Your Last Chance to Register! Downtown Debriefing
Join us for this season’s last Debriefing Series until Fall 2019 as we hear from local professionals about the impact and importance of the Hillsborough River on our economy, environment, and quality of life. Registration closes today at noon! Hear from Roger Germann, President and CEO of the Florida Aquarium, Paul Dial, City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Director, and Shawn College, AICP, Executive Director of the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board and Team Leader of Environmental Planning, Research and Infrastructure for the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. Moderated by Tampa Downtown Partnership Chair, Mickey Jacob of BDG Architects, the event takes place on Tuesday, May 22 at the River Center at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Networking and registration begins at 7:30am followed by a continental breakfast and program at 8am until 9am. Register today!
Downtown Guide Recognized for Tourism Excellence
On Wednesday, May 16, Kalyn Sexton was presented with the Bern Laxer Award of Excellence during the Visit Tampa Bay 2018 National Tourism Luncheon at Armature Works. Kalyn was presented with the award for her dedication to tourism excellence through her work as a Tampa Downtown Guide. Each day Kalyn brings a sense of pride to work in helping others discover all that our Downtown has to offer a visitor, resident and worker. Congratulations, Kalyn! You make Tampa’s Downtown a more inviting place to be.
Save the Date, Annual Meeting
Mark your calendars for our 32nd Annual Meeting happening June 27 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown. The Annual Meeting and Luncheon is the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s premier event. Once a year the Partnership has the opportunity to share with our members and the downtown community a celebration of our organization’s successes and accomplishments throughout the year, recognize our outgoing and incoming Board Chair and induct Board officers and directors for the upcoming year. The event features dynamic speakers, the release of the Partnership’s Annual Year in Review, remarks from the Partnership’s Board leadership, and a look at what lays ahead for downtown and our organization. The Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to connect with downtown stakeholders, learn about key issues, and celebrate downtown’s continued growth. This year we welcome Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Mayor Joe Riley from the City of Charleston. Register today! Sponsorship opportunities are available.
We’re Hiring – Join Us
Tampa Downtown Partnership is looking for a detail-orientated person with sound judgement and a solid background in accounting with strong organizational skills to fill the role of Bookkeeper and Executive Assistant. This position requires strong reasoning skills and good analytical and problem-solving abilities. The Bookkeeper and Executive Assistant will perform administrative duties to support the President and CEO, manage the duties of the Administrative Assistant, as well as provide some human resource support. The Partnership offers fully paid Health and Dental benefits, Life Insurance, Paid-Time-Off, matching 401K, and a commuter parking allowance. View the full job description. Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their resume and cover letter to Lynda Remund, Acting CEO and President.
Hurricane Preparedness Meeting, June 13
Hurricane season begins June 1st. After last year’s active and deadly season, be sure your business and employees are prepared by joining our Annual Hurricane Preparedness meeting on Wednesday, June 13 at TECO Hall in Tampa’s Downtown. Attendees will hear from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Electric Company, Tampa Fire Rescue, Tampa Police Department, NOAA Operations Center, National Weather Center, and USF Health, CAMLS as they discuss best practices to implement in planning for an incoming storm. Register today!
Memorial Day Guides and Office Hours
In observance of Memorial Day, our office will close at noon on Friday, May 25 and will reopen at 8am on Tuesday, May 29. Our Downtown Guides and Clean Team will have abbreviated hours. The Downtown Guides will be available from 8am until 5pm on Memorial Day while the Clean Team will work 7am until 4pm. To reach the Guides, call 813.267.2220. To reach the Clean Team, call 813.267.2221. Learn more about their services.
The following is just a sample of upcoming events in Downtown Tampa. Visit the Downtown Tampa Events Calendar for a more comprehensive list.
Tampa Bay Lightning Watch Party
Monday, May 21, 6pm to 11pm Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Fans can watch Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on three screens located at Curis Hixon Park. Food and beer trucks will be available. Watch Party, Game 6.
Downtown Debriefing Series: The Hillsborough River Panel Discussion
Tuesday, May 22, begins 7:30am Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park Join us for a conversation on the the activation of Tampa’s waterfront and the importance the Hillsborough River plays in downtown development and the region. The event’s speakers include Roger Germann, President and CEO of The Florida Aquarium, Paul Dial, the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tampa, and Shawn College from the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board. This is a great chance to learn more about the booming development along the river! For more information, go to Downtown Debriefing Series.
Friday, May 25, 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 info, go to Fourth Friday.
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
Shannon McNally – Monday, May 21, begins 7:30pm Ballet Nacional de Cuba – Wednesday, May 23, begins 8pm The Florida Orchestra – Patriotic Salute – Friday, May 25, begins 8pm
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
Zoo – Wednesday, May 23, 2pm to 3:45pm In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America – Wednesday, May 23, 7pm to 8:30pm The Longest Game – Thursday, May 24, 7:30pm to 8:45pm Mulholland Drive – Friday, May 25, 10:30pm to 1am Superman – Sunday, May 27, 3pm to 5:30pm
Cuban Tourism Traffic Increases
The number of U.S. visitors to Cuba is down 40 percent for the first quarter of this year, but the outlook around Port Tampa Bay’s cruise ship terminals remain upbeat. It’s optimistic enough that Royal Caribbean International on Monday launched a new, larger ship, the 880-foot-long Majesty of the Seas, in response to increased demand for sailings to Havana. Through October, Majesty of the Seas will offer four- and five-night cruises from Tampa to Havana that include day or overnight stays. The Majesty of the Seas can carry more than 2,700 passengers. By comparison, last summer Royal Caribbean used its smallest cruise ship, the 1,602-passenger Empress of the Seas, for its first summer of Tampa-to-Cuba cruises. “Royal Caribbean Brings Bigger Ship To Port Tampa Bay To Handle Cuban Tourism Traffic” – Tampa Bay Times
Hooch and Hive Opens near Riverfront Park
Two weekends ago, the City of Tampa opened a new 25-acre park called Julian B. Lane Park to the public. The park has been called the “Central Park of Tampa Bay” and features plenty of green space, tennis courts, a soccer field, playground, boathouse, and more. Just days later, Hooch and Hive bar and restaurant is opening its doors around the corner from Julian B. Lane Park on Thursday, May 17th, 2018 from 7PM-3AM to the public at 1001 West Cass Street. The owners background includes Flytrap, Czar, Zoya, Vagabond Gita and Monday Night Moonlight Market. Chef Adam Polisei from Ocean Prime is featuring “dry-aged beef sliders, pulled-duck confit & waffles, and a metric-ton of vegetarian dishes”. Items will be “served in eco-friendly paper boats and priced between $3 and $4”. Jamison B Breadhouse Bakes will be used for the sliders and local products will be used when possible according to the owners. Lunch will be available and there will be FREE Wi-Fi for workers and students as well as a full coffee bar. “Hooch And Hive Music-Centric Bar Opens Thursday In West Riverfront Tampa” – Carloseats.com
Noble Investment Group Acquires Residence Inn
Noble Investment Group announced the acquisition of the Residence Inn by Marriott Tampa Downtown. The newly renovated, all-suite hotel is prominently located in the central business and financial district of the Tampa Bay area. Companies with a major presence in downtown Tampa include Bank of America, BB&T, Marshall & Ilsley, PNC Financial Services, SunTrust, Sykes Enterprises, TECO Energy, and Frontier Communications. The hotel is also proximate to the University of Tampa, Straz Performing Arts Center, Tampa Convention Center, and the Port of Tampa. “Noble Investment Group acquires Residence Inn by Marriott Tampa Downtown” – Travel Daily News
Planning Commission Rejects Straz’s Parking Plan
Parking has been a problem at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts since downtown began to emerge from the recession nearly a decade ago. The crunch looks likely to continue. A Straz plan to expand parking at its arrival plaza off W Tyler Street was rejected Monday by the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. Commissioners sided with staff planners who determined that any expansion of parking along the city’s waterfront — currently prohibited — would violate existing zoning regulations. Tampa officials said riverfront surface parking would conflict with the city’s work in recent years to showcase the Hillsborough River. While acknowledging that the Straz’s parking options, including remote lots and the nearby Poe garage, are often inadequate, city planners stood firm. “More Parking For The Straz Center? So Far, The Proposal Is Getting Little Traction” – Tampa Bay Times
Historical Marker Unveiled at Downtown Bridge
Members of local and state government met to honor the life of Madame Fortune Taylor by renaming the Laurel Street Bridge in her memory. Taylor and her husband donated land which allowed the city to build the bridge in 1890. The donation helped bridge the gap between Tampa’s cigar industry and the workers it needed to keep the industry afloat. The bridge was originally named for Taylor, but the city decided to change the name to the street on the west side of the river, Laurel Street. Leaders hope the decision to rename the bridge will help honor the legacy of the woman responsible for its construction. Her historical maker will sit on the east side of the bridge near the intersection of Doyle and Fortune Street, the only downtown street named for a woman. “Tampa Bridge Renamed For Freed Slave Who Made Construction Possible” – FOX 13
Share Your Suggestions for Channelside Drive
How do you think Channelside Dr could be improved to better serve our safety, travel needs, and aspirations for the Channel District? Come to a public workshop on May 21 from 6:30-8pm at the Tampa Bay History Center to voice your opinion. RSVP at bit.ly/ChannelsideDrMtg1
Construction Continues in West Tampa
With the opening of Riverfront Park, a brand new 25-acre waterfront park on the west bank of the Hillsborough River, and a slew of ground-breaking ceremonies across West Tampa, urban renewal and investment seems to be moving progressively westward from downtown Tampa. A new project called the Renaissance at West River is the latest in a trend to redevelop West Tampa. Spearheaded by the Tampa Housing Authority, the Renaissance will bring a 160-unit senior housing building to the nascent neighborhood of West River. Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the Tampa Housing Authority broke ground on the development on Thursday, May 10. At a cost of $46 million, the six-story Renaissance will help make the West River a focal point of the city’s continued redevelopment. At its completion, the $350 million West River redevelopment will feature nearly 1,250 market-rate apartments, 96 townhouses, and over 840 affordable housing homes. An additional 90,000 square feet of retail space and 70,000 square feet of office space will be available. “Construction Starts On West Tampa Senior Housing Development” – 83 Degrees
TBARTA Has a New Transit Plan
Tampa Bay is the only metropolitan area of its size that doesn’t have a regional transit system. That may be about to change. Ray Chiaramonte, the executive director for the Tampa Bay Regional Transit Authority, is an expert in transportation and someone who has seen a lot of studies when it comes to making our drive easier. He and his team are excited about the item at the top of its to-do list. “It’s a 41-mile system that will connect Wesley Chapel, the USF area, downtown Tampa, Westshore and the airport, Gateway in Pinellas County and downtown St. Petersburg,” he said. “It’s one of the largest projects of its kind in Tampa Bay. “Transit Plan Would Connect Wesley Chapel, Tampa, St. Pete” – Bay News 9
Vacant Land in Downtown is Scarce
Despite its reputation as a sprawling, car-dependent metro, downtown Tampa has one of the densest central business districts in the U.S. — according to one new report that studied available CBD land in 25 cities. According to the study from Commercial Cafe, a commercial real estate blog, Tampa has 6.29 total acres of vacant land in the CBD, ranking at the bottom of the list of 25 markets that Commercial Cafe analyzed. Dallas topped the list with more than 86 acres of vacant CBD land. Here’s what the study found in Tampa: “Given that not much has had a chance to change since that 2012 assessment [by Salon], it’s no wonder that the top choices expressed by our Tampa respondents in terms of what they want more of in downtown Tampa were parks, housing and schools—they want room for a life downtown. When asked what they feel would be the most beneficial transportation development or improvement, 50 percent indicated infrastructure upgrades as the No. 1 desired investment, followed by increased walkability (a choice expressed by 48 percent of Tampa respondents), and bike lanes (35 percent).” “As Downtown Tampa Surges, There’s Little Developable Land Left In The Central Business District” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
HART Considers Eliminating In-Towner, Improve Streetcar
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is holding a series of community outreach sessions and public hearings to discuss upcoming service changes and seek public input regarding proposed changes to the bus system. HART is requesting feedback regarding the removal of Route 96/97 — In-Towner in downtown Tampa. The In-Towner Route 96 has a weekday service every 15 minutes from 6amto 8:30am and 3:30pm to 6pm. The In-Towner Route 97 has Saturday service every 30 minutes 11am to 7pm. However, low ridership has HART reconsidering if continuing the route is worth the cost. HART is in discussion with the City of Tampa to re-purpose the In-Towner funds and possibly use it towards the TECO Line Streetcar System. The focus is to make the streetcar a more viable transit option for riders, HART said. In addition, the public meetings will allow the authority to connect with transit customers and the community and get feedback for a new proposed service option called Route 48 that will provide services in the Temple Terrace area. “HART Considers Eliminating In-Towner, Adding Temple Terrace Route” – ABC Action News
Visit Tampa Bay Calls for Artists
Visit Tampa Bay and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County are calling all local artists to enter for a chance to have their art featured on the cover of Visit Tampa Bay’s 2019 Official Visitor’s Guide. Published annually, the visitor’s guide promotes Tampa Bay as a vibrant tourism and convention destination and is distributed to 150,000 national and international media, tour operators and meeting planners throughout the year. In addition to being featured on the cover of Visit Tampa Bay’s official visitor’s guide, the winning artist will win a cash prize of $1,000. All artists must reside in Hillsborough County and submissions must be received by July 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PST on visittampabay.com/covercontest. Click here for contest terms and conditions.
Bike Share Boom in St. Pete
Cycling downtown on a blue basket bicycle has proven to be a popular pastime, according to the first yearly report provided by the Coast Bike Share. In an update presented to the St. Petersburg City Council, Coast announced that 45,673 trips had been taken on a Coast bicycle since January 2017. Those trips amounted to 91,591 miles navigated on St. Petersburg streets, equivalent to traveling nearly 3.7 times around the Earth’s circumference. Officials say it has saved 80,600 pounds of carbon emissions that would have been used by vehicles over that same distance. Ridership data between Tampa and St. Petersburg is nearly identical, except that it appears more residents of St. Petersburg are using the program regularly, rather than on a one-time basis. Those who have purchased monthly or yearly subscriptions in St. Pete make up almost 50 percent of the trips taken. “More St. Petersburg Residents Using Bike-Share Program On A Regular Basis” – Tampa Bay Times
USF Hires Local Ad Agency
The University of South Florida has hired the Tampa and San Diego-based branding and advertising agency SPARK to boost the school’s stature nationwide. The school announced last week that it signed a 12-month, $200,000 contract with the agency to create an advertising and marketing strategy that will better engage current and prospective students as well as faculty and the community. USF Chief Marketing Officer Joe Hice took over internal marketing in September and has since been meeting regularly with USF System President Judy Genshaft. The strategy will nclude targeted communication to high school guidance counselors nationwide so the school can begin to attract top-performing students to further increase its academic outcomes. SPARK will also identify ways USF can better leverage its high-profile partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Adidas and locally, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Hice expects a marketing strategy to come together sometime in August or September to coincide with the start of the next academic year. “USF Hires Tampa Ad Agency To Boost Its Stature And Attract Top-Performing Students” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Diversity and Data Grow Business Success
To grow an innovative and competitive economy — the model the Tampa Bay area is aiming for — companies need both inclusive teams and the smarts to turn massive amounts of data to their advantage. It’s a yin and yang picture, one that emerged Tuesday at separate events 10 miles apart: Near downtown, about 60 people turned out for a Tampa Bay Wave panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry; Meanwhile, at the University of South Florida, a crowd of 600 packed a ballroom for a day-long Muma College of Business forum on business analytics. Despite the different topics, the speakers at times sounded as if they had eavesdropped on each other. The diversity panel talked about the importance of tracking and measuring hiring, bidding and investing. The business analytics crowd heard about trust. Both groups delved into the hazards of bias, whether in buying supplies or enterprises that rely on machine learning. “Tampa Crowds Hear Tale Of Two Ideas: Diversity And Data Drive Business Success” – Tampa Bay Times
Mosaic Moves its Headquarters to Tampa
The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) will move its corporate headquarters from Minnesota to Hillsborough County, the company announced Monday evening. Details of where the company will locate, when the move will occur and how many employees will be added remain under consideration, but the company intends to move all of its senior executives and their related functions to the new location once it’s determined. The Fortune 500 phosphate mining company is currently headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota. Mosaic already has its largest domestic presence in Florida, including in Tampa. The company employs 3,000 Floridians and another 3,000 contractors. “Phosphate Giant Mosaic Is Moving Its Headquarters To Hillsborough County” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
City Council Approves Rezoning for Midtown
The Bromley Companies $500M Midtown Tampa project received approval Thursday, May 17 from Tampa City Council on the development’s rezoning application. With this approval, the 1.8 million square-foot, mixed-use project between Downtown Tampa and the Westshore Business District continues to move forward to redefine the City’s core. Already, two major partners have committed to the project, including a 48,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market® grocery store, the largest in the Tampa metro area, and Crescent Communities, a nationally recognized, market-leading real estate company collaborating with The Bromley Companies to deliver NOVEL Midtown Tampa, a new series of multi-family residences. View the full press release and get more information on the project here.
Tampa International Calls for Infrastructure Investment
Tampa International Airport showed off the future site of its 16-gate Airside D, the third phase of its master plan expansion, as part of an event on Tuesday to mark Infrastructure Week. Also at the event, airport CEO Joe Lopano called for an increase in the passenger facility charge, which is used to fund airport improvement projects that have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. But the $4.50 PFC, which is tacked onto each airline ticket, hasn’t been raised in nearly two decades, Lopano said. He called for modernizing the PFC to “increase our ability to create great infrastructure.” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) also noted that Tampa International, the nation’s 28th largest airport, has to link its future growth to improved transit across the region. “We have to invest in transit,” she said. She added that transit has to be a major issue in the upcoming governor’s race. “Everybody in this room knows how much we’ve fallen behind in infrastructure — not here at this airport and that won’t happen on my watch,” Lopano said. “Tampa International Calls For Infrastructure Investment As It Showcases Future International Airside” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Hillsborough Considers New African-American Museum
Hillsborough County’s last African-American art museum lasted only about six years before it closed in 1997 due to financial woes. Now, county leaders want to try again. County commissioners on Wednesday gave unanimous support to a proposal from Commissioner Les Miller to explore establishing a new museum, likely in downtown Tampa. It would showcase past and present African-American paintings, sculpture, jewelry, costume, and other art and crafts. The vote instructs county staffers to begin looking for potential sites on county and city of Tampa land or to seek land from a benefactor. They must also put together a plan for public outreach and efforts to get local philanthropists on board. “Hillsborough County To Explore Creating New African-American Art Museum” – Tampa Bay Times
Tampa is Family Friendly for Many Reasons
When it comes to topping the list, Tampa Bay is up there for families! Home.com ranked Tampa as number 8 on its list of cities in the country. While many people move to the Bay area because they want to live closer to amazing beaches, there are many other things that attract families. The quality of schools was a big deciding factor. That makes sense as U.S. News and World Report ranked several of our area high schools among the best in the state. Pine View School in Sarasota was ranked #1, Plant High in South Tampa was ranked 29. “Tampa Bay Is ‘Family-Friendly’ For Many Reasons” – News Channel 8
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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