Monday Morning Memo

Monday, October 8, 2018

Partnership Presents

Deadline Extended! Nominate for Urban Excellence!

Today at noon is the deadline to nominate your favorite business, organization, individual, event and/or project that has made significant contributions toward Tampa’s Downtown. View a list of all award categories. Nominations can select up to three categories. Winners will be announced on November 29th at the awards ceremony. Link to nomination form.

Urban Excellence Awards –  A Celebration of 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. 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 announced. Register today!

Share Your Thoughts on Tampa’s Downtown: Biennial Survey Now Live

The 2018 Downtown study is now live! In 2008, the Tampa Downtown Partnership launched its first community study for residents and workers. The study and its findings have helped pinpoint and steer focus on the things that Downtowners value most. This has resulted in game changing initiatives over the years including increased river accessibility, new attractions, new modes of transit, the reopening and of the profoundly enhanced Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the addition of dog parks, credit-card friendly meters, new directional signage, new restaurants, and extended retail offerings and operating hours. Since the last survey, the special services district has expanded its boundaries; Downtown Tampa is continuing to grow and improve, and we want to hear from you! We value your input and need your help to understand what it is that you love, or what could be changed. Please take this 9-minute survey to share your feedback and pass the word along! Note: if you live and work in Tampa’s Downtown, please take the resident survey.

What our District Growth Means for Tampa Heights

Thank you to everyone who attended the Expansion tour and celebration on Monday, October 1st. This event marked the growth of our Special Services District into Tampa Heights, opening up more connections and business opportunities. This allows businesses such as Ulele, The Hall on Franklin, and the Rialto Theatre to have enhanced services like the district’s Downtown Clean Team and Guides, beautification efforts, transportation planning, urban design, marketing, and business development. Downtowner ride service also now provides rides to and from Tampa Heights from hubs located in front of the Hall on Franklin as well as Armature Works. Riders will receive notifications through the RideDowntowner app providing instructions on where to meet the vehicles. Businesses will also have access to two grants that total $50,000 per year that are focused on improving storefronts and activating public spaces. The assessment formula for funding the district is based on relative property values. In 1996, property owners set the SSD rate to 1.1 mill or $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which it remains at today. More information on our services is available on our website at

Downtown Debriefing: Stepping Up Our Game

Join us October 30th at Amalie Arena for a discussion on Downtown’s growing sports community. Hear from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sports Commissioner and many more! Hot breakfast and networking from 7:30am to 8:00am; program from 8:00am to 9:00am. Register here!

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

Judgment at Nuremberg

Through Sunday, October 14
Stageworks Theatre
This work from Abby Mann reenacts one of the most important trials in modern history. Ernest Janning, one of the most influential German legal minds of the pre-war era, and other influential Nazis face a military tribunal in the second wave of post war trials at Nuremberg. Issues at the forefront of this trial reverberate through history and challenge humanity to this day. For more information, go to Stageworks Theatre: Judgment at Nuremberg.

Senior Fitness Walk

Wednesday, October 10, begins 9:30am
Armature Works
Lace up those walking shoes and get ready for a fun program with fellow Tampa seniors. This senior fitness walking program gives participants a chance to get out and get fit! Walkers will meet at the tables in front of the market facing the Riverwalk entrance. For more information, go to Senior Fitness Walk.

Seating Innovation Tour

Wednesday, October 10, 10am to 2pm
Lykes Gaslight Square Park
Experience firsthand the innovation behind Herman Miller chairs. Everyone who attends will be eligible to enter a drawing for a Herman Miller High Performance work chair of your choice. For more information, go to SIT Tampa.

Oktoberfest Tampa

Friday, October 12 to Sunday, October 14
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Celebrate all weekend with German cheer, dancing, and toasting to cooler weather and colder beer along the Hillsborough River. This event is a time to unwind, make new friends, learn new customs, and sing a few songs. Friday evening will feature the tapping of the inaugural keg as the doors open for Tampa’s largest Oktoberfest celebration. For more information, go to Oktoberfest Tampa.

Brews By The Bay

Friday, October 12, begins 8pm
The Florida Aquarium
Make a splash at the Aquarium’s annual beer and food festival. Enjoy unlimited beer tastings and food samplings with amazing undersea views at Downtown Tampa’s most unique beer and food event. Live music and bands, including The Spazmatics and a silent disco, will make for an awesome experience! For more information, go to Brews By The Bay.

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Edgar & Emily by Joseph Mcdonough – Wednesday, October 10 to Sunday, November 4
Latin Nights  – Thursday, October 11, begins 9pm
The Naked Magicians – Thursday, October 11, begins 7:30pm
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert – Saturday, October 13, begins 2pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Vancouver Canucks – Thursday, October 11, begins 7:30pm
Romeo Santos – Friday, October 12, begins 8pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – Saturday, October 13, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Downtown Business Spotlight: Empamamas

Local food truck Empamamas joined the vendor list at Armature Works for the Heights Public Market earlier this year. Several empanadas appeared on the soft opening menu and it has certainly expanded over time. It’s hard not to love a pastry turnover that is filled with savory ingredients and then deep fried to perfection. Empamamas does just that and they offer a variety of fun flavors to choose from. Be sure to try the rosemary fries! This is a huge deal for local food trucks and shows their gourmet power!


Surf and Turf Café Opens in Downtown

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!

Fly Bar’s Real Estate Sold for $3.4M

A corporate entity linked to Louis C. Dommer III, one of the investors behind this venture of Nocturnal Hospitality Group, paid $3.4 million for the historic building in a deal that closed in late September, according to Hillsborough County property records. Fly Bar owner Leslie Shirah, who went public with her plan to sell the property on Sept. 5, paid $1.39 million in 2007. Nocturnal is planning to develop a new concept for the building, Mole y Abuela, which will have a Spanish tapas theme. It will be the group’s next focus once Osteria, a rustic Italian restaurant, opens later this month. The building sits on .09 acres and the heated square footage is 3,375. The sales price breaks down to $1,007 per square foot. That’s more than three times the price of retail condominiums on the ground floor of Skypoint.
“Fly Bar’s Real Estate In Downtown Tampa Sold For Red-Hot Price Per Square Foot”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Businesses Invited to Join the Riverwalk Trick or Treat

Friends of the Riverwalk is currently signing up businesses and organizations who would like to participate in the 3rd Annual Riverwalk Trick or Treat. This free community event provides kids in costume and their families an opportunity to Trick or Treat along the Tampa Riverwalk. Have your own station to hand out candy or treats and promote your business to the thousands in attendance at the same time. More information is available here.

Red Bull Takes over Downtown

All month long, Red Bull will be giving wings to workers in Downtown Tampa! Text WINGS to 474747 to request them to swing by your office.

Glazer Children’s Museum Names Interim CEO

The Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa will have a new top executive. Jennifer Stancil, the museum’s president and CEO, has left, sources told Tampa Bay Business Journal. The museum’s contact information for its staff no longer lists Stancil, but has COO Kristen Nieves listed as interim CEO. Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman confirmed that Stancil’s last day at the museum was Sept. 28. Stancil served as president and CEO since 2015, she replaced Al Najjar, who ran the museum for eight years but left in December 2014 to become president and CEO at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia in Charleston. Stancil had previously served as the executive director of education at WQED Multimedia, the PBS affiliate in Pittsburgh. She also held positions with the Carnegie Science Center, McWayne Science Center and Exploris, which is now known as the Marbles Children’s Museum.
“Glazer Children’s Museum CEO Leaves, Interim Leader Named”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Development and Transportation

Developer Plans For-Sale Townhouses in Downtown

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)

St. Pete’s Mayor Eyes All for Transportation Efforts

Mayor Rick Kriseman is keenly interested in the latest attempt to pass a transportation sales tax in Hillsborough County. All for Transportation is campaigning to convince Hillsborough voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund mass transit, road projects and bike and pedestrian improvements. If the referendum passes in Hillsborough, then the mayor wonders if Pinellas should mount a similar referendum on his side of the bay in 2020. Kriseman, who has pushed for a variety of transit projects throughout his time in office, told the Tampa Bay Times last week that he was proud of the recent transportation initiatives in Pinellas: bringing back the Cross Bay Ferry; seeking local, state and federal funding for the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project to link downtown to the beaches; and expanding the downtown Looper. Still, far more needs to be done.
“St. Petersburg’s Mayor Eyes Hillsborough’s Transportation Campaign”Tampa Bay Times

The Heights Developer Considers Grocery Store

The developers of The Heights — a mixed-use project on the northern end of downtown Tampa that’s home to Armature Works — want to add a grocery store to their budding neighborhood. SoHo Capital on Wednesday filed a new site plan with the city that shows a 30,000-square-foot grocery store at the intersection of West Oak Avenue and North Tampa Street. A specific grocery banner isn’t named on the site plan. But that size range puts the developers within striking distance of a number of concepts: Lucky’s Market, Earth Fare and GreenWise Market, the new banner that Publix Super Markets Inc. recently debuted in Tallahassee. Publix also has 30,000-square-foot prototypes of its traditional supermarkets. A spokeswoman for The Heights said Thursday that the filing is “merely a conceptual ‘incremental site plan’ which will allow for the future permitting and construction of a grocery store.”
The Heights Developers Want To Add A Grocery Store” Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Streetcar Goes Fare Free

The streetcar service in downtown Tampa will be providing free rides for the next three years. Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Transportation awarded HART with a $2.7 million grant, so fare-free rides with the TECO Line Streetcar start October 7, and service times will increase from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Extended service hours will be throughout the week. City officials said the primary goal is to add another option for residents, employees and visitors to roam around downtown Tampa, the Channel District and Ybor City. The Streetcar Extension Study from downtown Tampa to the Tampa Heights neighborhood is also being funding by FDOT, but officials are seeking federal funding for further development.  Additional information on streetcar routes can be found on the TECO Line Streetcar website.
“Downtown Tampa Streetcar Eliminating Fares For Three Years”FOX 13

Member Corner

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.

Tampa Bay Rays Buy the Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rays are getting into the soccer business. The team announced Tuesday the purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League, who play their home games at Al Lang Stadium, the onetime waterfront spring training home of the Rays. The sale price was not disclosed. The USL said Rays team presidents Matthew Silverman and Brian Auld will become vice chairmen of the Rowdies. They will direct all aspects of the soccer club, along with Rowdies vice president and chief operating officer Lee Cohen.
“Rays buy Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League”

Treasure Tampa 2019 Grant Cycle Open

Treasure Tampa, an initiative of the Gobioff Foundation that is now in its third year, provides funding of up to $30,000 for a creative placemaking project. The creative placemaking project must happen completely within the City of Tampa (Tampa Map) or the neighborhood served by the University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC Map). Applications are reviewed by a team of business, community, and arts leaders in a two-stage process; (1) the Letters of Interest (LOI) and (2) Applications.  This panel works together, facilitated by The Gobioff Foundation, to ensure that the process is fair and equitable. The panelists use rating instruments created by the Gobioff Foundation at both phases of the review process.  During the decision making process averages of these ratings are used to inform the panel discussion. View the eligibility requirements and get more information.

HART Recognized for Financial Excellence

For the sixth consecutive year, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its FY2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the HART Finance Team. HART’s 2017 CAFR was rated “proficient” in 17 categories, qualifying our regional financial report to be an example for others throughout the U.S. To be eligible for the award, a government unit must meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

Tampa Electric’s Proposal to Protect Employees

Pointing to a need to protect employees, Tampa Electric Co. this week filed a proposal that would allow it to disconnect or refuse service to customers who threaten the utility’s workers. Tampa Electric is seeking permission from the Florida Public Service Commission to move ahead with the proposal. “In recent years, Tampa Electric’s field employees have experienced a number of threats, assaults and harassments made by customers,” said the request filed Tuesday. “Tampa Electric’s Corporate Security Department has documented numerous incidents, including verbal threats as well as threats of physical harm or worse.” Tampa Electric said the Public Service Commission approved a similar proposal for Florida Power & Light in 1996.
“Tampa Electric Pitches Proposal To Protect Employees”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Around Town

Tampa Bay Hits Record in Tourism Revenue

Setting another new benchmark for tourism revenue, Hillsborough County collected nearly $34 million in Tourist Development Tax in the budget year that ended September 30, Visit Tampa Bay is reporting. That amounted to a 10.8 percent jump from the FY17, when the county collected $30.5 million. Ten of the 12 months of FY18 were record months for TDT revenue. TDT funds promote tourism and support major public facilities, including the Raymond James Stadium, Amalie Arena, and Tampa Convention Center. Over the past 12 months, Hillsborough County saw hotel revenues grow 8.5 percent to more than $718 million for the fiscal year with a modest 4 percent rise in the county’s supply of hotel rooms. Revenue per available room (RevPAR), an indicator of hotel profitability, grew 5.8 percent for the 12-month period, according to industry analyst STR Inc. For more information and photography go to

Bayshore Blvd Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Three pedestrian crosswalks will be marked with new signing and striping in the coming weeks along Bayshore Blvd. The crossings, located at S. Delaware Ave., S. Dakota Ave., and midblock between S. Brevard Ave. and W. Swann Ave. will be enhanced with Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs). The new RRFBs are expected to be turned on Wednesday, October 24. These changes are being installed to make pedestrian crossings on Bayshore safer and more conspicuous. When approaching a crosswalk equipped with an RRFB, pedestrians should push the button to activate the flashing lights, check for oncoming traffic, and proceed across the road only when safe to do so. As drivers approach pedestrians in crosswalks, they have an obligation to yield the right-of-way to them. As with all locations, pedestrians are encouraged to exercise caution when crossing Bayshore and motorists should drive defensively. For additional information about the project, please visit

The West Tampa CRA will host the first annual Unity Tampa Historical and Cultural Festival

The West Tampa CRA will host the first annual Unity Tampa Historical and Cultural Festival on Saturday October 13th at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N. Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606 from 10am to 5pm. The event is free to the public and will celebrate the history and cultural diversity of West Tampa, visitors will enjoy food trucks, local entertainment, bounce house, local vendors, lawn games and more. There will also be a special tribute for West Tampa’s own Faith, Hope, & Charity, a popular Disco and R&B Group that had several hits on the Billboard R&B charts.   Please join us for a day of history, culture, and fun.  The West Tampa CRA redevelopment area includes all public and private property located within its boundaries: North – West Columbus Drive; South – South Kennedy Blvd.; West – N. Armenia Ave.; and East – Hillsborough River.For additional information or interest in volunteering, or being a vendor please contact Malcolm Kiner, Manager, West Tampa CRA, at (813) 274-7427 or Tina Young Event Chair, at 813-276-5671.

TIA’s $72M Expansion Project

The e-commerce giant Amazon alongside UPS are ramping up Tampa International Airport’s cargo operations, but will soon need a new home at the airport due to the rapid activity and the airport’s master plan. During the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s board meeting on Thursday morning, the board agreed to hire a firm to design and build a $72.3 million expansion of cargo facilities on 70 acres east of the main terminal.
“$72M Expansion Project, Driven By Amazon And UPS Cargo, Takes Off At Tampa International Airport”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

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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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