Monday Morning Memo

Monday, November 27, 2017

Partnership Presents

Hop on the Winter Village Express

New this year, the Winter Village Express offers a holiday experience aboard a holiday-themed Streetcar. Hop on at Centro Ybor and enjoy treats, music and fun as you travel to Whiting Station. A quick walk along the Riverwalk brings you to Winter Village. Tickets can be purchased at both stations, Whiting and Centro, by credit card or exact change. Round trips are $5 per person. All trips are first come, first serve due to limited availability, so come early! The Winter Village Express runs from 3pm to 8pm on Sunday, December 3, 10, and 17. Learn more at

Celebrating Excellence in Downtown Tampa

Mark your calendars for this 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.

Tampa Downtown Partnership Member Holiday Mixer

Join us on Wednesday, December 6 from 5pm to 7pm for our Holiday Mixer at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. Tampa Downtown Partnership Members are invited for a fun Holiday event to mix and mingle with others who are interested in downtown.  We encourage our members to invite spouses and employees to join for this exciting free event. Ice skating, hors d’oeuvres and a drink are complimentary. Catering is provided by Mise En Place. RSVP to confirm your attendance.

Do the Local Motion December Tours

Do the Local Motion proudly announces their December tours for Friday, December 1 and December 15. Join on December 1 for a tour of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park and on December 15 for their annual Holiday Hop Tour of Trees. These fun and free guided tours provide an opportunity to get out and explore your Downtown community. Tours remain free, however a $5.00 donation is appreciated to help feed a hungry child. All donations benefit Where Love Grows, a local charity. All walks depart at approximately noon from the Poe Plaza Esplanade.

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

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

Through Friday, January 5
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Tampa at the Winter Village presented by USAmeriBank and brought to you by Tampa Downtown Partnership. 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 info, go to Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park.

Urban Excellence Awards 2017

Wednesday, November 29, begins 5:30pm
The Vault
This event celebrates the extraordinary people, businesses, programs and projects that make downtown a great place to live, work and play. Each year, an awards jury representing a cross-section of downtown constituencies selects award winners who have made significant contributions that have made a lasting and positive impact on Downtown. Awardees are honored for their leadership, innovation, hard work, talent, and community spirit. For more information, go to Urban Excellence Awards 2017.

Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, December 1, begins 6pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
The fun celebration of holiday cheer will include a countdown to light the tree with Mayor Buckhorn, followed by a movie in the park. Admission is free, so bring the whole family for an exciting evening. Blankets, low back chairs, coolers and dogs on leashes are allowed. Concessions will be available. For more information, go to Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The Polar Express in the Park

Friday, December 1, 8pm to 9:45pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
The Polar Express will be presented as a free community screening as part of the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Winter Village event. Lawn seating is first-come, first-served, so please don’t forget your blankets or folding lawn chairs. Refreshments will be available for sale from Tampa Theatre and a variety of other Winter Village vendors. For more information, go to The Polar Express in the Park.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Fun Home – Tuesday, November 28 to Sunday, December 3
Red Grant – Thursday, November 30, begins 8pm
Tango Buenos Aires – Thursday, November 30, begins 7:30pm
Patel Conservatory presents A Christmas Carol– Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3
The Florida Orchestra – Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 – Friday, December 1, begins 8pm
Opera Tampa Singers – A December to Remember: A Holiday Extravaganza – Sunday, December 3, shows at 3pm and 7:30pm
China Soul: The Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People’s Republic of China – Sunday, December 3, begins 7:30pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Lady Gaga: Joanne World Tour – Friday, December 1, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks – Saturday, December 2, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: Modern Paws

The Modern Paws offers holistic natural dog and cat food, as well as treats, toys and accessories. Traditionally only found inside Duckweed Urban Grocery (both locations), you can now purchase your pet needs at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park now through January 5, 2018! Modern Paws strives in providing excellent customer service, as well as offering the highest quality of pet products for cats and dogs alike. Their mission is to raise awareness on the importance of pet health and nutrition in the community.  Stop by their POD to get a gift for your pet! View their shop schedule.

Marketplace News

Harbourside Animal Hospital is offering a $75 rebate and $25 credit for future use when you buy a year’s supply of Heartguard and Nexguard.


Fitlife Foods, which opened their first location in downtown Tampa, shared their story of success with Kevin Bouffard of News Chief. Read the story to hear of their inspiration and aspirations.

Cena and Bavaro’s both made the list of Tampa’s best overall restaurants by OpenTable. Congratulations!


New Coworking Space to Open in Downtown

Industrious Office is set to open their new 19,702 square foot coworking space at 401 E Jackson Street, Suite 3300 this December 11. With locations throughout the US, Industrious seeks to offer  a modern workplace with bright glass-walled private offices within a large, beautiful loft space, giving its clients the privacy they need to be productive, but the community to stay invigorated. At close to 20,000 square feet, the Industrious location is a significant deal in downtown Tampa, where the majority of office leases are between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. More office employees mean more customers for downtown shops and residents and potential residents for the residential developments under construction. Looking to schedule a visit? You can book a tour here. View their information sheet with pricing and layout options.

ICYMI: Kress Block Sells for $9 Million

The historic city block containing the old S.H. Kress & Co. department store and a former F.W. Woolworth’s, where 1960s sit-ins led to the peaceful desegregation of the city’s lunch counters, was sold this week for $9 million. The buyer is the Wilson Co., a real estate firm headed by president Carolyn Wilson, who is no stranger to ambitious projects to reclaim old buildings in downtown Tampa. Her company bought and restored the Franklin Exchange building, just two blocks to the south on Franklin Street, after it had been slated for demolition in 1999. That property is now home to the headquarters of the Wilson Co., the Vault, a three-story event space inside the old National Exchange Bank, and CW’s Gin Joint.
“Tampa’s Historic Kress Block Sells To The Wilson Company For $9 Million”Tampa Bay Times

Development and Transportation

Demoliton of Channelside Plaza

The transformation of downtown Tampa is beginning. Demolitions teams have been leveling the southwest section of the Channelside Plaza as the Water Street project is underway. In place of Channelside Plaza’s southwest corner will be an outdoor park. It’ll have concert space, even shipping containers that will essentially be stationary food trucks overlooking the water. The entire six-block area of Water Street will be equipped with the best internet as well as free Wi-Fi. It will also have a central cooling system for air conditioning which will free up roof top space for restaurants, bars as well an acre farm. Construction will begin in 2018 for two new hotels, which will include 680 rooms plus 1,200 residential units plus 300,00 sq. ft of retail space. It is scheduled to be done by early 2021 just in time for Tampa to host the Super Bowl.
“Demolition Begins In Channelside, Paving Way To Water Street”FOX 13

Downtown Development Hits Inflection Point

Earlier this year, Urban Core Holdings LLC unveiled plans to convert a 12-story office tower into 300-square-foot micro apartments. But those plans have been scrapped after a city planner denied the developer’s request to waive parking requirements. Urban Core Holdings will now build 48 traditional apartments — a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom units that will be marketed to college students — because the fees to waive the parking requirement would have added more than $3 million to the project costs, by the developer’s number-crunching.  If the plans had come to fruition, it would have marked a turning point for downtown revitalization efforts, sending a message that the city was catching up to other mid-size cities with reliable public transit and densely populated urban cores. The change in plans, though, is a different sort of symbol, illustrating that Tampa is still very much a city in transition. Revitalization efforts are making progress, but the city still lags many of its peers in terms of urban vibrancy.
“With Micro Apartments Dead, Downtown Tampa Development Hits An Inflection Point”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Kennedy Blvd. and Jackson St. Improvements

On Monday, November 20, the Florida Department of Transportation will began repaving approximately 1.2 miles of SR 60 (Kennedy Boulevard/Jackson Street) and US Business 41 (Nebraska Avenue) in Downtown Tampa this week. As part of the improvements, some parking spaces along the north side of Jackson Street from Ashley Drive to Nebraska Avenue will be permanently blocked and eliminated. Construction activities are occurring during daytime and nighttime hours. Access to driveways and side streets are being maintained. Nightly lane closures are anticipated from 8pm to 6am. For more information or to sign up to receive project alerts, click here.  The $5.7 million project is expected to finish in the summer of 2018.

Activity Heats Up Along N. Franklin

With the sale of the Kress building to the Wilson Co., more deals and potential development are in the works for the North Franklin corridor. Jeannette Jason, a director with Cushman and Wakefield of Florida Inc. in Tampa, has two listings that are under contract: A parcel at 205 E. Fortune St., where Ariel Homes plans to build a 14-unit townhouse development, and 1104 N. Franklin St., which is under contract to a boutique hotel developer. Those deals are expected to close in the coming months.
“With Historic Kress Block Sold, More Deals Are On The Way In Downtown Tampa’s North Franklin Corridor”Tampa Bay Business Journal

HART Unveils Driverless Shuttle

Automated Vehicle technology is changing the way America’s infrastructure is planned and built. Recently, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority selected Stantec to provide Autonomous Mobility Services for the Marion Street Transitway, and during the Florida Automated Vehicle Summit the driverless shuttle prototype was unveiled. Designed and manufactured by COAST, the COAST P-1 Self-Driving Shuttle is a bi-directional vehicle equipped with LIDAR sensors, stereo cameras, GPS, and V2X technology to transport passengers during daytime hours. With redundant safety applications and a ground-breaking electric drivetrain explicitly built for autonomy, the P-1 shuttle has been designed to provide safe, passenger-friendly autonomous transportation.
“HART Unveils Driverless Shuttle Prototype at FAV Summit”

Take a Look Inside Nine15

Downtown Tampa’s newest tower is open, and residents are beginning to move in. Nine15, the 23-story apartment tower at 915 N. Franklin St., had signed 24 leases as of Tuesday, said Heather Couturier, property manager. Nine15 is one of the most significant residential developments in downtown Tampa to emerge in this real estate cycle. It’s a high rise in the downtown core — a departure from the mid-rise projects built in the neighborhoods that ring the city center, like the Channel district and Tampa Heights. Two other projects built in the downtown core, Aurora and Novel Riverwalk (a project proposed as Crescent Riverwalk) are mid-rise, stick-frame buildings. A concrete high rise is much more expensive to build and demands higher rents to make the project profitable.
“Go Inside Nine15, Downtown Tampa’s New 23-Story, $100 Million Apartment Tower (Photos) (Video)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Member Corner

University of Tampa Recognized Business School

The University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business has been named again as a best graduate business school by Bloomberg Businessweek in its annual ranking of 85 full-time U.S. MBA programs. The ranking was based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 10,000 alumni and nearly 10,000 recent graduates. Ranked 78th, the Sykes College of Business did particularly well in surveys of alumni and current students. Only two other Florida business schools — the Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida (48) and the University of Miami School of Business Administration (58) — were included in the ranking. Access the full ranking.

Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Hosts Traffic Skills Course

Bike/Walk Tampa Bay will host Traffic Skills 101 courses in both Tampa and St. Petersburg in early December. The course is taught by League Cycling Instructor and is also a prerequisite for becoming an LCI. The upcoming TS101 classes take place on Dec. 2, in St. Petersburg (location TBA), and Dec. 9 in Tampa at CUTR, located on USF’s Tampa campus. At the end of the class, bicyclists are required to complete a seven-mile road ride to demonstrate their skills. This hands-on part of the experience gives bicyclists the confidence necessary to ride in traffic. They learn how to position themselves in the roadway and remain visible to drivers. Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning for Tampa Downtown Partnership, is a Board member for Bike/Walk Tampa Bay. Click here to register for TS101 today. TS101 is for adults 18 years of age and older. Participants must have a bicycle in good working condition. Helmets are required to participate.

Tampa Bay History Center Unveils Expansion

In just a few months, a 60-foot replica of a pirate ship and maps of Old Florida will be unveiled at the Tampa Bay History Center as its multimillion-dollar capital campaign and expansion nears completion. With 8,500 square feet of new exhibition space, the center is opening with the “Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates and Shipwrecks” gallery, and the Touchton Map Library/Florida Center for Cartographic Education, the latter in partnership with the University of South Florida. It will be the only map library and research center of its kind in the Southeast.
“As Downtown Tampa Evolves, Tampa Bay History Center Unveils Pirate-Themed Expansion (Photos)”Tampa Bay Business Journal

WaVE Embraces Diversity

Six of the 13 tech companies that will be getting an extra growth boost from Tampa Bay WaVE are owned or led by women, and four of the 13 companies have minority co-founders. The diverse group of tech leaders chosen for WaVE’s accelerator program runs counter to national trends, which show many major tech companies struggle with diversity. Women make up at most 30 percent of leadership roles, while blacks and Latinos are represented at a much lower rate than their U.S. population, according to a recent report by Recode, a Vox Mediapublication. WaVE, a Tampa nonprofit that services and houses growing startup companies, committed to helping women entrepreneurs when it won a $50,000 prize from the U.S. Small Business Administration last month. There were almost 100 applicants for the new group of startups that will be in WaVE’s Accelerator Build program, which works to help entrepreneurs transform their ventures into sustainable businesses.
Diversity Among WaVE Startups Shows A New Face For Tech In Tampa Bay”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Around Town

Copa Airlines Increases Panama Flights

Panama’s Copa Airlines, which four years ago became the first airline to offer service between Panama and Tampa Bay, said it is increasing its nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and Panama City to daily flights starting in July 2018. Expanded Copa service will grow from four days a week to daily flights, providing “a better and more frequent connection to Central and South America,” the airline stated. Daily flights will especially benefit business travelers in Tampa Bay and have an economic impact of $33.8 million annually, the airport said.
Copa Airlines To Fly Daily Nonstop From Tampa To Panama Next Summer”Tampa Bay Times

Florida Tourism Sets Records

Despite Hurricane Irma, Florida hit another record high number in tourists visiting the state in the first nine months of this year. Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, said 88.2 million visitors came to the Sunshine State so far in 2017 through Sept. 30. That’s the highest number ever in that time frame and represents a 3.3 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Of those tourists, 77.6 million came from domestic markets, 7.9 million came from overseas and 2.7 million came from Canada.
“Irma Did Not Stop Tourists From Setting Record Visits To Florida So Far In 2017”Tampa Bay Times

CSX Train Derails, Causes Molten Sulfur Leak

A CSX train transporting hazardous materials derailed in Lakeland early Monday morning, causing molten sulfur leak. Firefighters in Polk County are investigating the crash, which caused approximately nine train cars to derail in the area of Kathleen and Strickland roads. Crews responding to a medical call observed several train cars rolled over and mangled, according to Polk County Fire Rescue. No injuries were reported. Residents in that area are being asked to stay indoors, close windows, turn off air conditioners and monitor their children.
“CSX Train Derails In Lakeland, Causing Molten Sulfur Leak”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Tampa Ranks Best for Retirees

According to a study conducted by, Tampa is ranked number 7 among the top places to retire in America. They scored the 50 largest U.S. metro areas for their: health care quality; tax burdens; crime rates; living costs; weather; public transportation; cultural amenities (things to do); percentage of the population over 65; and the overall well-being of seniors, as measured by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.
Which Are The Best Cities For Retirement? Which Are The Worst?”

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