Monday Morning Memo

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Partnership Presents

Winners of Urban Excellence

On Wednesday, November 30, the Tampa Downtown Partnership celebrated its tenth annual Urban Excellence Awards on the rooftop of The Belk Group’s building in Tampa. The ceremony recognizes those businesses, organizations, individuals, events, and projects that have made significant contributions toward creating a unique, vibrant, and diverse Downtown Tampa, and have made a positive impact on the community. Click here to view the press release and click here to view a full list of award recipients and to learn more about the Urban Excellence Awards. Thank you to our sponsors; The Beck Group, TECO an Emera Company, and Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.

Downtown Debriefing Series

The Tampa Downtown Partnership’s next Downtown Debriefing Series, Intelligent Transportation, will take place at the Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown on Tuesday, December 13, and will focus on what’s next in connected and autonomous vehicles. Join us for a discussion with industry leaders about the future of transportation in Tampa including connected vehicle technology and autonomous vehicles. Speakers include: Paul J. Steinman, P.E. with FDOT; Robert M. Frey, AICP with THEA; Justin Begley with HART; Vik Bhide with the City of Tampa. Registration closes at noon on December 12, register now.

Holiday Fun in Downtown Tampa

Holiday Island: Friends of the Riverwalk along with Board Chairman, President and CEO of Yacht Starship and Pirate Water Taxi, Troy Manthey, announce the newest installation along Tampa’s Riverwalk, a 30-foot floating LED Christmas Tree. Dubbed Holiday Island, Tampa’s largest floating Christmas tree is positioned on the Hillsborough River between the Tampa Convention Center and Tampa General Hospital. The tree will be lit from sunset to sunrise through December 25 and is made possible by donations from Yacht Starship, Pirate Water Taxi, Tampa General Hospital, TECO an Emera Company, Gulf Marine, Aramark, and OAI.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon, Presented by USAmeriBank: Our village continues its celebration of the holidays in Downtown Tampa with shopping, ice skating, and a waterfront café. Stop by for live entertainment on the weekends! Open until December 25, this is a holiday experience for the whole family to enjoy. For hours of operation, a list of vendors, and directions, visit

Downtowner Adds Office Buildings

The Tampa Downtown Partnership continues to look for ways to enhance the Downtowner free ride service. To better accommodate the downtown worker, the explore section of the Downtowner App now includes “Office Buildings.” Riders can now easily find an office building without knowing its address and hail a Downtowner. Click here for more information.

Win Free Tickets to the Straz

Dying to see a show at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts and love The Late Late Show with James Corden? You’re in luck! Win a set of tickets to the screening of National Theatre Live presents One Man, Two Guvnors, starring James Corden, on Sunday, December 11 by reposting the promotion on any of our Instagram, Twitter or Facebookpages!

You MUST tag @tampasdowntown and @strazcenter to be eligible to win!  For more information on the show, visit

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.

The Great Gatsby

Through Sunday, December 18
Stageworks Theatre
The breathtaking glamour and decadent excess of the Jazz Age comes to the stage in an adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. For more information, go to The Great Gatsby.

Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta

Wednesday, December 7, 11am to 2pm
Lykes Gaslight Square
Enjoy your lunch break in the great outdoors! Choose from a variety of colorful food truck options as the rolling kitchens line the park and serve up crafty meals to hungry Downtown patrons. For more information, go to Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.

White Christmas (1954)

Sunday, December 11, 3pm to 5pm
Tampa Theatre
Settle in for a holiday classic in Downtown Tampa! Two singers join a sister act to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, the singers find their commander from World War II, whose country inn is failing. So the group plans a musical extravaganza to bring the inn back to life. This film stars Bing Crosby. For more information, go to White Christmas.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Holiday Music Concert – Thursday, December 8, begins 7pm
Bridget Everett: Pound It! – Tuesday, December 6, begins 7pm
Holiday Pops – The Florida Orchestra – Friday, December 9, begins 7:30pm
Kim Russo – The Happy Medium – Saturday, December 10, begins 7:30pm
Private Lesson Recitals – Saturday, December 10, 10am to Noon
National Theatre Live presents One Man, Two Guvnors – Sunday, December 11, begins 2pm
Netflix presents Here Comes the Funny Tour – Sunday, December 11, begins 7:30pm
Hasan Minhaj – Homecoming King – Sunday, December 11, begins 7:30pm

This week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Vancouver Canucks – Thursday, December 8, begins 7:30pm
Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown – Friday, December 9, begins 7pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Pittsburgh Penguins – Saturday, December 10, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Carnage Leather

Carnage Leather occupies a season-long spot at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park, Presented by USAmeriBank. Begun by local artisan KC Bird, the company prides on modern handmade leather items for men and women. Merchandise including beautiful belts, cuff bracelets, crafted keychains, leather bound journals, one-of-a-kind portfolios (some in distressed leather), and unique hair accessories. Leather belts are custom made according to your measurements, and start at $35 including buckle. Key Chains can be initialed. Stop in at POD #4 to shop for something special, unique, and totally Tampa.

Marketplace News

Oxford Exchange is hosting their 4th Annual Holiday Gift Bazaar on December 10 and 11 featuring local vendors, artisans and craftsman. Also offered at this event, two holiday workshops; live wreath making, and holiday hand lettering!

Winter Village Shops for this week include Lularoe Fashion, Dark Cycle Clothing, Carnage Leather, as well as Swanson Soap (Thurs 4pm-7pm), Tampa Museum of Art (Fri 4pm-7pm), Talk to the Paw (Thurs/Fri 4pm-7pm), 10,000 Villages (Sun, Noon-7pm) and Silly Dilly – Enchanted Spot for Children (Sun, Noon-7pm). Winter Village Shops will be closed on Saturday, December 10 for the OnBikes event at Curtis Hixon Park.

Bamboozle Tea Lounge, located at 109 N. 12th Street in the Channelside District, continues to exhibit the art of Cinde Howell through December 15. Cinde’s style ranges from bright and colorful whimsical pieces to stunning landscapes, charming wildlife and detailed photorealistic paintings.

Marketplace at Bank of America has received its holiday gift inventory including Solmate Socks, Key West Aloe skincare sets, Candelles soy scented candles, Lilly Dilly jewelry, holiday wrapping and cards, blown glass creations, journals, bar accessories, and many more novel, unique, items.

Holiday Dining in Downtown Tampa!

Duckweed Urban Grocery at both Element and The Place locations will be open Christmas Day, for all your last minute needs including meals preparation, pet food, and prepared meals.

Bizou Brasserie is open Christmas Day and holding “Once Upon a Christmas” where they will be serving holiday favorites from 4pm – 9pm. A limited holiday menu (including all of your favorites) will be offered.

Columbia Café at Tampa Bay History Center will be serving its full menu on December 24 until 5pm.

Jackson’s Bistro Bar & Sushi is offering buffets on both December 24 (11am until closing at 8pm) and December 25 (11:30am to 7pm). Make your reservations soon by calling 813.277.0112.

River’s Edge at Sheraton Riverwalk will be open on December 24 and December 25 with a scrumptious holiday menu. Reserve online or by calling 813.226.4100.

Waterside Grill at the Tampa Marriott Waterside is open with its regular menu on December 24 and offering a special buffet on December 25. Reserve online or by calling 813.204.6313.

Yacht Starship offers a Christmas Eve Cruise aboard the holiday decorated Yacht Starship. Enjoy a bountiful holiday buffet and DJ on-board playing holiday classics and modern hits.

Overseas Shipholding Posts Gains

Overseas Shipholding, headquartered on Harbor Island, stock rose nearly 7 percent, closing at $2.92 a share on December 1, after the firm spun off its international operations into an independent publicly traded company, International Seaways (NYSE: INSW), headquartered in New York. Overseas Shipholding will be among the largest publicly held companies in Tampa. Revenue for the 12 months ended September 30 was $467 million.
“Tampa’s Newest Public Company Charts A New Course”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Development/ Transportation

HART Service Improvements

HART and the City of Tampa have partnered to enhance service on the free In-Towner Trolley. The weekday route now includes the Channel District, Harbour Island, and Central Business District. It operates every 15 minutes during peak commute times. The new Saturday route serves as a parking shuttle running every 30 minutes from 11am to 7pm. Click here to view the Downtown Network of Services Map.

New Hotel Tower Coming Downtown Tampa

Announced in September, HRI Properties is moving forward with their plans to build a tower in Downtown Tampa with 225 luxury residences and a 223-room Hyatt Centric Hotel. Similar mixed-use projects by HRI Properties are the LTV Tower Apartments atop a Hilton Garden Inn in Dallas and Strand Apartment and Aloft Hotel in New Orleans. The Tampa project, expected to break crowd in the third quarter of 2017, will have a rooftop pool, cabana and fitness center as well as 10,000 square feet of meetings space.
“Hyatt Centric Planned For Downtown Tampa”Travel Weekly

Cross-Bay Ferry Completes First Month

Cross-Bay Ferry organizers are reporting strong ridership levels in the first month of service, with more than 7,400 people taking trips through November 27 – the first month of the six-month pilot project. The Cross Bay Ferry sold about 57 percent of its inventory its first month with more than 4,700 people paying for full-price, on-way tickets. Last week, the Cross-Bay Ferry began regular, weekday service and launched a Commuter Value Pass program with 20 tickets for $100, which equates to $5 per ticket, half of the regular one-way ticket price. That purchase comes with free taxi rides home for those who miss the last ferry trip. See and TBARTA myCOMMUTE for more information.

Grants for Pedestrian, Cycling Safety

The Florida Department of Transportation and the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research partnered to offer grants to law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to increase “high visibility enforcement.” The agency is using its funds for police officer overtime hours in order to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety education and enforcement at three of the city’s busiest and most dangerous corridors.
“Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies Get Funding To Improve Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Adopting the Vision Zero Movement

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization is launching Vision Zero, a revolutionary grassroots movement to eliminate bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities on urban roadways.  In introducing the first of four Vision Zero workshops this fall, Hillsborough County is adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude toward traffic fatalities, and joins the Ft. Lauderdale area as only the second region in Florida to enact Vision Zero.
“Vision Zero Focuses On Making Local Streets Safer For Bicyclists, Pedestrians”83 Degrees Media

Member Corner

Brew Bus Now Offering Food to Patrons

The Brew Bus Terminal that houses a microbrewery and tasting room has opened an on-site kitchen, The Eatery, which is now serving freshly prepared, cooked-to-order dishes. Newly retrofitted with a nearly 400-square-foot kitchen, the venue now offers a menu crafted by Chef Kasia Lavigne that includes starters, sandwiches, sliders and flatbreads. For more information about the brewery, bus tours, events and The Eatery, go to

Straz Celebrates Future Broadway Stars

High school theater programs in the Tampa Bay area are invited to participate in the Straz Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway Star of the Future Awards program, designed to encourage, recognize and honor excellence in high school musical theater performances through a constructive review process. Applications should be submitted at least three weeks before the performance, prior to January 9, and are available here. Musical theater productions should take place before May 7, 2017.

Economic Impact of Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay unveiled a new study on Thursday, saying that its annual economic impact was $17.2 billion, based on numbers from 2015. The study also showed the port supports 85,000 direct, indirect, induced and related jobs annually. The economic impact study was conducted by Martin Associates and measured the local, regional and state economic impacts generated by maritime activity at the cargo terminals, cruise terminals and shipyards, as well as non-maritime real estate interests at the port, for the entirety of the 2015 fiscal year.
“How Port Tampa Bay Tops $17 Billion in Economic Impact”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Museums Launch Science Alliance

The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) and Glazer Children’s Museum are collaborating to create Science Alliance, a new collaboration that saves families money and opens up new options for fun learning for kids across Tampa Bay. By creating a learning “ladder” that steps children from one cultural institution to another as they get older, inspiration that begins at the Glazer Children’s Museum can continue to expand and flourish at MOSI. Each institution has agreed to offer 50 percent off admission for eligible members. Call MOSI at 813.443.3861 for more details or Glazer Children’s Museum at 813.443.3861.

Around Town

Tampa Named a TechHire Community

The White House has named Tampa Bay a national TechHire Community. With this designation comes funding to train approximately 1,000 people between the ages of 17 and 29 over the next three years. The designation follows this summer’s announcement of a $3.8 million training grant for the area. TechHire launched in 2015 with 21 communities and 300 employers. With Thursday’s announcement of 20 new cities and communities, it will be in 70 across the U.S.
“White House Selects Tampa Bay as New TechHire Community”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Connected Vehicle Programs Become Reality

Siemens, as a member of the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) team, has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide innovative vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology for a new Connected Vehicle pilot project. Siemens V2I technology will enable vehicles and pedestrians to communicate with traffic infrastructure like intersections and traffic lights in real-time to reduce congestion specifically during peak rush hour in downtown Tampa.
“Communicating Cars Could Make Tampa Bay Area’s Commutes Faster, Safer”ABC Action News

“Imagine Clearwater” Closer to Existence

Clearwater City Council members approved a draft master plan for “Imagine Clearwater” that includes a vision for bringing more people and energy to the city’s downtown. The plan includes public space along the waterfront consisting of nearly three times the existing area of Coachman Park located in downtown at the base of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.
“Clearwater’s Downtown Waterfront Is One Step Closer To a Major Makeover”Tampa Bay Business Journal

DTSP Business Incubator Wins Backing

The startup incubator planned for downtown St. Petersburg would encompass at least 40,000 square feet, with an additional 10,000 square feet set aside for an anchor business tenant, at a cost of about $12 million. The facility will be run by Elmore’s Tampa Bay Innovation Center. The city will provide the land for the incubator and Pinellas County would own and help develop and maintain the incubator. Funding would come from federal and state dollars.
“Large-Scale Business Incubator Will Rise In Downtown St. Petersburg as Beacon for Startups”Tampa Bay Times