Monday Morning Memo

Monday, May 6, 2019

Member Spotlight: Stageworks Theatre

Stageworks Theatre, Tampa’s longest running professional theater company known for producing socially relevant plays in Tampa’s Downtown Channel District presents its last main stage production of the 2018-2019 season – 4 Guys Named José… And Una Mujer Named Maria. Performed in Spanish and English, 4 Guys Named José… And Una Mujer Named Maria features some of the most evocative Latin music ever written (including such classics as “La Bamba”, “Guantanamera”, “I Like It Like That” and “Bésame Mucho”) sung in four and five-part harmony. The show is brimming with the zest of life intrinsic to the Latino culture.

For a behind the scenes look, Stageworks will be hosting a Hispanic initiative mixer event complete with salsa dancing classes and a meet and greet with the cast on Wednesday, May 15 from 7:00pm-9:00pm at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602. The event will feature a preview of 4 Guys Named José… And Una Mujer Named Maria, a salsa dancing class by Carlos Tonos in addition to food and drinks. To RSVP, please email

4 Guys Named José… And Una Mujer Named Maria will run May 31st – June 16th at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602. For tickets, please visit

Stageworks’ mission is to create theatre that respects, ignites, and celebrates the human spirit, and challenges the thresholds of intolerance. Led by Producing Artist Director, Karla Hartley, Stageworks recently announced their 2019-2020 season: CONNECTIONS. For more information and tickets, visit

Board Member News

The Bank of Tampa has appointed Tampa Downtown Partnership Board Member and veteran banker, Owen LaFave, as its Pinellas County market president.

Owen LaFave succeeds Scott C. Gault, who recently was appointed Hillsborough County market president for the bank.

LaFave, who has been with The Bank of Tampa for six years and has more than 18 years of experience in the Tampa Bay area, will oversee commercial and personal banking throughout Pinellas County. LaFave’s previous role included helping to expand The Bank of Tampa’s commercial real estate presence in Pinellas County.

“Owen’s success and leadership has been recognized, both internally and externally, and we are excited to see that success translate to the Pinellas County community,” said Corey Neil, chief banking officer at The Bank of Tampa in a statement.

LaFave serves on the board of the Neighborhood Lending Partners Inc. as past chairman, as well as on the boards of First Housing Inc. and the Tampa Downtown Partnership. Previously, he held positions including chairman of the Downtown CRA Advisory Board, chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission for the city of Tampa, president of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and past sponsorship chair for Leadership Tampa.

The Bank of Tampa is one of the largest banks by deposit in the Tampa Bay area with $1.47 billion in local deposits in 2018, according to Tampa Bay Business Journal research. Its assets total more than $1.6 billion, with outstanding loans great than $1 billion.

“The Bank of Tampa names Pinellas County market president”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

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.

Local Leaders Luncheon with Dr. Judy Gensharft - New Date!

Join us on Tuesday, September 10th from 11:30am to 1pm at the Tampa River Center at Julian B Park for our inaugural Local Leaders Luncheon featuring Dr. Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida (USF) System. This engaging luncheon features local leaders who have made a significant impact on Tampa’s Downtown. Since becoming president in 2000, Dr. Judy Genshaft has catapulted the University of South Florida System to national and international prominence for student success, academic rigor, research and innovation, and economic development. USF recently was given the elite designation of “Preeminent State Research University,” becoming only the third Florida institution to earn this prestigious honor. USF was also recently accepted into the distinguished Phi Beta Kappa honor society, a sign of the institution’s growing national reputation. Hear more from Dr. Genshaft and register today!


Will you join us in celebrating President Genshaft? Whether you have a photo of you and Judy or want to take a quick video thanking her, it would be a wonderful way to extend a small portion of our gratitude for all she’s done.

How to Participate:

  • Share your story of thanks via photo or video, and you can be as verbose or brief as you’d like.
  • Post across your preferred social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Be sure to tag your posts with #Grateful4Genshaft

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.

Formerly Homeless Man Finds Hope in Job with Tampa’s Clean Team

Three years ago, David Buck was just another homeless man seen in the area around Ybor City.

“I had zero hope, I had already given up,” Buck told FOX 13.

But some prayerful counseling helped him realize it was time to make a change.

He knew that he couldn’t have success at anything unless have gave up drinking. So that’s where he started.

“Three things happened to me in three days,” he said. “I got sober, I got a place to live, and I got a job.”

And that job on the Clean Team for the Tampa Downtown Partnership puts him in a unique position to give back to the Tampa homeless community he came out of.

“It gave me a spark of hope,” he said.

Buck now walks his beat doing clean up and counseling. He said he never wanted a handout from anyone.

“I have to put the work in. Nobody’s getting me up in the morning, I’m getting myself up to go to work, to take two buses,” he explained. “It’s not about me liking it, it’s about what’s necessary.”

So he spreads his success story with other homeless people he runs into in the downtown area.

“It’s about overcoming and not settling for where you’re at,” he said.

“Formerly homeless man now works to keep downtown Tampa clean”FOX 13

Tampa Ranks Second in Nation for Bicycle Friendly Businesses

On Thursday, May 2, the League of American Bicyclists recognized 83 new and renewing businesses with a Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) award. Of the 83, 11 were from Tampa with 8 of the 11 being Downtown Tampa businesses, earning a place alongside 1,266  bike-forward businesses across the country in a commitment to building a more Bicycle Friendly America.

Tampa ranks second in the nation with the most Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFBs) with 43 total. Fort Collins, Colorado, earned the top spot with 61 BFBs. See the full list at

The Florida Aquarium was one of the newest members to the list this Spring.

“The Florida Aquarium is fiercely committed to protecting and restoring our blue planet. Becoming a certified bicycle friendly business it not only good for our environment, but also the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers and guests,” said Roger Germann, President and CEO of the Florida Aquarium and Board Member of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “We are delighted The Tampa Downtown Partnership is providing us with support and encouragement.”

Deserving businesses are recognized at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels and all applicants receive valuable feedback and assistance in becoming more welcoming to bicycling. Below is a list of the 8 Downtown businesses joining the Bicycle Friendly America program:


  • REAL Building Consultants


  • 220 Madison
  • David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
  • Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Tampa Bay History Center
  • Tampa Museum of Art
  • The Florida Aquarium, Inc.
  • West River Flats


About the Bicycle Friendly America Program

To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, including the Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM (BFCSM), Bicycle Friendly StateSM (BFSSM), Bicycle Friendly BusinessSM (BFBSM), and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM (BFUSM) programs, visit

The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting bicyclists’ rights. Learn more at

GenX Tavern Celebrates Opening

The long-awaited Gen-X Tavern in downtown Tampa is now open!

The ’80s and ’90s-themed bar, on the street level of the Bank of America Plaza parking garage, officially opened May 4. It will be open 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. Please note, on Monday May 6 and Tuesday, May 7 GenX will open at 4pm to make adjustments based on feedback given during its opening weekend.

The 5,200-square-foot space is brimming with thousands of nods to the era, from floppy disks to “Seinfeld” to an installment of CRT TVs and VCRs.

“What I want is for people to come in, start smiling and start to feel nostalgic,” Gen-X Tavern owner Dave Burton previously told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “I think people, no matter their age, are going to feel that way.”

Happy Hour is from 3-7pm and includes:
$3 domestic drafts
$4 craft drafts, Wells, and shots
$5 select appetizers
$6 glasses of wine and select signature cocktails
$7 cheeseburger and fries

“Downtown Tampa’s Gen-X Tavern opens next week (Photos)” Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Garrison Tavern Opens at Tampa Marriott Water Street

World-renowned chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval announced the opening of Garrison Tavern, the first of his only two restaurants in the Tampa Bay area, located within the newly rebranded Tampa Marriott Water Street on April 10. Formerly known as the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, the hotel’s rebrand speaks to its prime location in the city’s most anticipated urban neighborhood, Water Street Tampa. Garrison Tavern, a craft kitchen and social house, welcomes hotel guests, visitors and the Tampa Bay community.

Chef Sandoval’s “made from scratch” approach and passion for bringing innovative cuisine and authentic experiences to the world are brought to life at Garrison Tavern with his use of inventive culinary techniques and presentations – creating a sense of place where social connections and gatherings can take place.

“Food to me is a very social experience, and at Garrison Tavern, our emphasis is on re-energizing familiar dishes and presenting them in a way that creates community and social connection – sharing with those around you,” said Richard Sandoval, CEO/Founder of the global Richard Sandoval Hospitality group.

“Tampa’s culinary scene is very unique and vibrant, and we’re excited to offer a new twist on a classic concept at a central location along the Tampa Riverwalk.”

Garrison Tavern offers a contemporary twist on the age-old concept of the tavern – a social house where locals and visitors can gather together over good food and conversation, or for a sporting game. Providing guests with a complete dining and entertainment experience, Garrison Tavern is a one-of-a-kind space in Tampa’s evolving culinary scene and boasts the first Topgolf Swing Suite in Florida, which offers an immersive, virtual sporting experience. Modern and relaxed décor perfectly complement the open layout with communal tables, while the menu is chef-driven and punctuated by locally sourced ingredients and craft beer.

“Our team here at the Marriott Water Street is thrilled to partner with Chef Sandoval and to bring his vision to a new audience,” said Ron McAnaugh, General Manager of the Tampa Marriott Water Street. “In creating this concept, we want to provide the comfort and familiarity of a sports bar while exceeding expectations, with an emphasis on high-quality food and an entertainment experience that goes beyond just a place to watch games.”

Sandoval’s modern expression of shareable American favorites has been thoughtfully created to pair with a robust selection of craft beers, the majority of which are planned to be local to the Tampa Bay area. Menu highlights will include Garrison Tavern’s Butcher’s Burgers, made from Florida-raised grass-fed beef and house ground on site by the hotel’s in-house butcher; Fried Chicken Wings in four different flavors including Traditional Buffalo, Korean Hot, Bourbon & Rye BBQ and Honey Sriracha; House Smoked Cheddar & Jalapeno Sausage and Tampa Garlic Dill Fries with Horseradish Tartar.

Design and Atmosphere

The new 265-seat venue features world-class interior design from The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry, an Atlanta-based team of skilled architects and designers. Guests will be welcomed by the fresh interiors with reclaimed wood, deep navy blues, and other natural elements and colors that are inspired by the nearby waterfront. Garrison Tavern boasts white brick interiors, custom lighting elements, rustic wood tops and new outdoor patio seating with direct street access. Paying homage to the neighborhood taverns of the past, Garrison Tavern’s inherently approachable atmosphere evokes the spirit of camaraderie and social gathering with a centralized bar and large communal tables.

Garrison Kolsch, Exclusively Brewed for Garrison Tavern by Coppertail Brewing Co. Inspired by Tampa’s brewing culture, Garrison Tavern’s extensive beer menu will highlight 20 locally crafted brews on tap, including Garrison Kolsch, a signature brew created in partnership with Coppertail Brewing Co., the award winning independently owned production brewery in the historic Ybor City neighborhood.

Garrison Kolsch is a Florida-inspired beer with a delicate, light fruity flavor and a dry, medium hoppy finish. Served exclusively in house at the hotel, Crowlers, canned Growlers, will be available for purchase.

Sports and Recreation

Neighboring Amalie Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning team, Garrison Tavern serves as a perfect pre, during and post-game locale. Two large media walls, consisting of nine screens each, and over 35 individual TVs, will be spread throughout the venue where various sporting events will be broadcasted at all times.

Additional elements of sports culture can be felt throughout the Garrison Tavern experience with an emphasis on friendly competition – from giant Jenga and shuffleboard to a Topgolf Swing Suite, an extension of the Topgolf brand, and the first of its kind in Florida. Garrison Tavern’s Topgolf Swing Suite features two bays and offers a new way to play through an interactive social experience. With engaging screens, the Swing Suite delivers a one-of-a-kind experience for athletes and non-athletes alike to enjoy a variety of simulated multi-sport games including golf, dodgeball, hockey, baseball and football.

Garrison Tavern will be open for lunch and dinner service from 11:00 am – 2:00 am, seven days a week.


University of Tampa Begins Construction on ‘Transformative’ Fine Arts Building

Demolition of the Edison Building at the project site located at the southwest corner of North Boulevard and Spaulding Drive is scheduled to begin on May 7.

The University of Tampa has commenced construction on the Ferman Center for the Arts building, a new four-story, 90,000-square-foot structure that will provide space for the university’s fine and performing arts.

A groundbreaking for the project was held last Friday and demolition of the Edison Building at the project site located at the southwest corner of North Boulevard and Spaulding Drive is scheduled to begin on May 7. The Ferman Center for the Arts building is set to be completed by fall of 2020.

The Ferman Center for the Arts building, named in honor of longtime university supporters—the Ferman family—will include a recital hall, a 200-seat black box theater, classrooms, practice rooms, art and dance studios, faculty and administrative offices, student study spaces and more.

University officials say the central focus of the building will include a multi-use lobby space that provides gallery walls for displaying art work, which leads into another area for music and dance performances. Above the elevated performance area is a combination study and gallery. The two are connected by an artistic, circular stair, which features a performance stage mid-landing that is suitable for musical performances, readings or addresses to a crowd.

The Ferman Center for the Arts is slightly larger than the six-story Graduate and Health Studies building, which opened in Fall 2018 and is currently the university’s largest academic building. The Ferman Center’s architecture will feature glass, wood, red-brick and steel to complement other campus buildings, including the iconic Plant Hall. The interior will be a contemporary, functional, dynamic space that exudes creativity and innovation, the university notes.

UT President Ron Vaughn says, “UT’s reputation is rapidly escalating nationally and internationally. Continuing to advance our fine and performing arts programs is very much part of this effort. This building will elevate this whole set of college programs as well as further enhance UT’s reputation.”

The new building will be designed and constructed to be a candidate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. If successful, it will be UT’s eighth LEED-certified building.

David Gudelunas, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, says, “By bringing together the performing and visual arts that are currently scattered around campus in inherited spaces, the stunning new facility will facilitate collaboration, creative synergies and cross-disciplinary teamwork. This is so important in not just artistic fields, but the myriad of professional contexts where our students end up after graduation.”

The University of Tampa has completed a host of new buildings in the past five years, including the West Walker Hall (2014), the Daly Innovation and Collaboration Building (2015), the Kennedy/Boulevard Academic Building (2016) the Graduate and Health Studies Building (2018) and the Southard Family Building, the former Riverside Center building, which opened in late March of this year. In addition, numerous other residence halls, athletic facilities, parking garages and administrative buildings have also been completed in recent years.

“University of Tampa Begins Construction on ‘Transformative’ Fine Arts Building”


Riverwalk Place Condo Nears Groundbreaking

Nearly four years after it was proposed as a pioneering, mixed-use vision for the downtown Tampa waterfront, the 53-story Riverwalk Place is inching toward a groundbreaking.

Riverwalk Place, which first went public in July 2015 with plans to stack luxury condominiums over top office space, parking and street-level storefronts, filed a revised design plan with the city in mid-April that reveals for the first time how many condos the developers are planning — 288.

The 2015 proposal included 203 condos on top of office space.

The developers — a partnership of Tampa’s Feldman Equities and West Palm Beach-based Two Roads Development — said they were scrapping plans for office space in November 2018 and that they would devote the entirety of the tower, save for the street-level retail, to condominiums.

Since then, the developers would say only that the tower would have “more than 200” units, never revealing an exact number. The filing also shows the tower will include 20,300 square feet of enclosed retail and restaurant space as well as 5,000 square feet of outdoor seating.

The tower is proposed at the intersection of Ashley Drive and Brorein Street, on the last vacant waterfront parcel in the central business district. The adjacent CapTrust Building will be demolished to make way for the tower, and the developers said Wednesday that internal demolition is underway within the CapTrust Building.

However, a timeline for beginning vertical construction on Riverwalk Place is yet to be revealed. In a typical condo development, 60 percent of units have to be presold before construction will begin. For Riverwalk Place, that would equal roughly 173 condos, though the developers have said the value of reservations, not the number of units, will drive construction.

The total number of condos could still fluctuate if buyers decide to combine units, said Reid Boren, managing partner of Two Roads.

“We have built-in flexibility with the tower, and we expect the total residential count to evolve as buyers make their selections and indicate their preferences,” Boren wrote in an email via a spokesman for the developers.

The developers secured a $24.5 million loan for the first phase of construction in late 2018.

“External demolition could commence later this month, depending on progress inside,” Boren said via email.

Boren declined to offer any specifics on presales or when reservations might convert to contracts (deposits at the contract stage become nonrefundable). At the end of 2018, the developers said the value of reservations totaled $80 million.

“We are pleased with pre-sales and there continues to be strong interest in the building and the market,” Boren said.

“Downtown Tampa’s 53-story Riverwalk Place condo tower inches toward a groundbreaking (New rendering)”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Cash Flows: Hilton Sells for $101M and USF Heart Institute Receives Funds

Hilton Tampa Downtown Sells for $101 Million

In one of Tampa Bay’s largest-ever hotel transactions, the Hilton Tampa Downtown has sold for $101 million.

Only the Tampa Marriott Waterside and the Hilton Clearwater Beach have commanded higher prices.

CrossHarbor Capital Partners closed this week on buying the 520-room, full-service Hilton in the heart of downtown Tampa, according to the deed filed in Hillsborough County court records.

“I think the Hilton transaction represents further evidence that Tampa is a high-profile institutional market that attracts substantial investor interest,” said Daniel Peek, senior marketing director of HFF, which handled the sale and financing.

The hotel at 211 N Tampa St. last sold in late 2012 for $63 million. The group that bought it then converted it from a Hyatt to a Hilton and spent millions of dollars on renovations.

Although the new owners may invest some additional money, “it’s a well-renovated hotel that’s not necessarily in need of a lot of work,” Peek said, adding that it will remain a Hilton.

Built in 1982 on just over 5 acres, the 18-story Hilton has a rooftop sun deck, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, a Starbucks and two restaurants. It is near several “demand generators,” including Tampa General Hospital, the cruise port and Amalie Arena, and is within walking distance of the planned $2 billion office, retail and residential development spearheaded by Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik.

HFF has handled numerous bay area hotel transactions, including last year’s $134 million sale of the 416-room Hilton Clearwater Beach and this year’s $21.25 million sale of the 261-room Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport Westshore.

The largest hotel transaction in Tampa Bay history was the $199 million sale of the Marriott Waterside Resort & Marina two years ago to Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture between Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC.

The Hilton sale comes as Tampa and Hillsborough County are enjoying a boom in tourism. Last year, a record 20.9 million people visited the county, pumping an estimated $3.5 billion into the local economy.

The Hilton deal is the second bay area property sale topping $100 million announced in the past two weeks. A Phoenix-based real estate investment trust bought the huge Amazon distribution center in Ruskin for $103.6 million in the largest industrial sale in bay area history.

Hilton in downtown Tampa has sold for $101 million”Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)


State Approves Funds To Complete USF Heart Institute In Water Street

The Florida House and Senate passed a key piece of funding needed for the University of South Florida to complete its $173 million project.

USF’s budget request from the state this year was $14.6 million and the university received $12.4 million in the budget, which was approved earlier this week.

However, it will not be final until it is signed by the governor, a USF spokesman told the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

It was critical for USF to receive the final piece of funding this year to complete the construction of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, previously told TBBJ.

The institute will be an anchor of the $3 billion, mixed-use Water Street districtthat Strategic Property Partners is planning between the Channel district and central business district.

USF previously received $97.89 million through funds from the Public Education Capital Outlay Trust Fund.

Through philanthropy and auxiliary funds, the school collected just over $40 million. Now that number has increased to $60 million, a USF spokesman said.

The facility is expected to open on schedule for December. Once open, it will have wet lab space, clinical trials, meeting spaces and will house 1,800 students. It will also replace the current USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute at the main campus.

The institute is projected to have an estimated $66 million to $73 million annual economic impact in Tampa Bay. It’s also expected to help the university receive National Institutes of Health funding.

“State approves funds to complete USF Heart Institute in Water Street”Tampa Bay Business Journal (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.

Heights Night Market

Wednesday, May 8, begins 6pm
Armature Works
A monthly evening market taking place on 7th Ave in front of Armature Works, feature a rotating cast of artisanal creators, makers, and artists selling handmade goods, jewelry, art, wood-work, gifts and so much more. Heights Night Market is free to attend, family-friendly, and features live music at each event. For more information, go to Heights Night Market.

The Millennium Tour

Saturday, May 11, begins 7:30pm
Amalie Arena
Multi-platinum R&B group B2K, which features Omarion, Boog, Fizz and Raz-B, will bring it’s Millennium Tour to Downtown Tampa. The iconic group has been touring the country with special guests Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins, Chingy, and Bobby V. R&B fans will not want to miss this concert. Get your tickets today to hear all the hits performed live during this fantastic show. For more information, go to The Millennium Tour.

Free Pops in the Park

Sunday, May 12, begins 7:30pm
Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park
Whether you come with a date or the whole family, the music at this event is just right, featuring film scores and light symphonic favorites. Daniel Black will conduct. Arrive early for the Instrument Petting Zoo and food trucks. Be sure to bring plenty of canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest. For more information, go to Free Pops in the Park.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Spamilton: An American Parody – Through Sunday, May 12
Jeremy Douglass: Broadway Pre-Show – Tuesday, May 7, begins 7pm
Anastasia – Tuesday, May 7 to Sunday, May 12
Hedda Adapted by Lucy Kirkwood from the play by Henrik Ibsen – Wednesday, May 8 to Sunday, June 2
Live & Local – Carlos Peña – Friday, May 10, begins 6:30pm
Live & Local – Jariah Higgins – Saturday, May 11, begins 6:30pm
Next Generation Ballet’s Pirates and Cowboys: Le Corsaire and Western Symphony – Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12
Mother’s Day Brunch – Sunday, May 12, begins 11am

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Gateway Brass: Music of the West – Tuesday, May 7, begins 7:30pm
Wild Nights With Emily (2019) – Through Thursday, May 9
Ask Dr. Ruth (2019) – Friday, May 10, begins 7:30pm

Connect With Us!

Connect with us on social media to get the latest on downtown events!

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.

Sign Up Now