Monday, March 6, 2017
Share Your Photo
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!
Take the #CoastChallenge
To celebrate Florida Bike Month in March, Coast HQ is setting their members a challenge! The top five riders who take the highest number of trips in March will win one of five prizes ranging from a t-shirt to a free month of Coast membership. You don’t have to do anything special – just take as many trips as you can. Coast will keep track of your numbers for you and announce the highest trip counts weekly on social media. To keep track for yourself, visit the app or website. Winners will be announced on April 3.
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.
Mayor’s River O’Green Fest
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, 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.
Brews & Bites at the SAIL
Friday, March 10, 6pm to 10pm
A rolling celebration of food and fun, featuring a fleet of area food trucks, and live entertainment from local musicians at the venue’s unique 360-degree waterfront bar. For more information, go to Brews & Bites at the SAIL.
Gasparilla Music Festival
Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
National and local artists will descend upon one of Downtown Tampa’s finest parks for a 2-day music festival. See a variety of acts across different genres and experience wonderful live music along the river. For more information, go to Gasparilla Music Festival.
Gasparilla International Film Festival
Through March 9, times vary
Tampa and Ybor
The Gasparilla International Film Festival is a cultural arts institution that inspires, educates, and entertains Tampa Bay’s diverse population through an annual celebration of film, year-round events, community outreach, and social awareness initiatives that foster communication, generate economic impact, and provide support for the film industry of Tampa Bay and State of Florida. For more information, go to Gasparilla International Film Festival.
On Stage at the Straz Center
Forbidden Broadway – Through Sunday, March 12
Something Rotten – Tuesday, March 7 to Sunday, March 12
Tiempo Libre – Friday, March 10, begins 7:30pm
Mike Tozier – Live & Local – Saturday, March 11, 5:45pm to 7:45pm
This Week at Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers – Monday, March 6, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Minnesota Wild – Thursday, March 9, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers – Saturday, March 11, begins 7pm
Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience – Sunday, March 12, begins 8pm
Doing Business in Downtown
|Retail Spotlight: Designing Eyes Optical Boutique
Designing Eyes Optical Boutique believes that eyeglasses are the most neglected part of people’s fashion wardrobe until they step into their shop at 200 N Tampa Street where they have been showing people how to see and be seen since 1990. Their exclusive eyewear lines include l.a. Eyeworks, Dita, Thom Browne, Matttew, igreen, and Barton Perriera. If you need a new prescription, make an appointment with Doctor of Optometry Dr. Paul Breault, specializing in contact lens fittings and eye disease detection and treatment. Join them on Tuesday, March 7 for the shop’s Chrome Hearts Eyewear Event, introducing their spring/summer 2017 collection. Drop in from 11am to 7pm.
James J. Lunsford Law Library now offers the opportunity to pick up your library holds, return any library items, and check out the featured rotating themed collection.
The 54th Annual Chiseler’s Sale at University of Tampa’s Plant Hall on Saturday, March 11. It’s the ultimate bargain center, open from 8am to 3pm, and offering furniture, china, crystal, silver, jewelry, kitchenware, electronics, and much more. Proceeds support the restoration and preservation of the Tampa Bay Hotel on the campus of The University of Tampa.
Suites@Madison welcomes Melissa Meredith, founder of Tampa-based firm Marketing With Mel on March 9. Melissa will be presenting strategies to strengthen your business’s web presence by optimizing your Facebook business page.
Beauty Brought Out, invites you to sip on your favorite wine while learning the correct way to apply your make-up and style your hair from award winning make-up artists and hair stylists during their Friday evening classes.
Gear Up to Rays Up sale began March 1 and will run through the end of the month. Buy a New Era baseball cap and receive the second one half off! Featured Rays’ March items include St. Patrick’s t-shirts, hats, earrings, and pins.
Araliya Yoga, Barre & Motion Art classes are starting March 15 at their new location on the first floor of the Channelside Towers at 375 South 12th Street. More than 40 different classes will take place each week and no experience is necessary.
Iberiabank Corp. Acquuires Sabadell United Bank
IberiaBank (NASDAQ: IBKC) has an agreement to buy Sabadell in a stock and cash deal valued at about $1.025 billion. Iberia, the Lafayette, Louisiana-based bank that bought Tampa-based Florida Bank Group in 2015, had 59 offices and $4.1 billion in deposits in Florida as of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. But it lacked a presence in Miami-Dade County. Sabadell, a $5.8 billion bank headquartered in Miami and with 19 of its 26 offices in Miami-Dade, gives Iberia that presence. Sabadell has two offices in the Tampa Bay area, in downtown Tampa and in Sarasota.
“Iberiabank Strikes $1B Deal To Buy One Of Florida’s Biggest Banks” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Gasparilla Music Festival Group Offer
Take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a package of 2-day festival passes in any multiple of ten for $40 per pass (that’s a savings of $25 per pass!). Use the passes for employees, prospects, clients, local charities, neighbors or maybe just you and your friends. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gmfgrouptickets.com.
Pirate Water Taxi Adds Zoo Trips
The Pirate Water Taxi in Tampa is expanding its fleet with a new direct route along to the Hillsborough River to the Lowry Park Zoo. The trip takes about 45 minutes each way, going from the Tampa Convention Center to the Zoo dock located at 7252 North Boulevard, in a City of Tampa park directly across the street from the Lowry Park Zoo. Pirate Water Taxi built an entirely new 29-seat boat for the new route. For more information and to book a ride, visit piratewatertaxi.com.
“Tampa’s Pirate Water Taxi Will Now Take You To The Zoo” – ABC Action News
Development and Transportation
Transportation App: Strava
In honor of Florida Bike Month, our app of the week is Strava, “the social network for athletes.” You start by sweating! Posting is done through tracking your activity. It allows you to connect to athletes all over the world. The FL Department of Transportation recently purchased data from the Strava app to help understand activities and route choices of local walkers, runners and cyclists. These patterns are important to FDOT’s ability to build safe and convenient infrastructure. Click here to learn more about this unique partnership.
Transportation Budget Approved
Hillsborough County commissioners voted to move forward with a plan to spend $812 million on transportation improvements, despite hearing from nearly 30 residents that the plan woefully ignores public transportation. Of the approved spending, $1.1 million was allocated to transit projects – just one quarter of 1 percent. Those projects include $750,000 for a ferry connection between south county and MacDill Air Force Base and $350,000 for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority to expand its first and last mile program HyperLINK. Commissioner Pat Kemp was the only board member to vote against the proposal. She had requested a sweeping change to the county’s transportation funding proposal that would have dedicated about $200 million to transit-related projects and additional funding for HART. Her motion died for lack of a second.
“Hillsborough’s $812 Million Transportation Plan Moves Forward Despite Objections” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Cross-Bay Ferry Sets New Record
Cross–Bay Ferry operators report record-breaking ridership for February, up 57 percent from January with ticket weekday sales growing 80 percent and weekend sales up 46 percent. The ferry recently launched discounted $5 one-way tickets during weekdays, new discounts on Tampa Streetcar fares, and the Commuter Value Pass package price is also cut by 50 percent to just $2.50 per trip. A recent survey of ferry passengers found a series of revealing trends: more than 90 percent of the respondents were residents, 77 percent of passengers dined when they got to their destination, 25 percent went to museums, 24 percent shopped, 11 percent went to a sporting event, and 60 percent of passengers spent between $15 and $40 per person at their destination. Respondents put significant weight on the ability for ferries to relieve congestion, promote tourism and economic development, and make Tampa Bay a more enjoyable fun place to live and visit with 72 percent of the respondents saying it was very important for Tampa Bay to create a regional ferry system.
Lafayette Development Project Approved
All three towers proposed by Hillsborough River Realty Corp. on the west bank of the Hillsborough River have been approved by Tampa City Council. Seen as a show of public confidence in the emerging development and urban density along the river, the project includes nearly 1.8 million square feet of offices, hotel, multifamily housing, parking, stores, restaurants, bars and boat slips.
“Tampa Council Approves Three Towers On West Bank Of Hillsborough River” – Tampa Bay Times
Hamilton Coming to the Straz
The national tour of the Broadway musical HAMILTON will play Tampa’s Straz Center as part of the 2018-2019 Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay season. The best way to guarantee tickets to HAMILTON is to purchase a subscription for the 2017-2018 season. Subscribers who renew their subscription for the 2018-2019 season will be able to guarantee their tickets for the premiere Tampa engagement of HAMILTON before tickets become available to the general public. Information regarding engagement dates and how to purchase groups and single tickets will be announced at a later time.
Our Members Give Back
The Tampa Housing Authority announces the investment of $50,000 from Lowe’s Renovation Across the Nation Campaign for the Boys and Girls Club located at Belmont Heights. Representatives from Lowe’s and DPR Construction met with staff and club members to help imagine and create a space just for them. Working in teams of four, the youth put their skills to work and learned everything from creating a blue-print to building a 3D model of a floor plan. The groups (teens and company representatives), worked on research, design, marketing and development strategies, as well. Learn more about the project and the Housing Authority of the City of Tampa.
ChappellRoberts Wins ADDY for TV
ChappellRoberts, one of Tampa’s largest ad agencies, won a Best of the Bay award in TV advertising for its Florida Hospital “Bucs Fever” spot at the annual American Advertising Federation Tampa Bay Awards, along with eight other ADDY awards. The TV spot was produced in collaboration with Florida Hospital to announce its partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the “Exclusive Hospital of the Tampa Bay Bucs.” ChappellRoberts picked up eight additional ADDYs at the awards ceremony, including three Gold ADDYs and five Silver ADDYs. For more information on the firm, go to www.chappellroberts.com.
Hill Ward Henderson Welcomes Associate
Allison M. Stevenson joins Hill Ward Henderson as an Associate in the firm’s Litigation Group. Her practice primarily involves representing clients in health litigation. Stevenson attended Stetson University College of Law where she graduated cum laude and received the National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award and the Victor O. Wehle Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. Based on her academic performance, she was selected to the Stetson College of Law Honors Colloquium. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at www.hwhlaw.com.
Arts Council Hosts Marketing Series
There are just a few spots left for the Strategic Social Media Marketing series where arts organizations will learn to effectively harness the power of social media and build the strategic framework necessary to increase engagement and ensure your messages are on target. This four-part series will help you build a strategic approach to your organization’s social media marketing campaigns! Workshop sessions will be held on the first Tuesday of each month, 9:30 -11:30am beginning March 7. Get more information and register here.
Florida is No.1 in Higher Education
New rankings released by U.S. News and World Report say Florida is the number one state in the nation for higher education. The Sunshine State got the top ranking because of several factors, including the state’s relatively low tuition rates for colleges and universities, and because more than half of students seeking a two-year degree graduated either on time or within three years.
“Florida Is No. 1 In Nation For Higher Education, U.S. News And World Report Says” – Orlando Sentinel
Tampa Foreclosures Continues to Drop
Tampa Bay’s foreclosure rate continues to drop although it remains above both the state and national averages. CoreLogic reported that in December, 1.8 percent of all area homes were in some stage of foreclosure proceedings compared to 3.13 percent in the same month a year earlier. Nationally, less than 1 percent of homes were in some stage of foreclosure in December while 2.64 percent of borrowers were seriously delinquent on their mortgages. For Florida, the December foreclosure rate was 1.46 percent and the delinquency rate was 3.72 percent.
“Tampa Bay’s Foreclosure Rate Continues To Fall” – Tampa Bay Times
Vist and Enterprise Florida Get Support
St. Petersburg City Council members on Thursday unanimously backed a measure supporting funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, after Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran said he wants to gut funding for or eliminate both organizations. The Florida House of Representatives is moving a bill through committees that would eliminate Enterprise Florida and cripple Visit Florida. House members are considering splitting the bill to deal with the two entities separately. The Florida Senate doesn’t appear to be motivated to remove the agencies. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been touring the state in defense of both.
“City Council Backs Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida” – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Westshore Marina District Materializing
A Fort Lauderdale company, BTI Partners, is moving steadily ahead with plans for what will be a new waterfront community. Developer Edward Oelschlaeger’s $600 million Westshore Marina District, near the intersection of Gandy and Westshore Boulevard, is finally starting to materialize. At 52-acres, the development will rival other mega-projects that are transforming Tampa’s Channelside district and areas along the Hillsborough River. If all comes to pass, there will be apartments, townhomes and condos with sunset views of Tampa Bay. There will be a hotel, shops, a marina and two boat-up restaurants. The public will have access to a waterfront park and up to three miles of trails.
“South Tampa Waterfront Community To Rise Along With Selmon Expressway Extension” – Tampa Bay Times