Monday Morning Memo

Monday, October 22, 2018

Advocacy Update: The Issues We Support

Tampa Downtown Partnership Members and Community Stakeholders,

Advocacy is a key mission of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. We take great pride in representing our members as a catalyst to facilitate positive change and the development of public policies that improve our collective downtown community.

On Tuesday, October 16, the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the following issues:

All for Transportation

Increased investment in transportation initiatives helps support the live, work, play, and learn environment the Partnership works so diligently to foster.

The Tampa Downtown Partnership believes it is time for Hillsborough County to invest in funding measures that will offer a variety of transportation and transit options to be made available for our citizens. “All for Transportation” is a long-term investment that provides the funding, planning and implementation strategy to take aggressive and responsible action on transportation issues that will improve the quality of life in our community. View more information.

High Speed Rail

A robust intercity passenger rail service between Tampa and Orlando would strengthen and enhance Florida’s position as a global leader in tourism, business investment, and job growth. It would also connect these two major markets and provide seamless integration of employment, entertainment, education and tourism opportunities, as well as provide connectivity to Brightline’s existing and anticipated footprint in South Florida and Orlando. View more information.

Tampa Bay Rays 2020

The Tampa Downtown Partnership believes that the Ybor City site location is the best possible location for a new state-of-the-art ball park.  A new ballpark will help enhance the urban core and allow Tampa Bay to continue to compete with other communities throughout the country as an ideal location for businesses and talent.  The Ybor City location will be easily accessible for the entire region and provide an opportunity for more fans to support baseball and the surrounding businesses. View more information.

Hillsborough County Education Tax Referendum

The Tampa Downtown Partnership believes that investing in education is important for our community and our future. The new funding is necessary to pay for major repairs and to prepare Hillsborough County Schools for the growth in student population. As a community, we understand the importance of support. We encourage other Tampa business and community organizations to show their support for Strengthen our Schools by voting yes to the one-half percent sales tax referendum for Hillsborough County Schools on November 6. View more information.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support of the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

John LaRocca Appointed to Downtown CRA Advisory Committee

John LaRocca was officially appointed and voted on unanimously by City Council to represent the Tampa Downtown Partnership on the Downtown CRA’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC).

Mr. LaRocca has been an active member of the Tampa Downtown Partnership since its inception and is a Past Chairman of the Partnership. He currently serves on the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Chair of the Partnership’s Strategic Initiative, City Center Growth and Expansion.  He is an active member on many of the Partnership’s committees.

Full Bio:

John LaRocca is a Principal/Partner in Murphy LaRocca Consulting Group, Inc.  Mr. LaRocca’s urban planning experience has included work in the areas of comprehensive land use planning and land development code administration in both the public and private sectors.  He has served as lead consultant in a variety of large-scale multi-disciplinary projects for the development community and associated real estate industry.

Urban Excellence Awards Finalists Announced

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!


Activating Spaces:

Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority Pocket Parks Phase 1
Street Car Live by GMF
Downtown Crawlers

Arts & Culture:

Tampa Museum’s Love is Calling Exhibit
The History Center’s New Pirate Ship Exhibit
Pep Rally Inc.


Street Car by HART
2018 Commuter Challenge Week
Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge Historical Marker Ceremony and Unveiling


Two Wheel Bike Valet
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Franklin Street Block Party
2018 Riverfest


Tampa Theatre
Armature Works
The Hall


Don Me Now
Maven Market Channel District

Private Sector:

Wilson Company Collective – Gin Joint
SHUFFLE – The Heights Shuffleboard Society
Tampa Bay Fiber

Public Sector:

Julian B Lane Riverfront Park
Florida Department of Transportation- District Seven Jackson Street
Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership School

Person of The Year:

Leo Rodgers
Abbey Dohring
John Bell

Vote Now for the Tampa Riverwalk

Tampa’s Riverwalk is one of 5 finalists in the People’s Choice of Great Places in America. Cast your vote today! Voting is open through Nov. 2.

“As a vision that took 40 years and six mayors to complete, the Riverwalk has truly transformed this city,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in a news release. “We no longer look at the river as a barrier but as a central gathering place for visitors flocking to Tampa and residents who are rediscovering Tampa’s urban corps. The Riverwalk truly has something for everyone, whether you’re exercising, biking, exploring on a Segway, or using it was a path to get to some of our amazing new restaurants and riverfront parks the newly completed promenade has opened up endless possibilities for Tampa’s future.”

It’s competing against the Uncas Leap Heritage Area in Norwich, Conn.; Katy Trail in Missouri; the Detroit Riverfront in Detroit; and the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

The Hall on Franklin Adds New Concept

Bavaro’s has some very important pizza news to share. The popular Neapolitan pizzeria and pastaria will launch its latest concept, Sorellina, inside Tampa’s Hall on Franklin later this month or in November.

Sorellina isn’t the only forthcoming addition to the European-inspired specialty food hall. Fork & Hen, as the Tampa Bay Business Journal reports, is another newcomer focusing on chef-driven soul food. Both stalls are expected to replace the existing culinary projects from local restaurateur Dave Burton: Heights Melts and Heights Fish Camp.

Xilo Street Mexican hasn’t been up and running at The Hall for that long, either. The chef-owners behind the late Piquant, Rosana Rivera and Ricardo Castro, absorbed the former stall of Kôfē with Xilo over the summer.

According to Bavaro’s founder Dan Bavaro, Sorellina means “little sister” in Italian.

“The menu will be a smaller version of our Bavaro’s menu,” Bavaro said in a statement.

The Hall patrons can look forward to pasta, wood-fired pies and antipasti like heirloom bruschetta and meatballs made in-house. Other menu highlights include a vegetarian version of Bavaro’s vodka sauce and gluten-free pizza dough. To perfect the latter, Bavaro trained under Antonio Langone — a resident of Sorrento, Italy, who won the respected International Pizza Challenge’s gluten-free division — earlier this year.

Bavaro’s was the first in Florida to bake traditional Neapolitan pizza in a 900-degree brick oven imported from Naples. To prepare its dough, the restaurant uses a more than 100-year-old strain of live yeast dating back to a Napoli bakery.

“Our flour is ‘Double Zero,’” continued Bavaro. “This means the flour is milled fine like talcum powder and is all natural.”

The flagship location for Bavaro’s opened in downtown Tampa almost a decade ago, and it wasn’t long before outposts in St. Petersburg and at Tampa International Airport followed. A fourth Bavaro’s is expected to debut in Sarasota by the end of the year.

Sorellina, smaller version of Bavaro’s, headed for Tampa’s Hall on Franklin” – Creative Loafing

Tampa Bay Wave Launches Post Accelerator Program

Tampa Bay Wave, Inc. (Wave), a nonprofit dedicated to building, launching, and growing tech companies in Tampa Bay, officially opened applications for their Post-Accelerator Program due to increased demand by technology companies with proven traction in the marketplace.

Tampa Bay Wave is one of the only accelerators in the world to have a post-accelerator program where later stage companies can leverage benefits as they continue to scale their company. Due to increased demand, Tampa Bay Wave has opened applications for startups who have already reached a mature level and are not seeking a traditional 90-day accelerator program, however, still value ongoing peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities, access to a mentor and investor network, and more.

“Tampa Bay Wave is committed to providing every available resource to our startup companies. The demand for a post-accelerator program is an enormous compliment to the quality of Wave’s services and resources,” said Rich Heruska, Tampa Bay Wave’s Interim Accelerator Director. “We look forward to fueling the companies selected for this program because it addresses a specific goal for our entrepreneurial ecosystem: launching later-stage startups to breakout success in Tampa Bay.”

The Post-Accelerator Program is a cohort focused specifically on companies that would fall into the Launch and Grow segments of Wave’s BUILD-LAUNCH-GROW framework. These are companies that have launched a product or service, have market traction, a minimum revenue/investment threshold, and other criteria that designate them as companies focused on growth.

Post-accelerator services extend the value of the accelerator program but also provide lasting benefits through continued access to our mentor and investor networks, peer support, member-exclusive discounts and additional programming. Additionally, each company the program will be assigned to a dedicated Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) who will guide them through the program, providing counsel and connections to other critical resources.

Wave’s accelerator program is the only Florida-based accelerator program accepted into GAN, a highly curated community of independent accelerators, partners, and investors that create opportunities for startups around the world to access the human and financial capital they need. GAN membership allows Tampa Bay Wave to work with leading industry players and to offer its startups international opportunities of training and networking.

The Wave Accelerator program launched in March 2013 and typically runs two-three cohorts per year in addition to their Build, Launch, and Grow post-accelerator segments. The current TechDiversity accelerator cohort is Wave’s seventeenth cohort and comprises 10 companies, all of whom are led by diverse teams.

Applications for the Post-Accelerator Program officially opened on August 15, 2018 and will close on September 15, 2018. The program is scheduled to run in the fall of 2018.

To apply to the Post-Accelerator program, or to learn more, visit

Salvation Army to Sell Off Parts of Tampa Heights Property

The Salvation Army has had a presence in Tampa Heights for more than six decades, offering food and shelter to the needy in buildings along Florida Avenue. Now the charity plans to shrink its footprint in the up-and-coming neighborhood, with the goal of expanding services there.

The organization announced plans this week to sell three properties north of Interstate 275, tapping the value to transform an existing headquarters into a full-service shelter.

“God calls us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination, and that can happen better if we open up these assets to the community and take the income and put it into our mission,” said Capt. Captain Andy Miller III, the group’s Tampa area commander.

The sales would free prime real estate in a neighborhood in the midst of a transformation sparked in part by the extension of the city’s Riverwalk.

One property is the Red Shield Lodge, a three-story, 23,000-square-foot building at the corner of Henderson and Florida avenues that houses an emergency shelter for men and women. The lodge has 150 beds, but there is funding to fill only about 120 of them, Miller said. The aging building is also expensive to maintain.

The plan is to renovate the headquarters across the street to create a shelter with a capacity of about 180 beds. That would allow the charity to expand the program if funding permits. Zoning allows for 40 beds, so adding more would require the city’s blessing. The headquarters, at 1603 N Florida Ave., would also continue to house administrative offices.

The other two properties in flux are a vacant lot just north of the headquarters and a warehouse two blocks south, at 1428 N Florida Ave.

“In Tampa, Salvation Army will shrink so it can grow”Tampa Bay Times

Channelside Drive Design Project

Public feedback invited on Channelside Drive design alternatives.

The public is invited to view and provide feedback on the proposed design concept alternatives for Channelside Drive on November 7, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. The community meeting will follow the Channel District Community Redevelopment Agency Citizens Advisory Committee meeting.

The City‘s project team created the Channelside Drive alternatives using ideas from the May 21, 2018, community meeting for the project as well as discussions with private stakeholders and government agencies over the summer. Existing and future conditions along the project corridor, such as the width of the public right-of-way, were also key considerations in developing the design alternatives.

The upcoming community meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to view display boards showing different street designs and options for Channelside Drive in the area generally south of East Cumberland Drive to East Kenney Boulevard. The project team will present the proposed alternatives, other options, and study findings that played a role in shaping the alternatives.

Channelside Drive is envisioned to better serve the neighborhoods within and around the Channelside District Community Redevelopment Area and the district’s numerous visitors. “The City envisions improvements that make traveling the street safer and more comfortable, especially for people on-foot,” said Rob Rosner, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency manager. “Safety, mobility, accessibility, and vibrancy are the keys to realizing the district’s potential to transform itself into a signature Tampa urban neighborhood.”

Community Meeting #2 – Channelside Drive Design Project

Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Port Tampa Bay Board Room

1101 Channelside Dr

Tampa FL 33603

Visit the project webpage

For more information on the Channelside Drive design project or the community meeting, contact Rob Rosner, Community Redevelopment Agency Manager, Economic and Urban Development Department, City of Tampa, or (813) 274-8812.

CrossBay Ferry Returns Nov. 1

The Cross-Bay Ferry returns Nov. 1 with lower ticket prices and voyages that sail later for dinner-time and evening-out trips to Tampa and St. Petersburg.

One-way fares will be $8 for adults — $2 less than during the ferry’s first season two years ago — with discounts for children, seniors, college students and active or retired military.

The service will run Tuesday through Sunday, dropping Mondays, which had poor ridership, in favor of later hours. The idea is to allow passengers to have dinner or catch a hockey game across the bay and still catch the ferry home.

Because of construction on both sides of the bay, the ferry also will have new locations for its docks.

In St. Petersburg, the ferry will dock at the North Yacht Basin. The dock, roughly at 418 Bayshore Drive NE, is near Straub Park and the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort. The cheap option for parking, Turanchik said, will be at the SunDial garage, which will offer a shuttle to the ferry terminal. With proof of a ferry ticket, parking there will be free.

In Tampa, the ferry will dock behind the Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, because of construction at the Tampa Convention Center. The board of Port Tampa Bay voted Tuesday to approve the berth and waive dockage charges and passenger fees.

“Cross-Bay Ferry returns Nov. 1 with lower prices and later voyages”Tampa Bay Times

Downtown Calendar

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.

UNDead in the Water

Through Saturday, October 27
American Victory Ship
An interactive disturbing attraction featuring brain and heart-eating zombies who have taken over Tampa Bay. Step aboard the dark and eerie WWII 1945 American Victory Ship to escape the infestation. Then make your way to safety by walking cavernous decks, multi-level ladders, chilling hallways, ghastly Captain’s Quarters, the ominous engine room, and more terrifying spaces throughout the route. Remember, zombies must feed for energy and can survive on land or sea. You’ve been warned… For more information, go to UNDead in the Water.

Fourth Friday

Friday, October 26, 4pm to 10pm
Downtown Tampa and Ybor City
When the sun goes down, the streets of Tampa and Ybor will light up with music, laughter, art, friends and FREE fun. This evening of special offerings and programs by cultural venues, restaurants, and more takes place on the fourth Friday of every month! For more info, go to Fourth Friday.

Tampa Riverwalk Trick or Treat

Saturday, October 27, 4pm to 7pm
Tampa Riverwalk
Kids in costume along with their families are invited to Trick or Treat along the Riverwalk as part of this FREE community event. Stations are hosted by local businesses and organizations that will be handing out candy and treats to children in costume. At the conclusion of the event, there will be a free family-friendly Halloween movie in Water Works park hosted by Friends of Tampa Recreation! For more information, go to Tampa Riverwalk Trick or Treat.

An Eerie Evening at the Tampa Bay Hotel

Saturday, October 27, begins 7pm
Henry B. Plant Museum
See the Museum in moonlight as you’ve never seen it before and hear creepy tales from days long past. Learn about spirit photography and create your own haunting image. Victorian mourning and funeral customs come to life as eerie entities roam the halls. Period lighting and candles set the stage for true stories of death, homesick soldiers, and poisons. Lantern light will flicker off the walls as visitors travel to the brink of a shadow world. Don’t miss a photo opportunity in a vintage wheelchair, and look closely at historic photographs to see if you can spot any spirit visitors! For more information, go to An Eerie Evening at the Tampa Bay Hotel.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Edgar & Emily by Joseph Mcdonough – Through Sunday, November 4
Griffin House – Monday, October 22, begins 7:30pm
Opera Tampa Singers in The Witching Hour – Friday, October 26, begins 7pm
The Florida Orchestra – Evening at Bach’s Coffeehouse – Friday, October 26, begins 8pm
Broadway Ball 2018 – Saturday, October 27, begins 6pm
Broadway Ball After Dark – Saturday, October 27, 8pm to Midnight
Toast of Tampa Show Chorus: Standing Room Only – Sunday, October 28, begins 3pm

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Ghosts of Tampa Theatre Tour – Through Tuesday, October 30
PAUSE-O-WEEN – Through Tuesday, October 30
Hotel Transylvania (2012) – Monday, October 22, 3pm to 4:30pm
Psycho (1960) – Monday, October 22, 6pm to 8pm
Eaten Alive (1976) – Monday, October 22, 9pm to 10:30pm
A Quiet Place (2018) – Tuesday, October 23, 6pm to 7:30pm
Hereditary (2018) – Tuesday, October 23, 8:30pm to 9:30pm
Teen Wolf (1985) – Wednesday, October 24, 7pm to 8:30pm
An American Werewolf in London (1981) – Wednesday, October 24, 9:30pm to 11pm
The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) – Thursday, October 25, 7:30pm to 9pm
The Cat and the Canary (1927) – Friday, October 26, 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Phantasm (1979) – Sunday, October 28, 5:30pm to 7pm
Hocus Pocus (1993) – Sunday, October 28, 2pm to 3:30pm
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) – Sunday, October 28, 8pm to 9:30pm

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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.

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