Monday Morning Memo

Monday, November 6, 2017

Partnership Presents

Save the Date for Urban Excellence Awards

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 29 for our Urban Excellence Awards! 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. We hope to see you there! Please send sponsorship inquiries to Kimberly Finn.

Cutting the Ribbon to Welcome the Holidays

On Friday, November 17, Tampa Downtown Partnership will be cutting the ribbon to welcome a new season of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park, presented by USAmeriBank. Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk as Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is transformed with the sights, sounds, and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages. Come to skate on Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink (yes, it’s real ice!), taste the spirit of the holiday season with specialty drinks and treats, or peruse the Winter Village Shops featuring 10 boutiques from local makers and purveyors offering a gift idea for everyone on your list.  New this year, the Winter Village Express offers a holiday experience aboard a themed Streetcar. Hop on at Centro Ybor or Whiting Station and enjoy treats, music and fun as you travel. A quick walk along the Tampa Riverwalk brings you to Winter Village. Also new this year, Winter Village has partnered with Tampa Theater to present their Winter Classic Series in the Great Lawn on Fridays and Saturdays from November 17 through December 16. Check out for hours and more information!

Groomed for Leadership

This past weekend, our Director of Marketing and Communication, Kelsy Van Camp, attended a two-day leadership seminar for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Titled PRSA Quickstart, the seminar provides training for Ms. Van Camp’s role on the PRSA Tampa Bay board through presentations from PRSA members involved on the national level, the sharing of best practices, brainstorming, inspiration, and networking. Ms. Van Camp’s dedication to improving her skills as a PR practitioner confirms that our Tampa Downtown Partnership team is dedicated to being the best in their role while serving Tampa’s Downtown.

Ping Pong Thursdays

Up for a game of ping-pong? Show us what you’ve got!  Tampa’s Downtown Guides will be available each Thursday from noon to 1pm in Lykes Gaslight Park to take on a game of ping-pong with anyone willing.  It’s FREE, so come out and have some fun. Make your friends jealous by taking a selfie as a player or a spectator and be sure to tag @tampasdowntown on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – our Guides are very photogenic too! Also, don’t forget that our Guides are here to help with car and bike issues, as well as give you a tip for a great place to grab a bite to eat.

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.

The Great Gatsby Party

Saturday, November 11, begins 7:30pm
Henry B. Plant Museum
This fabulous evening includes live music, games of chance, fabulous food, an open bar, and a photo opportunity with a vintage 1929 Bentley. Put on your best 1920s clothing and enjoy a party worthy of Jay Gatsby. Black jack and roulette will be offered, and 1920s menus from the Tampa Bay Hotel will be used to create a unique culinary selection. Proceeds will support the conservation and preservation of the museum collection, as well as community programs. For more information, go to The Great Gatsby Party.

2017 Four Nations Cup

Sunday, November 12, begins at Noon
Amalie Arena
This hockey competition will be a key component of Team USA’s preparation for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, while also showcasing the sport at its highest level. Attendees will witness the 2017 Four Nations Cup third-place and championship games. See the stars of the next year’s Olympics before the games even begin! For more information, go to 2017 Four Nations Cup.

Spin Stretch Serve

Sunday, November 12, begins 4pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Enjoy an evening of sweat and service to raise funds for The Exalted Warrior Foundation. Your ticket ensures your reservation on a bike for a spin class lead by instructors from SOHO Cycling and CycleBar South Tampa, followed by a yoga session lead by instructors from Kodawari Studios and Yoga Downtown Tampa. Post-workout food and drinks will be provided by Mise En Place. All attendees also receive a complimentary yoga mat and swag bag. For more information, go to Spin Stretch Serve.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Latin Nights – Thursday, November 9, begins 9pm
Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound – Thursday, November 9, begins 7:30pm
The Florida Orchestra – Marvin Hamlisch & More – Friday, November 10, begins 8pm
Ben Folds: Paper Airplane Request Tour – Saturday, November 11, begins 8:30pm
Tampa Bay Symphony “Black Forest Cake” – Sunday, November 12, begins 2:30pm

Playing at Jobsite Theater

The Threepenny Opera – Through Sunday, November 12

Doing Business in Downtown

Retail Spotlight: R. Wolf Fine Jewelry & Watches

The Winter Village Shops feature 10 boutiques from local makers and purveyors offering a gift idea for everyone on your list. This “pop-up” holiday shopping experience features decorative goods, apparel, handmade toys, jewelry, dog accessories, and more! Thanks to the generous support of PODS® Moving and Storage, each Winter Village Shop is held in a PODS® container in a market-style layout. Visitors are encouraged to shop at the various boutiques during their visit, all while enjoying a beautiful view of the Hillsborough River.

CW’s Gin Joint Opens Downtown

CW’s Gin Joint joins an exclusive list of placemaking restaurants including Ulele and Le Meridien by opening in the ground floor of The Franklin Exchange Building (633 North Franklin Street) in Downtown Tampa. Already it’s hopping, thanks to a retro/chic interior overhaul, significant list of craft cocktails, and impressive French-inspired menu, including an early favorite: portobello mushroom fries. The restaurant also boasts live piano performances to pair with the impressive menu and cocktail offerings.
“From Blank To Swank: CW’s Gin Joint Opens In Downtown Tampa”83 Degrees

Tampa Theater Kicks Off Six-Week Restoration Shutdown

Starting Monday, Nov. 6, the $6 million project to renovate the historic Tampa Theater will begin in earnest as crews start removing all 1,410 seats in the auditorium, demolish the 1976 concessions stand, and scaffold the lobby to work on the signature “atmospheric” night-sky ceiling, rooftops and gargoyles. The official kick-off to Tampa Theatre’s six-week Restoration Shutdown will begin at 10am with brief remarks from Tampa Theatre CEO John Bell, Jed Ellis of Evergreene Architectural Arts, and local elected officials.

Gasparilla Parade Community Meeting

The City of Tampa will be hosting a community meeting on Monday, December 4, at 6:00 p.m. at the Kate Jackson Recreation Center, located at 821 South Rome Avenue, Tampa 33606 to discuss this year’s Gasparilla.  Various City staff as well as parade organizers will be in attendance. If you are unable to attend in person, please send any questions or concerns now via email to, in an effort to address them during the night of the meeting and get back to you with a response accordingly.

Pop-Art Comes to East Madison

On Wednesday, November 8, a public art tour in support of DACA/Dream, is coming to 220 East Madison Street. The project, titled Inside Out/Dreamers, is bringing award-winning street artist JR’s photo booth truck across the country to give members of the community an opportunity to take a photo and participate in a local art installation in support of the DREAM act. The point of the project is to use art as means to show the real stories, faces and supporters behind the DREAMers debate. The InsideOut/Dreamers project is an opportunity to leverage the unique power of art and give local groups a strong platform to help show support in local communities. Learn more about the project here.

Development and Transportation

Downtown Tampa Autonomous Mobility Service Project

Last week, HART announced it has selected Stantec to provide Autonomous Mobility Services for the Marion Street Transitway. HART is responsible for providing public transportation service within Hillsborough County, including the City of Tampa. The Autonomous Mobility Service project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). This project is the first continuously operated shared autonomous project in the United States that will function in an open environment on public roads with mixed traffic. The self-driving shuttle will be equipped with advanced technology and connected vehicle technology to transport passengers along the corridor during daytime hours. This pilot program will operate in conjunction with the broader HART public transportation network.

Driverless Shuttle Coming to Tampa

A shuttle without a human driver is going to be riding around the streets of downtown Tampa fairly soon. It will be the first of its kind in the entire country to be driving daily among regular traffic. The new shuttle’s route will only be about 1 mile in length, connecting the popular N. Marion Street Bus Center to the other side of downtown Tampa. By staying on Marion Street, and limiting hours to daytime, the autonomous shuttle will have only limited interactions with other drivers, since Marion Street is limited to other HART buses during daytime hours. The new shuttle is being unveiled next week at an AV technology conference in Tampa. HART hopes to have it up and running in time for Gasparilla weekend early next year, the same weekend as the NHL All Star Game at Amalie Arena.
Country’s First Full Time Driverless Shuttle Coming Soon To Tampa”ABC Action News

Downtown Tampa’s Channel District Continues to Evolve

Channel Club, comprised of a new Publix and 21-story apartment tower, is one of the most anticipated and closely watched real estate developments in all of Tampa Bay. In 2008, as the real estate market crashed, Mercury Advisors pulled back from plans to build a condo tower on the site. As the market recovered, other projects, like Pierhouse and Skyhouse Channelside, broke ground and welcomed tenants while the Channel Club site sat dormant. It began construction in late 2016, nearly a year after Publix publicly committed to the site, when Mercury Advisors closed the financing deal for the project. QDI, a Tampa logistics company, is preparing to move its corporate headquarters to the Channel district, into a street-level space in Grand Central at Kennedy. QDI’s deal will bring 250 employees to the neighborhood, and a new hotel is in the works just two blocks from the Channel Club. Both the Publix and the apartment tower are about a year away from completion, slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.
With New Publix A Year From Completion, Downtown Tampa’s Channel District Continues To Evolve”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Kennedy Blvd. and Jackson St. Construction Project

Repaving is set to begin from west of Brevard Ave. to Meridian Ave. along Jackson St., Kennedy Blvd., Nebraska Ave., and SR 60. The $5.7 million project will also include sidewalk and drainage upgrades, a new two-way protected bike lane  (a.k.a. “cycle track”) on Jackson Street and an upgraded traffic signal with a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Jackson Street and Governor Street. This project will be constructed in segments throughout downtown Tampa. Visit FDOT Tampa Bay’s website for more information.

Member Corner

Emera Announces Leadership Changes

Emera Inc. announced today, Nov. 6, that Nancy Tower will become the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tampa Electric upon Gordon Gillette’s retirement on Nov.30. During her 20 years with Emera, Tower has held a variety of senior corporate and operational roles. Most recently she was Chief Corporate Development Officer (2014 – present) for Emera and was instrumental in making the TECO transaction happen.  She previously served as CEO of Emera Newfoundland and Labrador (2011-2014) and Chief Financial Officer for Emera (2005-2011). Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 750,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Rampello Opens Application Window

Rampello Downtown Partnership K-8 Magnet Schhool has opened their application window for the 2018-2019 school year. Rampello is 100% magnet which means all of our students must apply through the Hillsborough County Public Schools Magnet/CHOICE Program Office. All students must apply online. They also have a Verification of Downtown Employment requirement. Visit their website for more information and to apply. This magnet school has a cultural arts and humanities focused curriculum, and makes use of the surrounding downtown area for field trips and other experiences with their partners: Tampa Downtown Partnership, Patel Conservatory, University of Tampa, and Big Brother/Big Sister. They also use AVID strategies school-wide, and they are an “A” rated school by the Florida Department of Education. The school mostly serves families living or working in the downtown Tampa area, but all are welcome to apply.

Mission Max Updates from HART

Starting October 8, riders were able to take Route 60LX from Brandon to the airport in under an hour, Route 34 every 20 minutes, or HART HyperLINK for $1 to/from a designated transit connection. Since August, 102 members of the HART street team have spent over 514 hours across the county handing out over 10,000 flyers and over 6,000 schedules to prepare patrons. This is just the beginning for Mission MAX, part of the 10-year Transit Development Plan to build a stronger system. HART continues listening to input for long-term planning and short-term tweaks. Visit for more information about the changes, and plan your trip on the new network with OneBusAway or Google Maps.

TBARTA’s Regional Transit Feasibility Plan

The Regional Transit Feasibility Plan continues to make progress, having completed Steps One and Two of the process to evaluate opportunities for premium transit within the urbanized areas of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. The schedule is defined in two phases. The first is a three-step process to identify where the best connections are located, the best type of transit to serve those connections, and an implementation plan that identifies the catalyst project or projects that could be the starting point for building regional transit in the Tampa Bay area. The second phase will vet the Draft Implementation Plan with the public through a comprehensive and intense community outreach effort. View the full update.

Hillsborough Nears Completion of Storm Debris Collection

With the help of residents, contractors, and Public Works staff, Hillsborough County has nearly reached its goal of collecting the remaining storm debris left by Hurricane Irma. County crews and contractors have worked seven days a week since Sept. 18 to remove more than 460,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris along nearly 4,400 miles of roadway. With completion near, the County is encouraging residents still needing debris pickup to register for collection by Nov. 13. View the full announcement.

UT’s Business School Receives Accolades

The Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa was named as an outstanding business school by the Princeton Review, for the 12th year in a row, and it was also listed in the top 267 business schools in the world. The college offers not only both graduate and undergraduate programs in business, but also accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and cybersecurity. With the Huizenga Family Foundation Trading Center, over a thousand data ports and high speed WiFi, and centers for leadership, ethics, and entrepreneurship, the Sykes College of Business is one of the best places to earn an MBA.

Around Town

Metropolitan Ministries ‘Holiday Tent’ Opens

Metropolitan Ministries ‘Holiday Tent opens for donations today, November 6.  It is the 21st year for the charitable organization to serve families this holiday season. The Tent is located just west of the Nebraska Ave. and E. Cass Street intersection in downtown Tampa. Organizers expect 18,000 families to come to the holiday tent for help with Thanksgiving and/or Christmas this year. The families will come for food and gifts.
“Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent Opens In Tampa For Donations”ABC Action News

Hyde Park Village Parking Changes

More parking is coming to Hyde Park Village after Tampa City Council approved Thursday an agreement with developers in the district to share revenue from parking meters in the new on-street spaces. Hyde Park Village owner WS/CIP II Tampa Owner LLC invested $7 million in street improvements and bringing sidewalks and the trees within the city’s rights of way up to current Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The revenue sharing is expected to reimburse the private company about $2 million over the 10-year agreement. The agreement adds 43 new parking spaces on Swann Avenue, South Dakota Avenue and Snow Avenue.
“Parking Changes Coming To Tampa’s Hyde Park Village Area”Tampa Bay Business Journal

Luring Film Production to Tampa Bay

The public incentives that helped lure major productions to Florida, as well as the infrastructure they helped grow, have faded away. But there’s still money to be made on small-scale pursuits, people in the industry say — chiefly, commercials and independent films. Florida is entering its fourth year without the state tax incentives that major productions insist upon, losing out on an estimated 50 projects and a billion dollars in economic impact, the trade association Film Florida estimates. To help grow the market, the Tampa film commission — a branch of the county’s tourism board Visit Tampa Bay — will continue its own local incentive program to the tune of $500,00 a year. Production companies that spend at least $100,000 here on a project can receive 10 percent back in cash rebates from the fund.
“Hillsborough Will Think Small Rather Than Give Up On Luring Film Productions”Tampa Bay Times

Tampa International Airport Installs Art

As part of the Tampa International Airport’s multibillion dollar expansion, $3.2 million is for new public art that will enhance the sometimes-frantic travel escapade to create a unique experience for travelers that will leave a positive reflection on their view of Tampa. An international call for art was issued in August of 2015, resulting in an impressive 753 national and international entries. Margaret Miller, Director of the Contemporary Art Museum at USF, helped guide the operations alongside the Public Art Committee, a group made up of airport staff members as well as art officials throughout the Tampa Bay region — including Dr. Seth Pevnick from the Tampa Museum of Art and the previous director of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete. Dr. Kent Lydecker, among others — for a reputable collection. The entries were whittled down to 50 artists and artist-teams to submit a more in-depth proposal. From here, nine artists were selected to create one unique piece for their specific location.
“New Public Art Arrives At Tampa International Airport As Part Of Major Expansion”83 Degrees

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