maybe even outstripping it because the rent growth is 3.3 percent,” McClenny said.

Some other findings from the report:

  • The Largo/Clearwater/Dunedin submarket is one of Tampa Bay’s largest. It has a total of 16,865 existing apartments — almost twice as many as in downtown Tampa/Hyde Park — with a strong 92.6 percent occupancy rate and rents averaging $1,116. That is among the lowest in the bay area.
  • More apartment communities in downtown Tampa/Hyde Park than in other areas are offering “specials,” including a month of free rent.

“Rents are falling in downtown Tampa but going up in other parts of Tampa Bay”Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)

AER Apartment Tower Near Straz is Moving Forward

A luxury high-rise apartment tower that’s been in the works in downtown Tampa for six years is finally moving toward a groundbreaking.

The 33-story AER — which stands for Arts and Entertainment Residences — is proposed on a parcel of land to be created by the reconfiguration of Tyler and Cass streets, near the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

Bob McDonaugh, the city’s chief economic development official, told city council on Thursday that the project “is almost at the end of a very long road” and that there will be “a few small items” related to the tower to come before council in the coming weeks.

“The developer has appeased the Straz with the roadway plan, our right of way people are poised to approve the right of way plan, and we will be going to closing some time in the next month,” McDonaugh said. “The Broadway series is closed, so they will be able to do construction.”

The developer, Miami-based American Land Ventures, has partnered with two Tampa developers on the project, Framework Group LLC and Intown Group LLC.

Councilwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin questioned why the project was taking so long.

“No project that we have approved since I’ve been here has taken this long,” she said.

“Ms Capin, I have been working on this since 2008 when the Straz first came up with the request to change that roadway plan,” McDonaugh said. “A lot of this time has been spent appeasing the Straz.”

In an interview with this week with the Tampa Bay Business Journal, mayor Bob Buckhorn said the same.

“We’re very, very close. Part of it was that there are staff members at the Straz who have proved to be nothing but obstacles and have spent six years trying to kill this deal,” Buckhorn said. “So it’s been frustrating. They try to throw every roadblock up they possibly can, whether it’s showing up to city council to complain and whine, they just have not been supportive of this project. There’s just like two agreements left to finish.”

“This is a very complicated project and we have been working with the developer and the city to ensure that all parties fulfill their original promises and obligations,” Straz President and CEO Judy Lisi said in a statement.

McDonaugh also said the roadway reconfiguration can’t occur during the Straz’s Broadway series, which has also led to the delay.

Capin wasn’t appeased and said she would oppose any additional agreements related to the project.

“All I hear is excuses about this property,” she said. “Whatever comes before us now I’m not voting for.”

“Long-awaited 33-story AER apartment tower near Straz Center in downtown Tampa is moving forward — for real this time”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

City of Tampa Lights Fortune Taylor Bridge

The Fortune Taylor Bridge is the sixth downtown bridge to receive permanent lighting under Mayor Bob Buckhorn and is part of the City of Tampa’s ongoing Lights On Tampa Program.

“The lighting of these bridges has become a signature visual for some of Tampa’s most iconic photographs in recent years,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Our public art is both indicative and a validator of our urban revitalization. These projects create a sense of community and they will be cherished for years to come.”

The Fortune Taylor Bridge will look noticeably different from the other bridges. Viewers will notice that they are brighter, of a higher quality, and provide a broader range for programming. The lights on the bridge are color kinetics, LED fixtures RGBW (red, green blue and white) and allow for the creation of a broad spectrum of color palettes in deeper hues and even pastels—well over 16 million color combinations.

Funding is through the Arts Programs Division and the Downtown CRA fund. Total budget for the project is $428,000. It is hoped that all downtown bridges will eventually receive permanent lighting as funding becomes available.

The next Lights On Tampa is scheduled for November 2020.

Tampa Museum of Art Welcomes Two New Exhibits

Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution, Selections from the Haskell Collection

On view April 11 through August 11, 2019

Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution, Selections from the Haskell Collection presents twenty-five works from the Haskell Collection indicative of Abstract Expressionism as a unifying direction in Post-World War II art. The exhibition highlights artists associated with the influential first and second generations of Abstract Expressionist painters including Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Morris Louis, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Mark Rothko, and Theodoros Stamos. Later works by Gerhard Richter, Jack Goldstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella respond or reflect on the lasting legacy of Abstract Expressionism in both the US and abroad. Viewed together, the works in Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution address how individual artistic expression and independence from institutional values altered the course of painting. In this exhibition, visual vocabulary will be discussed in relationship to the artists’ collective objectives and individual intentions.

In addition to those mentioned above, artists represented in Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution also include Josef Albers, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Karel Appel, Sam Francis, Michael Goldberg, Paul Jenkins, Jean Miotte, Judy Pfaff, Jean-Paul Riopelle, James Rosenquist, and Jack Tworkov. Unless noted otherwise, all works are from the Haskell Collection.

Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and is curated by Museum Executive Director, Dr. Michael Tomor.

Dr. Tomor remarked, “The works featured in Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution offer a window onto the evolution of process and abstraction in the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition presents a group of artists who, together and independently of one another, influenced a freedom of personal expression in art that continues to this day. Although they did not share a similar style or set of artistic values, these artists learned from one another and encouraged one another to seek out their own truth and visual vocabulary.”

This exhibition is generously presented by Maureen and Doug Cohn.

The exhibition catalogue is sponsored in part by Dr. and Mrs. Robert G. Isbell


Echoing Forms: American Abstraction from the Permanent Collection

On view April 13 through August 18, 2019

As the Tampa Museum of Art nears its 100th anniversary, exhibitions in 2019 and 2020 will focus on the breadth of the institution’s permanent collection, as well as examine its collecting history. The Tampa Museum of Art’s holdings are unique, with distinct collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, as well as modern and contemporary art.

Echoing Forms: American Abstraction from the Permanent Collection presents paintings, works on paper, and photography by major artists associated with post-war American abstraction. Abstract Expressionism emerged as the dominant genre of painting in the mid-1940s. For the next 40 years, artists working across media would examine and redefine the boundaries of abstraction. From Robert Motherwell’s serial compositions of repeating ovoid and geometric forms, to the patterned brushwork of Alma Thomas, and Aaron Siskind’s photographic studies of found objects echoing gestural paint strokes, the Tampa Museum of Art’s collection includes work from influential artists associated with the rise of American abstraction.

Artists featured in Echoing Forms also include Joseph Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Ellsworth Kelly, Elaine de Kooning, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, and others. Echoing Forms: Abstraction from the Permanent Collection is a companion show to the special exhibition Abstract Expression: A Social Revolution.

Joanna Robotham, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art stated, “I’m thrilled to present works from the Museum’s permanent collection that illustrate the emergence of post-war American abstraction and parallel the narrative of the esteemed Haskell Collection. I am pleased Echoing Forms provides visitors an opportunity to view the depths of our holdings and see how artists revolutionized abstraction in painting, photography, and printmaking.”

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.

Downtown Debriefing Series: Economic Impact From Tourism & Events

Tuesday, March 26, begins 8am
The Florida Aquarium
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 on how events and visitors to Tampa’s Downtown contribute to its economic health. For more information, go to Downtown Debriefing Series: Economic Impact From Tourism & Events.

Evening Tide Talks

Wednesday, March 27, begins 5:45pm
The Florida Aquarium
Head to the Aquarium for a new installment of this lecture series, which features world-class scientists and modern day marine adventurers. This talk will feature Dr. Chris Stallings, Associate Professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science. Dr. Stallings’ research seeks to understand the factors that affect the sizes of fish populations, including those that are of commercial and recreational importance. His recent work on lionfish has included the largest field experiment ever attempted to estimate the effort required to reduce their populations. For more information, go to Evening Tide Talks.

2019 Waves of Change Luncheon

Friday, March 29, begins 11:30am
Tampa Marriot Waterside & Marina
Personal finance guru, best-selling author, and award-winning TV host Suze Orman will receive the 2019 Helen Gordon Davis Women’s Leadership Award at this luncheon celebrating local leaders. Paddy Moses and Amanda Stevens will also receive awards. Kelly McBride, Vice President of the Poynter Institute and one of the leading voices on media ethics, will reprise her role in leading an onstage community conversation with Orman. Laura Moody, Fox 13’s News Morning Anchor of Good Day Tampa Bay will emcee the luncheon. For more info, go to 2019 Waves of Change Luncheon.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Hundred Days – Through Sunday, March 24
(At Jobsite Theater) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] by Adam Long, Daniel Singer & Jess Winfield – Through Sunday, April 7
Cicada Rhythm –  Monday, March 25, begins 7:30pm
Jeremy Douglass: Broadway Pre-Show – Tuesday, March 26, begins 7pm
Kyle Cease – Evolving Out Loud – Tuesday, March 26, begins 8pm
Whiffenpoofs – Wednesday, March 27, begins 7:30pm
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus – Thursday, March 28 to Sunday, March 31
Tap Dogs – Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31
The Florida Orchestra – BrahmsPiano Concerto– Friday, March 29, begins 8pm
Live & Local – Carlos Peña– Saturday, March 30, begins 6pm
On The Edge – Saturday, March 30, begins 7pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins – Monday, March 25, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals – Saturday, March 30, begins 7pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Woman At War (2019) – Monday, March 25 to Thursday, March 28
A League of Their Own (1992) – Sunday, March 31, begins 3pm

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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.

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