Monday Morning Memo

Monday, October 15, 2018

Partnership Presents

Celebrate Excellence in Tampa’s Downtown

Join us on November 29th at Armature Works as we celebrate businesses, organizations, individuals, events, and projects that have made significant contributions toward creating a unique, vibrant, and diverse downtown environment – and have made a lasting, positive impact on Downtown Tampa. Kari Goetz, Vice President of External Relations for the Florida Aquarium, returns at Emcee for this fun and honorable event. Each year an awards jury representing a cross-section of Downtown constituencies selects award winners honoring the leadership, innovation, hard work, talent and community spirit. The evening’s program includes networking, dinner, and an awards ceremony where winners will be announcedRegister today!

Get the Details on All for Transportation

All for Transportation is the community-led effort that put a referendum on the November ballot asking voters to fund a wide range of solutions to our County’s greatest shortcoming – traffic congestion and lack of transit options. With an additional 700,000 people expected to move to our County over the next 30 years, we need transportation solutions. Because a community that cannot move is a community that cannot grow, the referendum calls for more funding for transportation all over the county on things that make getting around more efficient. Spending based on community priorities and substantial independent oversight will ensure the funds are spent properly. This is a movement led by the grassroots that touches every citizen who rides, walks and drives in Hillsborough County. The Tampa Downtown Partnership supports All for Transportation because we deserve transportation that moves for all. View this fact sheet for quick statistics.

Tampa Heights Joins Tampa’s Downtown Services District

Thank you to everyone who joined for our expansion celebration on October 1st which kicked off at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park. Here is coverage of the event from 83Degrees Media. “For the first time in 24 years, Downtown Tampa’s Special Services District expanded this month to include part of the burgeoning neighborhood of Tampa Heights. Founded in 1994, the District offers services like beautification, business development, transportation, and marketing for businesses within its territory. With the inclusion of the Tampa Heights North Franklin Street business district, the Special Services District now stretches from the corner of Platt Street and North Boulevard to East Columbus Drive and Central Avenue. The Tampa Heights businesses requested to be included in the District in 2017. The expansion was approved by the City Council in August of 2018.” Read the full story.

Free Fitness Five Days a Week

Tampa’s Downtown now has five days of free classes in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park! Fitness enthusiasts can enjoy yoga on Sunday, VKNG Drip on Monday, Zumba on Tuesday, Bamboozle Fit Club on Wednesday, and barre on Thursday. All classes are free and welcome to all! Be sure to bring water and expect to get a great workout from experienced instructors from around Tampa. Weekday classes begin at 6pm and conclude at 7pm while Yoga on Sunday begins at 5pm during Daylight Savings and 6pm the rest of the year. Learn more about the classes here.

Winter Village is One Month Away

The sights, sounds, activities and tastes of the holidays begins in Tampa’s Downtown with the opening of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Friday, November 16! The Tampa Downtown Partnership brings back open-air ice skating (yes, it’s real ice!), waterfront dining, the Winter Village Express, holiday shops, free movie screenings, and much more thanks to partnerships with the Tampa Theatre, HART, and many others. Stay tuned as we make announcements through the Winter Village website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page. We look forward to ushering in the holidays!

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 #TampasDowntown

3rd Thursdays

Thursday, October 18, begins 6pm
Grand Central at Kennedy
Enjoy some gourmet food truck fun paired with independent short flicks and live music! Pour House and City Dog Cantina provide micro brews and tasty cocktails. Over ten gourmet food trucks will be on site, offering everything from burgers to vegetarian bites and much more. This is a spectacular way to spend a Thursday evening in Downtown Tampa! For more information, go to 3rd Thursdays.

Tampa Pig Jig

Saturday, October 20, 1pm to 10pm
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
An annual fundraiser event hosted on Downtown Tampa’s beautiful waterfront featuring live music, great food, a BBQ competition, drinks, and games. This event benefits the NephCure Kidney International, the only non-profit organization committed to supporting research, improving treatment, and finding a cure for the debilitating kidney disease FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and Nephrotic Syndrome. This year’s music lineup includes Chris Young, Riley Green, and many more. For more information, go to Tampa Pig Jig.

Live for 24 Foundation 5K/Mile Fun Run 2018

Saturday, October 20, begins 8pm
University of Tampa
Participants in this fun event are welcome to run, walk, or stroll their way through campus on a scenic 3.12 mile course which includes a segment along the Hillsborough River. A separate 1 mile fun run will also be offered. Participants will receive a T-shirt and certificate with registration, and top finishers will receive medals. A family friendly post-race event will be held at Pepin Field, which will include food, refreshments, music, bounce houses, and local vendor tents. Race proceeds will help The Livefor24 Foundation support youth athletic and educational programs in the Tampa Bay area and award student scholarships. For more information, go to Live for 24 Foundation 5K/Mile Fun Run 2018.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Edgar & Emily by Joseph Mcdonough – Through Sunday, November 4 (On Stage at Jobsite Theatre)
The Play That Goes Wrong – Thursday, October 18 to Sunday, October 21
Patel Conservatory presents The Addams Family, A New Musical – Thursday, October 18 to Sunday, October 21
Brian Kilmeade – America: Great from the Start – Friday, October 19, begins 7:30pm
Jeremy Stolle – Saturday, October 20, begins 8:30pm
The Magic School Bus – Saturday, October 20, begins 2pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes – Tuesday, October 16, begins 7:30pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings – Thursday, October 18, begins 7:30pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Mandy (2018) – Monday, October 15, 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Kusama: Infinity (2018) – Tuesday, October 16, 7:30pm to 9pm
Office Space (1999) – Wednesday, October 17, 7:30pm to 9pm
Tea with the Dames (2018) – Thursday, October 18, 7:30pm to 9pm
Ghosts of Tampa Theatre Tour – Friday, October 19 to Tuesday, October 30
PAUSE-O-WEEN – Friday, October 19 to Tuesday, October 30
Hi Noon, Goodbye Dr. Paul (2018) – Friday, October 19, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – Friday, October 19, 9:30pm to 11:30pm
All-Day Nightmare – Saturday, October 20, 10am to 10:30pm
Corpse Bride (2005) – Sunday, October 21, 2pm to 4pm
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – Sunday, October 21, 4:30pm to 5:45pm
The Brides of Dracula (1960) – Sunday, October 21, 7pm to 8:30pm
The Brides Wore Blood (1972) – Sunday, October 21, 9:45pm to 11pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Downtown Business Spotlight: Surf and Turf Café

Surf and Turf Truck started in 2013 in Philadelphia. Since then, the food truck enjoyed success in the industry including being named in the top 100 Food trucks in the country for the last 3 years and being the only food truck featured on Travel Channel’s, “Food Paradise”, Surf and Turf episode.  Owners Adam and Beata Browne made the move to Tampa in August 2015.  Their reputation caught the attention of the now famed Armature Works HPM and they were selected as the first to occupy the “rotating food truck stall”, and served more than 17,000 customers in the 4 months there! Surf and Turf has catered over 200 weddings and launched the brand successfully in 3 different markets in 5 years. You can visit their location in Tampa’s Downtown at 101 N. Franklin St. Be sure to try the lobster roll and follow them on Instagram, facebook and twitter!

Embassy Suites Begins $20M in Renovations

To the make-overs going on around the Tampa Convention Center — $40 million at the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina and $30 million at the convention center itself — add $20 million in renovations at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Convention Center. Work began in August on upgrades to all 360 rooms, plus the hotel’s lobbies, meeting space and the launch of a new “beverage-centric” restaurant called Taste. All guest rooms will be redesigned and refurnished, with new fixtures, local artwork, granite bathroom countertops and LED high-definition televisions with screens no smaller than 55 inches. The Maryland-based interior and architectural design firm Streetsense is overseeing the project, expected to be completed in December.
“Embassy Suites Near Tampa Convention Center Launches $20 Million Renovation”Tampa Bay Times 

Hall on Franklin Debuts Two Concepts

Restaurateur Dan Bavaro and two chefs from Streamsong Resort will debut new concepts at The Hall on Franklin, a food hall in Tampa Heights. Bavaro will open Sorellina — Italian for “little sister” — in the hall. Sorellina’s menu is an abbreviated version of Bavaro’s Pizza, the woodfired pizza concept in Tampa and St. Petersburg. It will serve pizza, pasta and Italian classics like bruschetta and meatballs. Mark Traugutt and Alfonso Duron, chefs at Streamsong Resort, will launch their first entrepreneurial venture in the Hall: Fork & Hen, a chef-driven soul food concept with whole fried chickens, pimento macaroni and cheese and Key West pickled shrimp.
“Hall on Franklin To Bring In Two New Vendors As Tampa Restaurateur Dave Burton Shutters His Concepts There (Photos)”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Straz Announces New Parking Opportunities 

For the past year and a half, the Straz’s Parking Task Force has been working diligently with the City of Tampa and private partners to improve the Straz Center’s parking opportunities. The Straz Center has secured 319 parking spaces in the Novel Riverwalk garage that will be available to guests every Monday-Friday after 6pm and all day every Saturday and Sunday. Straz guests can pre-purchase parking at the Novel Riverwalk Garage for select events at the current special rate of only $7.17. Please visit here to see if pre-paid parking is available for your event. For themBroadway season*, guests can park at Armature Works (1910 N. Ola Avenue) and enjoy the river by taking an exclusive, Straz-only Pirate Water Taxi to The Straz. Parking at Armature Works is free Monday-Thursday. On Friday-Sunday, parking is $5.00, but guests will receive a $5.00 voucher to be used for food or drink at any of the vendors within Armature Works (1 voucher per vehicle). In addition, guests can present their show tickets to receive a free appetizer at Steelbach restaurant (1 appetizer per couple, reservations required) or a free drink at Fine and Dandy. Round-trip fare on the Pirate Water Taxi is $6.00 per person. A full list of parking options and map can be found on the parking page of the Straz’s website at

Accardi Brothers Add to Portfolio

The Accardi brothers have added another property in downtown Tampa to their real estate portfolio. Twins John and Jason Accardi, who own and operate Seven One Seven Parking Services Inc., have acquired the Le Meridien parking garage at 603 E. Cass St. for $2 million, according to Hillsborough County property records. The seller, Tampa Hotel Holding LLC, paid $950,000 for the property in 2013. The site is .38 acres, and the building itself is 15,982 square feet. The property, once known as the Spencer Building, was built in 1911. It’s now used as parking for Le Meridien Tampa, a downtown hotel in the former federal courthouse.
Accardi Brothers Buy Another Prime Property In Downtown Tampa”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Development and Transportation

Cross Bay Ferry May Berth at Florida Aquarium

Passengers boarding the Cross Bay Ferry may have to go to a different location other than the Tampa Convention Center when it launches in November.  HMS Ferries Inc., the operator of the ferry that will relaunch its service connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa, is seeking to use a portion of a Port Tampa Bay berth that The Florida Aquarium currently uses to moor its vessel, the Bay Spirit II. That’s about a five- to 10-minute drive from the convention center. The operator is requesting to use Berth 271 as the Tampa Convention Center, its Tampa terminus, undergoes renovations and will not be done in time for when the ferry’s seasonal service will start in November.  Service for the HMS passenger ferry will run through April 30, 2019. The Cross Bay Ferry was going to carry passengers from the Tampa Convention Center to the Vinoy Marina in St. Pete.
“Cross Bay Ferry May Share Berth With Florida Aquarium As Convention Center Undergoes Renovations”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Tampa Museum of Art to Expand

Talk of expanding and renovating the Tampa Museum of Art along Tampa’s Riverwalk has been ongoing for 12 years, but the timing is finally right to start the project. Tomor said the museum was meant to be built in two phases. The current building, built in 2010, was the first phase.  Now a second phase would address some of the building’s aging problems, including the storage facility being at capacity and problems with leaky roofs and flooding during inclement weather. The museum wrapped up a six-month-long analysis on the master plan and reached out to more than 25 architectural firms. Now it has a shortlist and will start the interview process. Expansion and renovations will be funded the same way the museum funds its operational costs — through philanthropy, individual and corporate foundations and government funding. The amount of the entire renovation was not disclosed as the feasibility of the project is ongoing.
“Tampa Museum Of Art Paints Plans For Future Expansion, With New Event Space And A Kitchen”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Developer Pays $2M for Possible Townhouse Site

Ariel Homes has closed on two vacant parcels of land at 205 E. Fortune St., between North Franklin and North Tampa streets. The builder paid $2.15 million for the property, which is around 18,000 square feet. The group is planning 14 four-story townhouses on the site with open rooftop decks, according to plans filed with the city. The homes will range from 1,600 to 3,000 square feet and be priced from the $700,000s to $1.2 million, a representative from Ariel Homes said Tuesday. The deal is significant on two fronts: Developers have only recent started to test the market for for-sale residential projects in downtown Tampa. The urban core’s most recent building has been driven by apartments and the demand for rental units. The sale is also the second large real estate transaction in that area of downtown Tampa in less than a week. In late September, a restaurant group purchased Fly Bar’s real estate for $3.4 million or more than $1,000 per square foot.
“Developer Pays $2 Million For Future Townhouse Site In Downtown Tampa (Renderings)” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

A New Era of Transit Begins for the Streetcar

The vision for the future is grand, but the free rides start now. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority hosted a ribbon cutting Friday at Dick Greco Plaza downtown to mark what it calls a “New Era of Transit” for the TECO Line Streetcar System. The vintage cars serving downtown, the Channel District and Ybor City now run along 2.7 miles of track with 11 stops, connecting people to work, events, restaurants, sporting events, activities and entertainment. But the streetcar will also play a role “in the broader transportation network of Tampa,” said HART’s interim chief executive Jeff Seward. The line figures in long-range plans for a transit system linking the University of South Florida, downtown and Westshore. Money raised in a proposed countywide sales tax hike on the Nov. 6 ballot would help pay for the work. The Friday ceremony also marked the start this week of free rides and expanded service aboard the trolley, made possible by a $2.7 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. The cars will run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Previously, the fare was $2.50. The changes give rise to a new streetcar motto, as well: “Free. Fun. Frequent. Totally Tampa!”
“Free Rides for Now, Hopes of A Bigger Future For Tampa’s Streetcar Line”Tampa Bay Times

Member Corner

Take HART to Tampa Bay Buccaneers Games with the MVP Express

Starting Sunday, November 11, 2018, the new HART MVP Express will take fans closer to the action at Raymond James Stadium for select Bucs home games. Four park-n-ride locations are available, and the roundtrip cost is only $10 per person. Service starts at 10:30 a.m. for 1:00 p.m. kickoffs, with return service beginning in the fourth quarter and continuing for two hours after the game ends. Get to the Game.

FMoPA Photography Benefit Sale Call for Entries

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is now accepting submissions to its annual Photography Benefit Sale. The benefit sale gives FMoPA members the chance to display and sell their work within a museum setting, and it gives museum visitors a rare opportunity to view—with the option of purchasing—work produced by local photographers. To participate in the benefit sale, photographers must become or already be a member of FMoPA. To become a member and participate in the benefit sale, visit  Members can submit their work now through Nov. 30. There is no limit to the number of pieces each member can submit. There is a small manipulation fee of 10 cents per square inch of the wall space occupied by each piece (example: an 8-by-10-inch framed photograph will cost $8). Get more information here.

Application Period for Rampello Downtown Partnership School

The application period for the Rampello Downtown Partnership School is right around the corner! From October 26 through December 31, parents have the opportunity to enter the lottery. The school has once again earned an A grade and are a wonderful option for all families that live, work, and play in Downtown Tampa. This is the link for applying to Rampello with the School District of Hillsborough County. Parents who work in Downtown receive an extra spot in the lottery. Access this link if you live and/or  work in Tampa’s Downtown. Both will be active during the application period which is from Oct.26-Dec. 31st. Results of the lottery will be sent via email in February.

TECO Public Art Gallery Final Exhibition 2018

TECO Public Art Gallery proudly presents local artist Candace Knapp in Luminous Passages, a Solo Exhibition that opens November 2 through January 2, 2019.  With a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Candace is known to many of us locally for her sensuous sculptural work in wood. In Luminous Passages, she shares her newest large-scale paintings with Tampa Bay area arts enthusiasts. Please join artist Candace Knapp on Friday, November 16, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at TECO Public Art Gallery. She will host a Talk & Tour of her exhibition and share thoughts about her work and inspirations. Ms. Knapp will also have copies of her book “Messages from Imaginary Friends” for sale at the event, which is FREE and Open to the Public. The TECO Public Art Gallery is located at 702 North Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602. It is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For information about the gallery, please contact Curator Debra Radke at For information about the artist please visit her website at

Around Town

Medical Device Company Moves HQ to Tampa

Dr. Kiran Patel has invested $60 million in a medical device company that will allow it to pursue clinical testing of new cardiovascular technology — and he plans to move the company’s headquarters to Tampa. Patel, a cardiologist and serial entrepreneur, has backed Concept Medical Inc., which is currently based in Miami and has a manufacturing subsidiary, Envision Scientific Pvt. Ltd., in India. CMI announced the deal last Tuesday. Patel’s investment will support CMI’s request for an investigational device exemption from the Food and Drug Administration for its sirolimus-coated balloon, a new tool for performing coronary angioplasty. The exemption would allow the balloon to be used in clinical studies to collect data on its safety and effectiveness.
“Dr. Kiran Patel Invests $60 Million In Medical Device Company, Will Move HQ To Tampa”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Tampa Named a Top 10 Real Estate Market

For the past four decades, PwC US and the Urban Land Institute have collaborated on an annual survey of real estate professionals around the globe. This year they queried 2,400 pros, who ranked Tampa Bay 10th among 79 U.S. metro areas in overall real estate prospects. And it ranked second in home building, surpassed only by Nashville. What makes the bay area so attractive? One big reason is that housing is a relative bargain, with a median home price of $227,000 compared to $262,000 nationally. Also key to the bay area’s investment appeal: a population increasing by about 1.3 percent a year, almost twice the national rate.
“Tampa Bay Cracks National Top 10 List For Real Estate Investors”Tampa Bay Times

Autonomous Shuttles at USF Becoming Reality

Students and staff at the University of South Florida may soon be able to take a ride in autonomous vehicles to zip around the Tampa campus. The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization sponsored a study on the feasibility of implementing the self-driving transit shuttles on the USF campus. The research would examine travel patterns on campus and look for opportunities to either connect the AV shuttle service with the USF Bull Runner bus or retrofit an existing Bull Runner vehicle. Another purpose of the research would be to identify any legal restrictions to operating an AV vehicle on campus, according to the Hillsborough County’s MPO. The study Pessaro presented stated the goal would be to have a demo period, but the project would need to secure funding. The estimated cost for a 12-month demo for the service of two autonomous shuttles would be $700,000.
“USF Takes Step Forward With Implementing Autonomous Shuttles On Campus”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Sears Files for Bankruptcy

Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 protection early Monday in the US Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, NY. Its plan is to keep certain stores open as it reorganizes operations and negotiates with creditors. As part of its reorganization, the company plans to shift to a smaller store platform. It plans to close 142 stores by the end of the year and will follow through on its previously-announced intention of closing another 46 locations by November. Eddie Lampert is stepping down as CEO. The company says it has lined up $300 million from creditors and is negotiating for an additional $300 million. While the company’s bankruptcy will undoubtedly have an impact on the retail landscape, some landlords are looking forward to the opportunity to lease up the big boxes that Sears will be closing at higher rates.
“Sears Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”

Insured Damage Predictions for Hurricane Michael

CoreLogic projects that Hurricane Michael’s wind and storm surge caused between $3 billion and $5 billion in insured losses across all states the storm passed through. Of that, Florida is expected to account for $2.5 billion to 4 billion. “At this time, it is unlikely that inland flooding will be a major contributor to loss totals, but CoreLogic will continue to evaluate this as the storm unfolds,” the company said in a release Friday afternoon. Its post-landfall estimates include losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. Because many Panhandle residents have not been able to make it back to their homes to take stock of the storm’s destruction, it is too early for most insurance companies to report claims data.
“Report: Insured Damages For Hurricane Michael Pegged At $3B To $5B”Tampa Bay Times

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