Monday Morning Memo

Monday, May 13, 2019

Member Spotlight: The Garage

The Garage- Downtown Tampa’s New Luxury Car Storage Facility Now Open!

The Garage is the latest venture from Jason & John Accardi, owners of 717 Parking Enterprises, located in the heart of Downtown Tampa within blocks of nightlife, restaurants, event venues and office towers.

Featuring a limited number of exclusive spaces, members are assigned a space and allowed unlimited in and out privileges.

The Garage is the only indoor luxury parking solution in Downtown Tampa.

Member benefits include:

  • Reserved Oversized Spaces
  • Electricity Included
  • Climate Controlled
  • Unique Garage Door Access
  • Online Security Monitoring
  • VIP Concierge Service
  • Garage Access 6AM – Midnight, 7 Days a Week

Limited spaces available. For more information, or to schedule a tour please call Liz DeNisco at 813-600-5334.

Tampa Downtown Partnership’s 33rd Annual Meeting

Once a year the Tampa Downtown Partnership has the opportunity to share with members and the community a celebration of the organization’s accomplishments and induct new leadership at the Annual Meeting and Luncheon. This year, the Partnership welcomes the President and CEO of the Times Square Alliance, Tim Tompkins, as the keynote speaker.

This event includes a plated lunch and Keynote presentation. Check-In begins at 11am, program will begin promptly at Noon.

Register today!

More About the Keynote Speaker

Tim Tompkins has been the President of the Times Square Alliance since 2002. The Alliance is a business improvement district that works to improve and promote Times Square – cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century.

He is a board member of the NYC BID Association and the current Chair of the International Downtown Association. Prior to joining the Alliance, he was the Founder and Director of Partnerships for Parks, which works to support New York City’s neighborhood parks and which won an Innovations in Government Award from the JFK School of Government at Harvard for its work to restore the Bronx River. He has also worked at New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, The New York City Charter Revision Commission, and was briefly the Nationals Editor at the Mexico City News, an English language newspaper in Mexico. He has an undergraduate degree from Yale and an M.B.A. from Wharton, and currently teaches “Transforming Cities” and “The Arts and Artist in Urban Revitalization” at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. When not in the most urban and unnatural place on the planet, he enjoys being in New York’s natural areas, ideally sailing or practicing yoga.

Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting

This event includes a buffet breakfast and a panel discussion.

Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. After last year’s active and deadly season, be sure your business and employees are prepared by joining our Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting featuring local experts from the Tampa Police Department, NOAA, Hillsborough County Emergency Management and much more, as they discuss best practices to implement for an incoming storm. Be prepared with tools and tips to keep you, your family, and your business safe.


Confirmed Speakers:

Holley Wade – Special Operations Manager, Hillsborough County Rescue
Capt. Bill Wade – President, Tampa Firefighters Museum (prev. Tampa Fire Rescue)
Lee Collins – Manager, ED Emergency Management, Tampa Electric
Assistant Chief Elias Vazquez – Tampa Police Department
Deputy Chief Lee Bercaw – Tampa Police Department
Sheriff Chronister – Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office
Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski –  Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Brian LaMarre – Meteorologist-In-Charge, National Weather Center – Tampa Bay Area

The Partnership is Hiring

Tampa Downtown Partnership is looking to fill the position of Operations Manager.

Position Overview

The operations manager ensures the delivery of high-quality service through development and implementation of efficient operational systems and quality assurance mechanisms and through effective leadership in managing staff and financial resources related to beautification, maintenance, litter abatement, and ambassador services in Downtown Tampa.  The position supervises facilitation of landscaping and public space maintenance services, as well as supporting the execution of special projects related to public programming.  The operations manager reports directly to the Senior Director of Public Programming & Operations.


  • Manages all on-street services provided by the Special Services District (SSD), supplemental maintenance, litter removal, beautification, and special program support.
  • Oversees Tampa’s Downtown Guides and Clean Team’s and all related employee relations, to include annual performance reviews, uniforms, equipment purchases/maintenance, hiring, interviewing, training, etc.
  • Works directly with Clean Team and Downtown Guides’ project manager, supervisor, and team leaders to determine priorities, identify and assign project teams, develop assessment and evaluation tools, establish procedures, and oversee planning and implementation. Ensure meaningful goal setting, measurable outcomes and accountability, and deliverables.
  • Negotiates and administers contracts with outside vendors for maximum service and cost effectiveness.
  • Oversees development and implementation of data collection and evaluation tools, and performance measurements to ensure effective delivery of services to all constituents.
  • Assists in convening property managers, public safety stakeholders (i.e. local law enforcement, security providers, emergency preparedness agencies, business owners, etc.) to provide effective communication channels and problem-solving opportunities.
  • Serves as staff liaison to the Special Services District Advisory Committee, facilitating monthly meetings, along with committee chairs, and represents a variety of key downtown stakeholders.
  • Manages Downtown Security Network contact list and works closely with event coordinator for Downtown Security Series programming.
  • Creates and enhances partnerships as liaison with City of Tampa senior staff levels to ensure maximum attention to maintenance within the SSD area.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Skills and Competencies

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including demonstrated ability to articulate the organization’s philosophy and position to a wide range of audiences. Must be able to document incidents appropriately and timely.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with, and foster partnerships in both the public and private sectors.
  • Demonstrated fiscal and business management skills to develop, manage and track budgets and contracts, handle multiple priorities and execute projects for timely completion.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and motivate employees; high degree of excellent judgement skills, and problem-solving ability required. Hands-on leadership and pro-active approach are essential.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable in Human Resource applications, policies and procedures.
  • Must be able to interact with all levels of staff, Board members, business and community leaders, and stakeholders.
  • Thorough and excellent attention to detail.
  • Works well under pressure.
  • Ability to work occasional early morning, evening and/or weekend hours.
  • Ability to lift heavy objects.
  • Able to work outdoors.
  • Ability to walk long distances.

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Familiar with operations of Business Improvement Districts (BID).
  • Familiarity and connections to current industry trends related to clean and safe programming and some urban development.

Required Education and Experience

  • Minimum of five years management experience in service industry, construction management, municipal government, business improvement districts, or convention and hospitality services; preferably in a special services district, urban partnership or closely-related environment.
  • Comprehensive understanding of Downtown Tampa and acquainted with significant stakeholders.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

To apply for the position, please email a cover letter and resume to Shaun Drinkard. Please, no phone calls.

Downtown’s Bike to Work Ride & Rally

In celebration of National Bike Month, join us and Mayor Castor for Downtown Tampa’s Bike to Work Ride and Rally on May 23rd! Meet at one of the eight neighborhood locations throughout Tampa and ride with an experienced leader to Lykes Gaslight Park in Downtown Tampa. Times vary on meet-up location and range from 7:10am to 7:25am. The rally will feature vendors, music, snacks, and a few words from the Mayor. We will welcome and acknowledge the four new arts and culture venues that are now designated as bicycle friendly businesses; the Tamp Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa History Center, and the Florida Aquarium. We hope you’ll join us for the ride and rally afterwards! Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

Cross Bay Ferry: What You Need to Know

HMS Ferries, the company that operates the Cross Bay Ferry, has offered to operate a complete ferry service for Tampa Bay without any local operating subsidies as part of its public-private partnership agreement with Hillsborough County. HMS Ferries is making a $100 million commitment.

The system will include:

  • Commuter ferries operating every 10-15 minutes out of Williams Park in South County to MacDill AFB every weekday
  • Daily weeknight and weekend service between Williams Park in South County, Downtown Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.

This would be a local transit project that doesn’t require local operating subsidies. However, it does require funding of the infrastructure. This means that Hillsborough County and other local and state government would need to fund the ferries, terminals, and trams. All of these would be publicly owned at a cost of $36 million.

In theory, the expanded Cross Bay Ferry system would take thousands of cars off our crowded roadways, help military families, and connect Tampa, St. Pete and fast-growing South Hillsborough County. It will boost our economy, promote tourism and make Tampa Bay a better place to live — only if the County Commission votes to make it so at their vote on Wednesday, May 15. The public is invited to voice their opinion.

Those interested in emailing their County Commissioner to encourage their vote for, or against, the ferry can do so at this link.

Downtown Domino’s Pizza Finds New Home

With its downtown Tampa real estate set for demolition, Domino’s Pizza is planning to move elsewhere in the urban core.

A storefront on the ground level of apartment tower Nine15 — on the corner of East Cass Street and Florida Avenue — will be Domino’s new home, according to city building permits.

Domino’s has a store on North Tampa Street between East Tyler and East Harrison streets. The owner of that property has filed plans with the city and Southwest Florida Water Management District to demolish the store and make the entire site a surface parking lot.

The new Domino’s will be 1,536 square feet, according to permit documents filed Wednesday. Construction costs are pegged at $200,000.

Other tenants on the ground floor of Nine15 include Osteria, an upscale Italian restaurant by Nocturnal Hospitality Group and celebrity chef Fabio Viviani.

“With its real estate set for demolition, Domino’s Pizza has found a new home in downtown Tampa” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Tampa Riverwalk Named the Greatest Place in America

The Tampa Riverwalk recently won the ‘Greatest Place in America: People’s Choice Award.’

The online contest was featured by the American Planning Association.

Other 2018 finalists included Uncas Leap Heritage Area in Connecticut, Katy Trail in Missouri, Detroit Riverfront and the Navy Yard in Washington D.C.

The Riverwalk in downtown has transformed the city and brought a valuable public space to the Tampa community. As more people move to and visit Tampa’s urban core, the Riverwalk provides opportunities for leisurely strolling, biking, and visiting the city’s cultural attractions.

Click here for more information.

“Great Places in America: People’s Choice”American Planning Association

Who’s Living in Downtown Tampa?

With all the talk of the urban core’s massive development over the last few years, we wanted to quantify exactly how much it has changed. The Tampa Downtown Partnership and HCP Associates, a marketing consulting company based in the Channel District, have partnered on the Worker-Resident Biennial Survey every two years since 2008 to learn more about who is living and working downtown, along with what they want out of their downtown experience.

To answer our questions about who is moving downtown and why they’re staying, HCP shared some of their 2018 survey findings with TAMPA Downtown Magazine. In its 10-year history, this survey’s findings have helped spur and direct major projects downtown like the reopening of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, an increase in access to the waterfront, new directional signage and more. The Tampa Downtown Partnership and HCP will share the full survey results at the TDP’s 23rd annual Downtown Development Forum on April 12.

“The biggest lesson of the 2018 survey is that Downtown Tampa is happening,” says Robert Allen, vice president of HCP Associates. “With a thriving assortment of well-liked placed to be — like the Florida Aquarium, Amalie Arena, any of downtown Tampa’s museums, or most importantly, the Riverwalk — the challenge has shifted to managing the explosive growth in the area.” Still, Allen adds, there’s more that can be done to make Downtown Tampa an unbeatable destination. “Residents and workers alike expressed their desire to do more things with the green spaces, waterfront areas and community venues,” he says. “They also expressed a desire for more convenience when living and working in the downtown area. Two of the biggest themes that respondents wanted to see more of were retail availability — particularly clothing — and parking and transportation solutions.”

Read on for the answers to some of our burning questions about Downtown Tampa and the people who live here.

According to the US Census Bureau’s 2017 estimate, 13,929 people live in the ZIP code 33602, which encompasses downtown, Harbour Island and Tampa Heights. That figure is up 20% from the 2010 Census count of 11,515 people.

How many residences are downtown?

The survey data shows that there are 7,546 total residential units in the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s special services district, up 32% from 5,709 in 2016. Because Harbour Island is not a part of this district, the total does not include the island’s residences (which total more than 2,800).

How old are the people living downtown?

As it turns out, all ages. More people are living in the urban core throughout their lifetime, not just as young professionals and empty-nesters. The survey found that there’s a nearly even number of people ages 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 living in the special services district. Each make up about 20% of the downtown population. Millennials just barely eke out a win here, with 21.9% of residents between the ages of 25 and 34. Appropriately, the US Census 2017 population estimate says the median age in the 33602 ZIP code is 37.

Finally, the empty-nester population has grown the most over time, more than doubling from 5.2% in 2008 to 13% in 2018.

How long have people lived in Downtown Tampa?

For increasingly long periods of time. In 2018, 81% of survey respondents said they had lived in downtown for a year or longer. Moreover, 36% have lived in downtown for five or more years — double the number of people who said the same in 2010.

Why are people moving downtown?

The survey got a feel for what attracted residents to downtown by asking what they love about Tampa, and the clear winner this year was the Riverwalk. Mentions of the Tampa Riverwalk were six times higher than the baseline and three times higher than the waterfront and water access (which came in second). The Riverwalk is so beloved that it was named the People’s Choice selection to the American Planning Association’s 2018 Great Places in America.

Are current residents recommending downtown as a place to live?

Overwhelmingly, yes. Nine in 10 downtown residents said they were “likely” or “definitely likely” to recommend Downtown Tampa to a friend, with the number of “definitely likely” responses up 15% over 2016. And it’s becoming ever so slightly cheaper to do so: a March report from the company ApartmentData found the average cost of rent in the submarket that includes downtown, Hyde Park and the West River had decreased 4% in the previous three months. This is likely thanks to the influx of new rental units opening in the urban core.

What else does the study suggest for downtown’s future?

HCP Associates managing partner Sean Coniglio says the survey has yielded a few consistent major takeaways over its 10-year lifespan. Residents continue to say that activating downtown with activities like a fresh market and live events in the park is highly important. Roads should be tweaked to calm traffic and make the city more friendly to people walking and biking. Having a full grocery store downtown, more than just the Publix locations on Platt Street and in the Channel District, is a high priority. Finally, residents also feel retail shopping and everyday services are still lacking in downtown.

Who’s Living in Downtown Tampa?”TAMPA Magazine

HART Board Approves Bus Rapid Transit Study

Hillsborough County’s bus agency has approved spending up to $2.5 million in state grant money to study the possibility of a special bus lane connecting downtown Tampa and the University of South Florida.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority board voted unanimously Monday to allow consulting firm Tindale-Oliver and Associates to start the first phase of the study, which will evaluate routes, stops and costs for the project.

The bus rapid transit line — a term for a route that usually has its own dedicated lane, fewer stops and quicker boarding — would run on or close to Florida and Nebraska avenues before turning down Fowler Avenue. All three are state roads, which is part of the reason why the Florida Department of Transportation is interested in supporting the route.

“This study is a 100 percent funded by (the state),” county commissioner and transit board member Kimberly Overman said. “And it gives us some opportunity to provide some feedback in the process.”

Some board members expressed concern that the parameters of the study did not go far enough down Fowler Avenue to tap into all potential riders.

“There’s many, many people who come from the east part of town, not just South Tampa. … and they all feed into USF,” said transit board member Gil Schisler, who also sits on the Temple Terrace City Council. “I still think it’s going to cost us money in the long run and we’re going to have to do another study to take care of everyone else.”

Other board members, including Overman and County Commissioner Pat Kemp, agreed that the scope could be wider but said the study was a good starting point.

“We do not want to give money back to FDOT because we will never get the opportunity again,” County Commissioner and transit board chair Les Miller said. “This will move on to some place else: Orlando or Orange County or Miami, or wherever it may be.”

Bus rapid transit is a relatively new concept for Tampa Bay, which previously fixated on the battle to bring light rail to the region. The dedicated bus lanes are popular in other parts of the country and the world for their ability to spur development and ridership without the costs and infrastructure associated with rail.

Tampa Bay is poised to get its first glimpse of the transit option in Pinellas, where a proposed 11-mile route would link downtown St. Petersburg with the beaches. The $41 million project has been praised by many in the area for progressing so far in the federal grant application process, but also has faced pushback from the city of St. Pete Beach.

Another much longer rapid transit line linking Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties has been floated as a regional transit option connecting major activity hubs in Tampa Bay. Officials are still studying the potential 41-mile route, which would likely run in a combination of dedicated lanes, highway shoulders and mixed traffic.

The study the Hillsborough transit agency approved Monday would be more similar to the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit line in Pinellas. Each focuses on connecting two activity centers along similar-length corridors with already high transit ridership.

“We know the ridership is there for that corridor,” state Modal Development Administrator Ming Gao said. “If they can find a way to run the route in its own lane, even for part of it, it will provide more reliability in that system.”

The state grant allows the transit agency to start pursuing what could be a very long process of trying to land federal dollars for the Tampa bus rapid transit line.

The transit agency is set to more than double its $80 million budget with an influx of $130 million a year in revenue from a transportation sales tax that Hillsborough voters passed in November. But the agency is hesitant to spend that money until a lawsuit intending to overturn the tax plays out in court.

“Even though HART is not in the position to spend any of the referendum dollars at this point, you need to start the process to get them in the pipeline for federal dollars,” Gao said. “It takes a lot of time to go through that process.”

Both Gao and transit board members cautioned that the authorizing of a study does not mean a bus rapid transit line in Tampa is a sure thing. Officials could choose to pursue a “no build” option once the study results come back.

“This isn’t some sort of foregone conclusion,” transit board member John Melendez said. “(Bus rapid transit) is in my check box of transit alternatives, but I wanted to make that clear … the no-build alternative is an option.”

Jane Castor, the newly elected Tampa mayor, attended her first transit board meeting Monday but did not contribute to the bus rapid transit conversation. However, she said she decided to join the transit board in light of the referendum, which is set to bring in a total of $280 million annually.

“Transportation was one of the pillars of my campaign,” the mayor said in a statement. “And with the increased funding from All For Transportation, we are at a pivotal point for laying the groundwork and executing on what Tampa’s next chapter looks like.”

“Hillsborough to study special bus lanes connecting downtown Tampa, USF”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.

3rd Thursdays

Thursday, May 16, begins 6pm
Grand Central at Kennedy
Enjoy some gourmet food truck fun paired with independent short flicks and live music! Pour House and City Dog Cantina provide micro brews and tasty cocktails. Over ten gourmet food trucks will be on site, offering everything from burgers to vegetarian bites and much more. This is a spectacular way to spend a Thursday evening in Downtown Tampa! For more information, go to 3rd Thursdays.

SeaGrapes Fine Wine & Food Festival

Saturday, May 18, begins 8pm
The Florida Aquarium
This wine and food event is the signature fundraiser for The Florida Aquarium. The event features more than 100 types of wine and delicious foods from numerous local restaurants. 100% of the proceeds from your ticket purchase support our mission, including endangered species conservation programs. For more information, go to SeaGrapes Fine Wine & Food Festival.

Indie Flea

Sunday, May 19, begins 11am
Armature Works
This curated event showcases the amazing talent within our community. The Flea exists to promote local arts and culture to engage and empower our community towards positive grassroots growth. For more information, go to Indie Flea.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Hedda Adapted by Lucy Kirkwood from the play by Henrik Ibsen – Through Sunday, June 2
Patel Conservatory presents Jazz Jam – Spring – Tuesday, May 14, begins 7pm
Jeremy Douglass: Broadway Pre-Show – Tuesday, May 14, begins 7pm
Rocktopia – Tuesday, May 14, begins 7:30pm
An Evening With David Sedaris – Wednesday, May 15, begins 7:30pm
Chris Poe – Live & Local – Friday, May 17, 6pm to 9pm
Kinky Boots – Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19
Live & Local – Connor Zwetsch – Saturday, May 18, 6pm to 9pm
Patel Conservatory presents End-of-Year Celebration – Saturday, May 18, begins 7pm
PJ Masks Live! Save the Day – Sunday, May 19, shows at Noon and 3pm
We Just Move On – The Songs of Kander and Ebb – Sunday, May 19, begins 2pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Carl Hiaasen – Tuesday, May 14, begins 7:30pm
Hail Satan? (2019) – Friday, May 17 to Monday, May 20

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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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