Board Member Spotlight: Joe DeLuca
Joe DeLuca joined the Times in 2001. He is a vice president of the Times Publishing Company and is publisher of both the Tampa edition of the Times and tampabay.com. He has overall responsibility for leading strategic growth initiatives in Hillsborough and central and east Pasco counties, and he also serves as publisher of tbt*, the Times’s weekly young reader publication. In addition to those responsibilities, Joe’s current leadership portfolio also includes Consumer Marketing, Operations and Distribution. Joe has broad newspaper experience beginning his career as a sports writer and general assignment reporter for Imprint Newspapers, where he later held the positions of Copy Editor, Circulation Manager and Operations Manager. In the Tampa Bay community, Joe is currently a member of the regional board of directors for the Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, where he is board secretary, and he has been a classroom instructor for the JA public high school Success Skills and Financial Literacy programs. He is a member of the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s board of directors, and the steering committee for the Clutch Hitters of Tampa Bay and the board of directors for the Tampa Bay Times Fund. He is also a member of the Florida Press Association board of directors and a past board chair.
Our Services are Expanding October 1
On Monday, October 1, 2018, Downtown Tampa’s Special Services District (the “SSD” or “District”) will expand for the first time since it was created in 1994. The SSD was created to provide enhanced safety, maintenance, business development, beautification, planning and urban design, transportation, marketing, and other management services (the “Special Services”) in Tampa’s Downtown. See the SSD Map. In 2017, property owners in Tampa Heights requested the provision of Special Services be extended into their area. In response to these requests and the growth of Tampa’s downtown and adjacent neighborhoods, City Council approved the expansion on Thursday, August 23, 2018. The SSD was initiated by property owners and is funded by a special assessment on properties located within the District. Through a contract with the City of Tampa, the Tampa Downtown Partnership provides the Special Services in the SSD. The District will continue to be funded in the same manner the SSD has been historically funded. The assessment formula for funding the District is based on relative property values. In 1996, property owners agreed to set the SSD rate to 1.1 mill or $1.10 per $1,000.00 of assessed property value.
Save the Dates for Our Fall Debriefing Series
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 25 and Tuesday, October 30 as we kick off our Fall Debriefing Series! In September join us for a conversation on Transportation: What’s to Come (register here!)and then in October we will discuss Sports & Downtown: Making the Connection. The Downtown Debriefing Series features four breakfast events annually, focusing on important development issues that impact Downtown including topics such as the Downtown Residential Experience, the importance of smart planning, sustainability, arts and culture, transportation Initiatives, City of Tampa updates, and other important issues. All Debriefings begin at 7:30am with networking and conclude at 9am to get you back to your workday. We are currently seeking sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring our Debriefing Series, please contact Lindsey Parks or Ivy Niven!
Be a Part of the Magic
Help the Tampa Downtown Partnership spread holiday cheer with our newest endeavor, lighting up Curtis Hixon Park. Our goal is to immerse patrons in a 360 degree choreographed music and light show to your favorite holiday tunes. Do you want to be part of the magic? Contact Rachel Radawec at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this exciting opportunity and how you can be a part.
Downtown Security Network Series: Join Us!
Our Panel Series is approaching! The Downtown Security Network (DSN) was formed in 1994 in an effort to make downtown Tampa a safer and more inviting place for workers, residents and visitors. Through the DSN, the Tampa Downtown Partnership works together with the Tampa Police Department to develop close working relationship with downtown businesses, companies, property owners, employees and residents. One of the most important rolls of the DSN is to disseminate vital information to the network’s 4,000+ members. To do so, we put together a quarterly series of the most current safety topics and scenarios. Our first series topic is “Leading the Efforts: From the City Center to the County” and is being held September 20 from 7:30am until 9am at the Tampa Fire Museum. Attendees will learn how our local emergency responders coordinate and communicate during a large-scale emergency event. Moderator Chauncia Willis will lead our panelists through a terrorism-based scenario and ask discussion questions to learn each agency’s response protocols and how they coordinate, work with, and assist one another. Register today!
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
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Through Sunday, September 15 Jobsite Theater The gold glitter standard of queerglam rocker musicals, Hedwig and the Angry Inch follows German immigrant-turned-transgender-Kansas-trailer-park-wannabe-rock-goddess Hedwig Robinson during one life-changing night of her musical act. Full of TMI, towering go-go boots and cult hits, this campy romp reveals the blistering realities of self-acceptance that defy gender identity. For more information, go to Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
A Mysterious Conversation: Mystery Writing Panel
Monday, September 10, begins 6:30pm Oxford Exchange Take in a mystery writing panel with Amy Stewart, Mario Giordano, and Elly Griffiths. What would Constance Kopp, Auntie Poldi and Ruth Galloway talk about over happy hour? Find out when authors Amy Stewart (Kopp Sisters Series), Mario Giordano, (Auntie Poldi Series) and Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway Series) come together for a mysterious conversation and book signing. Wine, beer, and light fare will be available for purchase. For more information, go to A Mysterious Conversation: Mystery Writing Panel.
National Drive Electric Week Celebration
Wednesday, September 12, begins 11am Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Join us to celebrate National Drive Electric Week and learn all about electric vehicles and sustainable transportation options in Hillsborough County. There will be electric and hybrid vehicles on display, as well as electric vehicle charging stations and charging equipment demonstrations. Plus enjoy alternative transportation exhibits and information about Hillsborough County’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for residents. For more information, go to National Drive Electric Week Celebration.
St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer
Saturday, September 15, begins 8am Amalie Arena Join supporters in communities across the nation during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month for this family-friendly event. This active event raises funds to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children s Research Hospital, where families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. For more information, go to St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – Monday, September 10, 7pm to 8:15pm Surrender Only To One (2018) – Tuesday, September 11, 7:30pm to 8:30pm Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) – Wednesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 13 Where Hands Touch (2018) – Friday, September 14 to Tuesday, September 18 Sing-Along The Greatest Showman (2017) – Saturday, September 15, 8pm to 9:45pm
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
Crossover for Christ – The Musical starring Ginger Minj – Through Sunday, September 16 Crack-Up Cancer – Saturday, September 15, begins 8pm
This Week at Amalie Arena
Scorpions – Friday, September 14, begins 8pm 15th Anniversary Freestyle Explosion Concert – Saturday, September 15, begins 7:30pm Nick Cannon: Wild ‘N Out Live – Sunday, September 16, begins 8pm
Downtown Business Spotlight: CW’s Gin Joint
CW’s Gin Joint is a throwback to a time when fine spirits were savored in a casual atmosphere that exuded style and gentility, without pretentiousness. Where notable and obscure liquors added a warmth and refinement to any conversation. You’ll find that our revival of that urbanity mirrors that of our preserved and restored urban space in downtown Tampa. Equally impressive is the team of experts CW (owner Carolyn Wilson) has brought together to build a delightful and delectable menu, creating the perfect pairings for our choice libations and fine food. CW’s Gin Joint is a place where style and grace have an attitude. Whether it is your first destination or your sole destination, we promise to make each visit like that wonderful moment when you sip something rare, and savor it.
Bolts 4 Packs On Sale Now
The Lightning are excited to offer fans a chance to experience Lightning hockey through the new Bolts 4 Pack. Fans can select from 4 different package options to cheer on the Bolts during the first part of the 2018-19 season. Plus, fans will receive a signed puck from one of the following players: Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, Ryan Callahan, Ondrej Palat or Tyler Johnson. Starting as low as $30 per game! One autographed puck per account (while supplies last). Pucks can be picked up at the Lakewood Ranch Client Service Lounge Monday through Friday 9am-5pm or game nights. Purchase here.
Florida Aquarium is in Growth Mode
Florida Aquarium President and CEO Roger Germann can’t help but see the momentum of new developments take place around the aquarium, creating an opportunity to invest more in itself and become a bigger destination. “We are in a growth mode and looking to continuously improve how we operate and engage our audience,” Germann said during a sit-down interview with the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “We are going to keep investing in our facility. We believe that in order to grow, take advantage of all the things happening with Water Street, and if we want more bricks and mortar to bring more people in from a tourist and economic standpoint, and mission, we have to make sure our house is in order.” “You’re going to see a lot more investment in making us feel more modern, updated,” Germann said. “Florida Aquarium To Bring New Life To Closed Exhibit” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Precinct Pizza Closes Permanently
Precinct Pizza has endured a lot — the Great Recession, ineffective landlords and a Republican National Convention that turned the area around Channelside Bay Plaza into a no-man’s-land that reminded owner Rick Drury of the movie Escape from New York. But Precinct Pizza will not survive Channelside’s transformation into Sparkman Wharf. On Tuesday, September 4, Drury announced via Facebook that Precinct Pizza was closing its Channelside location permanently. Their lease was not renewed. On its Facebook page Tuesday, the restaurant had a message for customers: “Thank you everyone for making Precinct Pizza of Channelside the busiest independent pizzeria for the last three years in Florida. Please come and support us at our Cross Creek location,” which is at 10970 Cross Creek Blvd. in New Tampa. “Precinct Pizza Loses Its Lease And Closes As Channelside Bay Plaza Turns Into Sparkman Wharf” – Tampa Bay Times
Franklin on Twiggs Opens in Downtown
Downtown Tampa dwellers have another place to go for a quick bite to eat. Next-door neighbors with The Anchor Bar, Franklin on Twiggs popped up at 514 N. Franklin St., where Pita Pit formerly operated, this past weekend. The new Franklin on Twiggs is an eatery and market specializing in grab-and-go meals. But luckily, guests can take a seat at one of the chalkboard tables if they wish to dine in — or, you know, unleash their creativity. Salads, tacos, poke and hot bowls are on the eatery and market’s menu. The Pork Islander, for example, tops slow-cooked pork — seasoned and seared — with cabbage, pico, Cheddar Jack and “sista lizzy sauce” on a bed of white rice. “Franklin On Twiggs Debuts Grab-And-Go Meals In Downtown Tampa” – Creative Loafing
Fly Bar Closes, to Relocate Next Year
Fly Bar & Restaurant will close its 1202 North Franklin Street location with plans to relocate to the growing Downtown Tampa/Channel district. The location on Franklin Street will close at the end of service on Friday, September 28. A property deal between Fly Bar & Restaurant owner Leslie Shirah and a Downtown development company behind The Franklin Manor, Osteria Bar + Kitchen, Mole y Abuela and a fourth venue to be disclosed at a future date, provided Fly an opportunity to relocate to Tampa’s burgeoning Downtown Tampa/Channel district. The soon to be announced new location is a slightly more intimate space that will maintain the integrity of the original Fly brand. Additionally, the current management team including Fly’s Chef, Beverage Director and General Manager will remain with the company. For additional information, please visit flybarandrestaurant.com.
Riverwalk Place Reveals New Renderings
The developers of the 53-story Riverwalk Place in downtown Tampa have released new renderings on the cusp of a sales push that will begin in October. The tower, which is proposed at the intersection of Ashley Drive and Brorein Street along the Tampa Riverwalk, includes 205 condominium units beginning on the 22nd floor. Prices range from the $600,000s to $2 million. The units are stacked on top of office space, and the tower also includes space for restaurants and retail that open on to the Tampa Riverwalk. Riverwalk Place is a joint venture between Feldman Equities LLC, which has offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg, and West Palm Beach-based Two Roads Development. Feldman is handling the office portion of the tower; Two Road is overseeing the residential units. While a sales center is under construction in the Wells Fargo Center, “there are quite a few people who have put down money for reservations,” Reid Boren, managing partner of Two Roads, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “53-Story Riverwalk Place, On Cusp Of Big Sales Push, Reveals New Renderings” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Water Street Tampa Unveils Office Tower Plans
Water Street Tampa on Thursday unveiled the “work” part of its live-work-play vision for Tampa with a pair of 19- and 20-story office towers — billed as downtown’s first such “trophy” office buildings in 26 years. Add in another 180,000 square feet of loft-style offices at Channelside Bay Plaza, soon to be renamed Sparkman Wharf, and the result will be about a million square feet of Class A office space coming on the market, though not all at once. The developer, Strategic Property Partners, says it has spoken to prospective tenants that could need a total of about 1.5 million square feet of space in either Sparkman Wharf or the 20-story tower. SPP is exchanging lease proposals with companies on about 500,000 square feet, split between the two projects. And of those early prospects, about one third each is local, from elsewhere in Florida, or national, from which SPP expects to attract most of its future tenants. While not all of Water Street Tampa’s office space would come on line at the same time, it is still a significant addition, even in a healthy market that hasn’t seen new construction in a long time. “Water Street Tampa Plans Downtown’s First New Office Towers In Decades” – Tampa Bay Times
Hillsborough Transit Tax Referendum Clears State Audit
A referendum that would add a penny sales tax to fund transportation improvements in Hillsborough County has cleared a mandatory audit conducted by the state Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability. Hillsborough County posted the results of the audit on their website Thursday, which were required to be completed and made available to the public by the end of the day on Thursday. In the audit, OPPAGA gave good scores to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and the county “have sufficient policies and procedures in place” to address the requirements in state law and that the ability to “ensure the newly acquired surtax dollars are appropriately spent” on transportation projects. Additionally, the audit noted that Hillsborough County administrators handled the half-cent Community Investment Tax well and that it’s “not unreasonable” to expect the same results with the transit tax. HART was also singled out for how its administered past grants, with auditors saying the transit authority “is prepared to take reasonable and timely actions to implement new services and projects.” “Hillsborough Transit Tax Referendum Clears State Audit” – Florida Politics
Survey Shows Support for Brightline in Tampa
In a non-scientific Tampa Bay Business Journal survey that asked, “Would you ride high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando?” more than 84 percent of the nonscientific survey takers said yes out of 1,157 total responses, with less than 10 percent saying no and maybe. The majority of the survey takers who answered yes commented that the main reason for wanting it would be convenience. Interstate 4, which has been named the most dangerous highway in America, is still undergoing a $2.3 billion expansion project slated to be finished in 2021. The survey takers also spoke about their interest in having a connection to the major theme parks in Orlando and also, about coming to Tampa to see the Tampa Bay Rays. The survey also revealed a lot of support for a potential stop in Lakeland and how it would benefit many of the survey takers as they live in the Tampa area and work along the I-4 corridor. Brightline has not yet identified what sites in Tampa it is considering for a station. The company is waiting to learn if it will win the bid to lease the right of way along I-4 from Orlando to build and place its rail system. That decision is expected in November. “How Tampa Bay Views Brightline’s Proposed Orlando-To-Tampa Route, Impact For I-4” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Burr & Forman Welcomes New Associate
Burr & Forman LLP announces the addition of Tampa-based associate Patrick Reid, who joins the firm’s Intellectual Property and Cybersecurity Practice Groups. In his practice, Reid assists clients in developing strategies to identify and protect inventions and technology, and to defend their associated rights, as necessary. Reid has more than 100 U.S. patent applications, 83 issued utility patents, 31 issued design patents and 126 federal trademark applications, including 61 registered federal trademarks. He served as an associate trial counsel in several federal litigations, and has experience performing infringement analysis and briefed decisions in case law. For more information, visit the firm’s website at www.burr.com.
September Specials at Watervue Grille
Every Sunday 10:30am to 3pm receive a complimentary signature cocktail with the purchase of an entree. All you have to do is say you saw it on the Downtown Tampa Partnership e-blast. Sip and Savor – Monday – Saturday from 5pm to 7pm $2 off drinks and appetizers. View the full menu.
Communication Positions Available for Hillsborough Co. Schools
Hillsborough County Public Schools is now hiring for seven communications positions. All employees are expected to demonstrate regular and predictable attendance; to support the District’s vision, mission, goals, and Strategic Plan; to engage in civility, respect, and professionalism; and to maintain the professional knowledge and skills necessary to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. School Board Policy ensures equal opportunity for all in its personnel policies and practices and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender preference, political beliefs, social and family backgrounds, disability or age. The District accords preference in selection, retention, and promotion procedures to certain veterans and spouses of veterans who are Florida residents. Full job descriptions are available here. Apply here by searching for the job title.
Patel Provides Ballet Shoes, Lesson
About 90 students in kindergarten through fifth grade attending Patricia J. Sullivan Partnership School were sized for ballet shoes on Sept. 6. Every student at the school is taught ballet through a partnership with the Straz Center. The class is considered a PE credit and is taught, at no charge to students or the school, by Patel Conservatory ballet instructor Siomara Bridges-Mata. The ballet shoes are also provided by the Straz Center. Students attending Sullivan are primarily residents of Metropolitan Ministries homeless shelter. Sullivan is one of 51 community partners in the Straz Center Education Community Partnerships Program this academic year. Each year, the conservatory works with under-served area schools, agencies and community organizations by providing high-quality individualized performing arts programming and/or tickets to shows at the Straz.
Tampa Bay Wave Turns Focus to Later-Stage Startups
Tampa Bay Wave, a Tampa nonprofit that services and houses growing startup companies, is starting a post-accelerator program for technology companies with proven traction in the marketplace. The new program was prompted by increased demand, a release from Wave said. The move comes as Tampa Bay economic development, government and civic leaders work to expand the technology sector, along with the high-skill, high-wage jobs that often come with tech companies. It’s a sign that Tampa Bay’s technology community is growing up. Wave serves three categories of companies — those in the earliest stages, the “build” program for companies working on building a minimum viable product; the “launch” phase for companies that are validating their business model and strategizing ways to create traction; and the “grow” phase for companies looking to scale their business and raise funding. The launch and grow segments are part of the post-accelerator program, a spokeswoman for Wave said. “Tampa Bay Wave Turns Focus to Later-Stage Startups” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Machinery Company Relocates HQ to Tampa
Automated Industrial Machinery, Inc. (AIM), a premier CNC wire bending machine supplier serving customers worldwide, today announced that it will relocate its headquarters from Addison, Ill. to Hillsborough County. The company will hire 45 local employees and invest more than $4 million in the building purchase, renovations, equipment and machinery. Founded in 1992, AIM Inc. has grown to become the premier CNC wire bending machine supplier serving customers worldwide. The latest in technology wire bending equipment manufacturing is coming to Florida: AIM Inc. manufactures two- and three-dimensional CNC wire bending machinery for customers in more than 58 countries. AIM manufactures 48 different models serving the automotive, aerospace, military, medical, point-of-purchase display, refrigeration, food service, agricultural and storage industries. AIM purchased a 52,900-square-foot building located at 14101 McCormick Drive in Tampa. The two companies plan to hire 45 local employees for a variety of positions ranging from engineering, sales, marketing, administration, component manufacturing, and assembly with an average salary of $58,000.
Storefronts In Westshore Marina District Take Shape
The developer of Westshore Marina District is betting that experience can beat e-commerce, building a village-style retail center in the heart of the new development. BTI Partners, based in Fort Lauderdale, is the master developer of the district. BTI is also developing three condo towers within the district as well as the retail space. After selling off several tracts to residential builders and seeing high demand for its own condos, BTI shifted its focus to the retail portion of the district in June. The district’s town center includes 22,050 square feet of retail; a waterfront parcel fronting Gandy Boulevard can accommodate a 10,000-square-foot restaurant. The ground floor of the first condo tower, Marina Pointe, has 10,000 square feet of retail, and another parcel, along Gandy Boulevard, will be home to 15,000 square feet of retail and office space. “Storefronts In Westshore Marina District Take Shape As A Retail Village, Where A Developer Hopes Experience Can Beat E-Commerce” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Cost of Living Hits New Low in Tampa
The Tampa metro area scored a cost of living index of 88.3 during the second quarter of 2018 – the lowest score ever since the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation started tracking it in 2000. The cost of living in Tampa, according to the latest Cost of Living Index (COLI) report, is nearly 12 percent lower than the national average index of 100. Compared to other major U.S. markets measured in the report, Tampa had the lowest index in housing and the second lowest index in both utilities and miscellaneous goods and services. Raleigh, N.C. and Jacksonville, Fla. tied for the second lowest overall cost of living in the U.S. at 91.7. The composite index score is based upon individual scores for items including groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, which are all weighted differently. Tampa’s lowest score was in housing, where the area came in at 71.1. For more information about the area’s Cost of Living scores, please visit the Tampa Hillsborough EDC’s Data Center: http://tampaedc.com/quality-of-life/.
Red Tide Arrives in Pinellas
Pinellas County environmental officials have reported hundreds of thousands of dead fish on and off the coast of area beaches stretching more than 20 miles from Clearwater to St. Petersburg, confirming that Red Tide has reached the Tampa Bay area. The first report of fish kills came from the city of Clearwater on Friday, said Kelli Levy, Pinellas’ director of environmental management. Around noon Saturday, the city of St. Petersburg reported “hundreds of thousands” more. Madeira Beach, Redington Beach and Treasure Island have also been affected, she said. “Red Tide Arrives In Pinellas, Killing Hundreds Of Thousands Of Fish” – Tampa Bay Times
State Awards $9.5M to Pinellas Agency For BRT
The Florida Department of Transportation awarded the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority $9.5 million for the Central Avenue Bus Rapid transit project in St. Petersburg, the agency announced Friday. The route is important for the entire region because it will serve as a first proof of concept for bus rapid transit in the region and position the Tampa Bay area for future projects. The grant, awarded under the state’s New Starts Transit Program, means the state portion of funding is completely secured. Of the $41.35 million, $10.5 million is coming from the state. FDOT previously committed $1 million in design funds for the project. PSTA is in line to receive $20.35 million from the Federal New Starts transit program after earning a medium-high rating on the project earlier this year. That’s the second highest designation a transit program can receive. The 11-mile route will connect downtown St. Pete to St. Pete Beach along First Avenues North and South and will operate in semi-dedicated lanes with minimal stops to provide express service between the two coasts of Pinellas County. “State Awards $9.5M To Pinellas Agency For Bus Rapid Transit” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
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