Monday Morning Memo

Monday, November 13, 2017

Partnership Presents

Winter Village Opening Reception

Join us on Friday, November 17 as we celebrate a new season of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park with an opening reception beginning at 5:00pm with welcoming remarks at 5:20pm and continuing with a free skate open to the public from 6:00pm until 7:00pm. Stay to enjoy the free screening of White Christmas, starting at 7:30pm, courtesy of Tampa Theatre’s Holiday Classics series. Winter Village is presented by USAmeribank and brought to you by the Tampa Downtown Partnership. The installation runs until January 5, 2018 and features an outdoor ice rink (yes, it’s real ice!), pop-up shops, and holiday drinks and treats all along the Tampa Riverwalk. We’re excited this year to present the Winter Village Express which will run select Sundays in December to offer a holiday experience on a TECO Line Streetcar. Get all the details and hours of operation at

Welcome New Member, Harpoon Harry’s

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is excited to welcome our newest member, Harpoon Harry’s! This July, The Tampa Convention Center awarded Smuggler’s Enterprises Inc., with its Harpoon Harry’s Crab House concept, the contract for the Tampa Bay Convention Center retail space. The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that the Punta Gorda company is investing $3.6 million to convert a 10,000-square-foot storage space into a family friendly restaurant. Our membership is comprised of a broad range of stakeholders, including national corporations, locally owned businesses, civic organizations, government agencies, downtown property owners, arts and cultural institutions, and a large collection of companies that conduct business downtown. Learn more about becoming a member.

Employee Transportation Planning

Did you know the Tampa Downtown Partnership works with companies to create an Employee Transportation Plan? This free consulting looks at the travel needs of both employees and customers. Recommendations include many free and low-cost strategies such as Best Workplaces for Commuters certification. They can also create good publicity for your business. Contact Karen Kress to get started.

Best Place to Work for Commuters

Tampa Downtown Partnership is recognized as a 2017  Best Workplaces for Commuters! This designation recognizes employers that offer exceptional employer-provided commuter benefits that meet National Standard of Excellence criteria. To be designated among the nation’s Best Workplaces for Commuters, Tampa Downtown Partnership had to provide benefits that result in at least 14% of employees no longer driving alone to and from work within a 12-month period.

Urban Excellence Awards, Nov. 29

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 29 for our Urban Excellence Awards! Use this link to register. Held this year at The Vault from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, the Urban Excellence Awards event gives the downtown community a fun and social occasion to recognize the pioneers, trailblazers and Downtown champions that have contributed to the success, transformation and revitalization of Tampa’s Downtown.  This event celebrates the extraordinary people, businesses, programs and projects that make downtown a great place to live, work and play.

Vote for Urban Excellence People’s Choice

Voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award. The winner will be announced at the event. Click here to vote (voting closes November 22nd).

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. Going to one of the events? Snap a photo and tag #UrbanInsiderTPA

The Year of Magical Thinking

Through Sunday, November 19
Stageworks Theatre
In this beautiful adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful, and ultimately hopeful. one-woman play. For more information, go to The Year of Magical Thinking.

Tide Talk: Tides, The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

Wednesday, November 15, begins 5:45pm
The Florida Aquarium
Jonathan White, author of TIDES, The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, will speak about his lifelong love of the sea. Growing up on the beaches of southern California, he’s built and sailed many boats, logged over 100,000 miles on the Pacific and Atlantic, and surfed all over the world. As founder and former director of the Resource Institute, White spent 11 years building a seminar program aboard the schooner Crusader, from Puget Sound to Southeast Alaska. For more information, go to Tide Talk: Tides, The Science and Spirit of the Ocean.

10th Annual Sustainable Buzz

Thursday, November 16, begins 6pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Each year, this event celebrates environmentalism in Tampa Bay by featuring the best that the Bay has to offer including local food, drink, and music on the Riverwalk. In addition to food, enjoy samples of wine and vodka as well as craft beer from local brewers. This year’s Buzz will feature live music from The Black Honkeys. For more information, go to 10th Annual Sustainable Buzz.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

Friday, November 17 to Friday, January 5
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Tampa at the Winter Village presented by USAmeriBank. The park will be transformed with the sights, sounds and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages. Skate around at the outdoor ice rink or get some gift shopping done at the Holiday Market. For more information, go to 2017-2018 Winter Village.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Simply Three – Through Monday, November 13
Opera Tampa League’s Wondrous Wednesday – Wednesday, November 15, begins at Noon
WQYK 99.5 Guitar Pull – Wednesday, November 15, begins 7:30pm
Colter Wall – Friday, November 17, begins 7:30pm
Benji Brown – Saturday, November 18, begins 8pm
Straight No Chaser: The Speakeasy Tour – Saturday, November 18, begins 8pm
No Man’s Land – Sunday, November 19, begins 2pm
The Minimalists: Less is Now Tour – Sunday, November 19, begins 7:30pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars – Thursday, November 16, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders – Saturday, November 18, begins 7pm


Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Dark Cycle Clothing Company

This year we welcome back Dark Cycle Clothing to the Winter Village Shops! Located in Tampa, Florida, Dark Cycle Clothing was founded by husband and wife team Coryn and Adam in 2009. Adam and Coryn have been playing around with designing t-shirts since they were teenagers in love bringing their late-night design creations to the local screen-printer and peddling them in batches of 20 at local punk rock shows. Dark Cycle Clothing’s mission is to provide ethical and quality clothing while promoting alternative transportation. Be sure to stop by their shop at Winter Village between November 17 and January 5. Learn more about Dark Cycle Clothing Company and view their shop schedule.

Marketplace News

Waterworks Bar & Grill is now on UberEATS! Order your favorites like the Gasparilla Quesadillas, Tenders and Fries, Tampa Cuban, Spartan Burger, any of our fresh salads and so much more – delivered directly to your door or office courtesy of UberEATS.

Hidden Springs Ale Works unveils a new art exhibit, Changing Seasons, on November 17 during an opening reception from 7pm to closing. Running through January 5, the exhibit will feature the work of nine local artists.

Bizou Brasserie invites you and your family to celebrate Thanksgiving with their Family-Style Dinner. Call to make your reservation today at 813-227-9555.

Cena received a wonderful review by the Tampa Bay Times’ correspondent Justin Grant. Cena is also hosting a wine tasting event on Thursday, November 16 which includes 8 wines and appetizers for $50 per person.

Small Business Saturday is November 25! American Express makes it easy for owners to create customizable marketing pieces for your physical location, online shop, and social media site using their Shop Small Studio.

Duckweed Urban Grocery is hosting a vendor sampling market a their N. Tampa location on Thursday, November 16 from 11am-2pm and 5-8pm where several of their awesome local vendors will be out on the front patio and in the store with free samples of their products. There will be different vendors at each time offering a little bit of everything – including beer and wine!

Port Tampa Bay Opens New Cruise Terminal

Passengers taking Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas out of Port Tampa Bay started their trip in the port’s newly improved cruise terminal 6, which has opened after months of renovation. The terminal is being used by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) as a homeport for its cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas as well. Improvements to the terminal included a 7,277-square-foot expansion of the ticketing area, 32 new ticket counters, 28 new baggage tables and an increase of parking west of the facility. Earlier this year, the port entered into a nearly $1.8 million contract with Tampa builder Reno Building LLC to improve the cruise terminal. Reno is a privately-owned, Tampa-based construction company whose primary focus is on education and medical projects in Florida, according to its website. The project came in on time and under budget at $1.7 million.
“After $1.7M Renovation, Port Tampa Bay Opens Cruise Terminal That Can Handle Bigger Ships”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Dreamers Art Project Evolves

Last Wednesday, the Inside Out Photobooth came to Downtown Tampa to use art as means to show the real stories, faces and supporters behind the DREAMers debate. The response was such that not all the photos taken were able to be hung on the 220 E. Madison St. building. To ensure every photo is presented, the art mural will change as new photos are rotated into the project. Continue to stop by and view the mural wall for exciting changes and to see your photo on display. Learn more about the project here.

Vale Food Co. Opening in Dowtown

It’s undeniable that the foodie scene in Tampa Bay has grown exponentially in the past few years. However, the rise of food options also has also increased the demand for healthy and convenient food alternatives that won’t break the bank. Vale Food Co. is making its way to downtown Tampa and is looking to make healthy eating affordable and accessible. Offering a fast-casual dining experience, diners can enjoy essentially two sides to Vale Food Co. On one side you can build your own bowl from a wide selection of bases, veggies, proteins and sauces. In the mood for Teriyaki chicken with roasted broccoli on top of a bed of quinoa? They got you covered. Or, maybe BBQ braised beef, green beans, and some chipotle mac & cheese is more your speed. Whatever you’re craving, there is a likely an option for you. On the other side of the restaurant is the super foods station. Diners can enjoy açai bowls, poke bowls, nut butter toast, and avocado toast.
“Vale Food Co. Opening in Downtown Tampa”That’s So Tampa


Development and Transportation

Water Street Seeks Improvement District

The Hillsborough County legislative delegation has voted to support the idea of creating a commercial improvement district for the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project being launched by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ capital fund, Cascade Investment. The proposed Water Street Tampa Improvement District would collect assessments from commercial property owners to help pay for, manage and maintain the project’s infrastructure and public improvements. The proposed district would be inside the downtown Community Redevelopment Area and the special services district administered by the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership. Developers say it would not affect the CRA, which diverts the property taxes generated by new development to pay for roads and other public improvements. The downtown partnership’s district staffs downtown with guides for visitors and a clean team that picks up litter and focuses on marketing, business development and issues like transportation.
Hillsborough Lawmakers Back Proposed Improvement District For Water Street Tampa”

Once Micro Units, Now Student Housing

The Tampa developers who proposed the conversion of an aging downtown office building into micro apartments have changed the plans for the property. Urban Core Holdings LLC is now planning to convert the 12-story office building at 220 Madison St. into 48 student housing apartments, principal Omar Garcia said. The original plans, unveiled in April, called for 120 micro units between 300 and 400 square feet. The student housing will be rented on a per-bedroom basis, with a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom units. The building will have a total of 136 bedrooms but only require 48 parking spaces. Bedrooms will range from $769 to $990, depending on the floor. That rent includes water, sewage, trash and electricity. Urban Core Holdings also owns West River Flats, which is 100 percent occupied, largely by University of Tampa students. The 220 Madison project will not be affiliated with any one university.
“Developer Scraps Micro Apartments In Downtown Tampa, Unveils New Plans For 220 Madison”Tampa Bay Business Journal

When Will the Cross Bay Ferry Return

Still waiting for the Cross Bay Ferry to return? It’s going to be a while — say, 2018 at the earliest. The ferry’s supporters, most notably St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, had hoped to bring the boat back for another season after the first six-month trial run ended in April. But lack of regional cooperation and funding, the same things that routinely bedevil Tampa Bay’s transportation system, stymied those efforts. In the end, there wasn’t enough support from local governments — and by support, that means money — to run it again this year.
“The Cross Bay Ferry Won’t Come Back This Fall. What About 2018?”

HART Announces CEO Departure

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has announced that Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan Kelleman will depart the agency after nearly eight years of service, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and a strong foundation for future growth. Eagan joined HART as its Chief Operating Officer in 2009. During her tenure, ridership increased over 20 percent and farebox recovery increased over 25 percent.  She will be starting work for the Pittsburgh Port Authority as CEO beginning in January. Eagan has a background in transit planning and previously worked for transit agencies in Baltimore, Dallas and San Angelo, Texas. She has a five-year contract to replace interim CEO David Donahoe and will earn a base salary of $230,000.
“HART CEO to Lead Pittsburgh Port Authority”Metro Magazine

Member Corner

Corporate Equality Index

Two of our member companies – Carlton Fields and Holland & Knight – join Tech Data Corp. in  scoring 100 percent on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, a survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that rates workplaces on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. The three, which all are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area, were among 13 Florida companies that got perfect scores on the new report, which tracks four key criteria: equal employer opportunity policies, employment benefits, organizational LGBTQ competency and public commitment.
“Three Tampa Bay Companies Earn Perfect Scores On A Report Card For LGBTQ Issues”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Greenberg Traurig Adds to Appellate Practice

Vitaliy Kats has joined the Tampa  office of global law firm, Greenberg Traurig, P.A., as an Associate in the firm’s Appellate Practice. Greenberg Traurig’s Appellate Group has been involved in some of the most important and consequential cases of our time. In recent years, Greenberg Traurig’s Appellate lawyers have played key roles in cases addressing voting rights and election law, federal constitutional law, environmental law, labor law, white-collar criminal law, First Amendment law, real estate law, civil rights law, intellectual property and patent law, and administrative and regulatory law.

University of Tampa to Offer Mental Ilness App

After three students observed the impact of mental illness on UT’s campus, they have joined their cybersecurity professor to begin designing an interactive app for UT students struggling with the symptoms of mental illness. The app is aiming to help students who suffer from mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder, which are amongst the most common mental illness diagnoses on college campuses. The app is expected to be designed and released for UT students as early as fall 2018. Learn more.

Stagework’s Latest Performance Review

Movingly played by Vickie Daignault in Stageworks’ production of the play, written by the real Joan Didion, acclaimed novelist and journalist, and based on her bestselling 2005 memoir of the same title, The stage version of The Year of Magical Thinking is a one-woman show. Just delivering this 90-minute monologue is a feat, and Daignault does it with skill and subtlety. She’s alone on stage, but a few props and a robustly physical performance make the play much more than a lecture. Daignault doesn’t resemble the real-life Didion, but that’s not important — as particular as this story is, it’s even more universal.
Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks”Tampa Bay Times

Around Town

Westshore Close to Landing a Publix

Publix Super Markets Inc. is targeting a former Sports Authority store in Tampa’s Westshore business district. The city has been asked to verify the zoning of that store, which is 37,500 square feet and sits on more than 3 acres. The letter, filed Wednesday by a Miami-based title and research firm, asks the city to address its findings to Publix’s corporate headquarters in Lakeland. The letter lists Publix as the buyer of the property. Zoning verification is typically sought before a commercial property is sold or a financing deal is finalized.
“Westshore Looks Closer Than Ever To Landing A Publix Store”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Tiny Homes Grow in Popularity

Within 240 square feet, built on a 24-foot-long trailer, is a living space with seating area and wall-mounted television, a galley-style kitchen, a bathroom with a shower and a lofted bed. The model, furnished, would sell for about $43,000. A tiny home built on a 35-foot-long trailer would start around $80,000. The custom built homes are made-to-order in St. Petersburg and generally take two or three months to complete.
“Big Demand For Tiny Homes In Tampa Bay Area”

St. Pete Boutique to Open in Hyde Park Village

WS Development, which owns Hyde Park Village, said that Zazoo’d will open its first Tampa location at 1627 W Snow Circle, next to Downtown Dogs, in a 930-square-foot space that was previously occupied by Don Me Now. (Don Me Now is moving to downtown’s Channel district and adding a champagne bar to its retail offerings.) Zazoo’d opened on St. Pete’s Central Avenue in 2013. David Fischer, the owner of the boutique, said he’s been wanting to expand to Tampa for a year. Besides a boutique, Zazoo’d also offers wedding and event services.
“St. Pete Boutique to Open in Hyde Park Village”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Florida Ranks High for Women-Owned Businesses

The Sunshine State is particularly sunny for women-owned firms, according to a new study. Florida had the second-highest growth in the number of women-owned businesses over the past 20 years, according to a study by American Express Open. The number of firms jumped from 338,000 in 1997 to just over 1 million in 2017. The study released Wednesday examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. Tampa Bay ranked No. 11 out of the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest growth, clocking in at 130.7 percent growth from 54,000 in 2002 to 125,700 in 2017.
“Florida Ranks No. 2 For Growth in Women-Owned Businesses”Tampa Bay Times

What an Ybor Rays Stadium Could Look Like

The Tampa Bay Rays stadium saga has been quiet since Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan announced last month that the county had identified its preferred stadium site in Ybor City near downtown Tampa. But that hasn’t kept onlookers from speculating about the team’s future. Tampa architect Joe Toph has created a stadium development concept showing how a stadium might be situated in Ybor. The renderings show a white box housing an indoor stadium. Details are sparse, but a view of the inside of the stadium shows the downtown skyline visible from inside through an expanse of windows.
Here’s What An Ybor City Rays Stadium Could Look Like”Tampa Bay Business Journal

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