Monday Morning Memo

Monday, September 17, 2018

Partnership Presents

Board Member Spotlight: Brian Fender

Brian is a shareholder and director of GrayRobinson who serves as Chair of the firm’s Public Finance practice group. Brian has represented a variety of clients including aviation authorities, banks and other direct purchasers of municipal debt, bond holders, charter schools, cities, counties, expressway authorities, government financing pools and programs, hospitals and other health care facilities, housing authorities, investment banks, open and closed investment funds, placement agents, port authorities, school boards, special districts, sports authorities, state programs, tax-exempt organizations, trustees, utilities, water support authorities, universities, and various special districts. Over the course of his career, Brian has been involved in more than 450 public finance transactions and has represented clients in the issuance of more than $30 billion of tax-exempt and taxable debt. Brian has been rated AV Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized by peer-ranking publications such as Super Lawyers and Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”

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.

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 at this Year’s Winter Village

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 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!

Our Special Services District is Growing

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 MapIn 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.

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

The Blue Print: Tech Industry Engagement

September 19, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Join this networking reception and discussion for minority- and women-owned businesses to share your ideas on the support needs for early-stage technology companies and technology accessory businesses in Hillsborough County. Information gathered at this event will be used to develop tech-focused programming for Small Business Week activities in 2019, and explore opportunities for additional local business support and resources. For more information, visit The Blue Print: Tech Industry Engagement

3rd Thursdays

Thursday, September 20, 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.

CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture

Saturday, September 22, begins 8pm
Tampa Museum of Art
This runway event will highlight and capture Marc Bouwer’s aesthetic, which defines timeless elegance. Bouwer’s sleek and draped designs capture his allure, the formfitting look, imbued with a desire to celebrate the female figure. Bouwer has had the most success building his brand by working with celebrity clients. His designs have graced A-listers on red carpets, as well as numerous magazine covers. For more information, go to CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture.

Fall Family Fest

Sunday, September 23, 11am to 3pm
Water Works Park
The Fall Family Fest will host businesses relating to medical services, childcare, education, special needs services, personal services, entertainment, home maintenance and improvement, financial services, amazing products and crafts, and more. Plus, don’t forget the goodies! Stop at each booth for a game or giveaway and treat. There will be lots of treats and swag for adults as well. This is an event for the whole family and guests of all abilities. For more information, go to Fall Family Fest.

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Where Hands Touch (2018) – Through Wednesday, September 19
Backpack Full of Cash – Thursday, September 20, 7:30pm to 9:15pm
Love Gilda (2018) – Friday, September 21 to Tuesday, September 25
Battle Royale – Friday, September 21, 10:30pm to 12:30am

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

Chicago – Tuesday, September 18 to Sunday, September 23
Latin Nights – Thursday, September 20, begins 9pm
Rocky Bleier in THE PLAY – Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22
Cannonball Cabaret – Live & Local – Saturday, September 22, 6pm to 9pm

This Week at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes (Preseason)  – Tuesday, September 18, begins 7:30pm
Game of Thrones – Friday, September 21, begins 8pm
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators (Preseason) – Saturday, September 22, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Downtown Business Spotlight: The Vault

Located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown Arts District, The Vault is a unique and versatile venue. The historical, neo-classical building was constructed in 1919 as the Exchange National Bank. Now revitalized, the space combines elegant architecture with a contemporary feel. The 35-foot tall ceilings have been restored and show intricate medallion orientation with a second floor mezzanine that overlooks the open gallery. Floor to ceiling window walls offer stunning views of the Tampa Bay skyline, and provide the perfect setting for your special event, wedding, or corporate function. In addition to the over 6,000 square feet of interior rental space, just outside the main entrance is a charming private park to accommodate your cocktail party before or after your main event. We provide receptions for up to 300 guests, and seated dinners for up to 200 guests.

Downtown Hotel Sold for $27.3 million

Starwood Capital Group, which bought a Westshore office tower in early 2018, has added another commercial property in Tampa to its portfolio. Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood has acquired the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Tampa for $27.3 million in a deal that closed in late August, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Sept. 7. The seller, Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group, paid $16.9 million for the hotel in 2014. The Courtyard has a total of 141 guest rooms — 125 rooms and 16 suites, as well as 900 square feet of meeting space. The price per key breaks down to $193,617. It was built in 1998, according to property records.
“Downtown Tampa Hotel Sold For $27.3 Million”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Burgerim to Open this Fall

The California based fast-casual burger concept Burgerim that has quickly grown in various locations since its first location opened in 2011, has reached Tampa and is slated to open soon at 808 N Franklin St. Spokesperson Ashley Lindley says when the burger concept first started, they had a goal of slowly and steadily changing the way people order and enjoy fast food, but it’s popularity drove demand for the franchises. The operation is 100 percent franchised based and has 160 locations worldwide. Lindley speaks confidently about the new downtown Tampa location because of the brand’s focus on operating in thriving areas where millennials like to go. “We’re always looking to be in the center of what’s new and upcoming and we want to be a part of the younger generation that appreciates having choices and fun,” she said. “Millennials always want to be about something new. The music is loud, the lights are flashing it’s sensory overload so I know it’s something they can’t find anywhere else.”
West-Coast Based Concept, Burgerim, Opens In Downtown Tampa”

Aquarium Names VP of External Relations

The Florida Aquarium has named Kari Goetz its vice president of external relations. Goetz previously served as the director of marketing for Tampa International Airport. In her 12 years in that position, Goetz built a marketing department from the ground up and managed the airport’s multimillion-dollar annual budget. Goetz will assume her new role at the Florida Aquarium on Oct. 1, where she will be responsible for all marketing, sales, community and government relations and guest services efforts of the aquarium.
Florida Aquarium Appoints New Vice President Of External Relations” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)


CREW Tampa Bay is asking owners, managers and tenants of Tampa Bay properties and buildings to show their commitment to breast cancer awareness by illuminating them with pink lights or displaying pink during the month of October for CREW Tampa Bay CITY IN PINK. CREW Tampa Bay CITY IN PINK is a reminder to stay vigilant in the fight for a cure and will be a touching tribute to breast cancer survivors and the lives that have been affected by the disease. CREW Tampa Bay CITY IN PINK will begin on Monday, October 1st, 2018 and will continue through Wednesday, October 31st, 2018. Click here for a link to participation form and more information.

GM of Tampa Bay Lightning Steps Down

In a National Hockey League stunner, Steve Yzerman will step down as Tampa Bay Lightning general manager just days before the start of training camp, the team announced on Monday. Yzerman will assume an advisory role while Julien BriseBois takes over the general manager post. BriseBois has been Tampa Bay’s assistant GM for the past eight years and he’s been with the organization since 2001, long touted as an up-and-comer in front-office circles. But Yzerman is widely considered to be the NHL’s best general manager, making the abrupt change all the more shocking. Yzerman reportedly has one year left on his contract, and he said a desire to spend more time with his family in Detroit, where Yzerman played his entire Hall-of-Fame career and captained three Stanley Cup teams with the Red Wings, is the reason he’s stepping down. For eight years, he commuted between there and Tampa, and while he was able to still do his job effectively, Yzerman said that when he and owner Jeff Vinik started to discuss extending his contract, continuing to be apart from his wife and three daughters weighed on him.
“Steve Yzerman To Step Down As Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager”Washington Post

Development and Transportation

Free Streetcar Fares Begin Oct. 7

The TECO Line Streetcar System starts its new service hours and free fares on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Customers can now catch a ride on the Streetcar starting as early as 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, and enjoy 15-minute frequency throughout the majority of the day. (Hours and frequency)

First Speculative Office Tower in 25 Years

Locally based developer Strategic Property Partners plans to begin construction on 1001 Water Street, a 20-story office tower in downtown Tampa, Florida. Part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa renovation project, 1001 Water Street would be the first office tower built in Tampa’s central business district in more than 25 years. Perhaps even more notable, this tower would be built on a speculative basis, providing available office space to a market that was quickly running out of options for prospective new tenants. Fueled by robust office-using employment growth, Tampa’s office demand has surged with nearly 10 million square feet of net positive absorption over the past five years. Combined with a subdued pipeline over the past decade, the vacancy rate has steadily diminished and established an all-time low of 7.4 percent earlier this year.
“Downtown Tampa Prepares for First Speculative-Build Office Tower in 25 Years” CoStar

Miami’s Related Group Is Still Bullish On The Bay Region 

With three large apartment developments nearing completion in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Miami-based Related Group says it’s as bullish as ever on the Bay region. Two of those three projects — Manor Riverwalk, on the former Tampa Tribune site, and Town Westshore within the Westshore Marina District — have opened leasing offices and should see residents move in by the end of the year, said Steve Patterson, who oversees multifamily development for Related. Icon Central, near downtown St. Petersburg, celebrated its topping out on Friday and should be complete around mid-2019. “We definitely are bullish on Tampa,” Patterson said. “The nice thing about Tampa is that it’s got a really diverse employment base, and it’s more stable than a lot of other markets.” Related is also still looking for a waterfront site for condos in Tampa and St. Pete, Patterson said. Related CEO Jorge Perez first told the Business Journal he was looking to develop condos in the Bay region in January 2018.
“Miami’s Related Group, As Tribune Redevelopment Nears Completion In Downtown Tampa, Is Still Bullish On The Bay Region”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Tampa Leads In Apartment Construction

Look around downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg and it’s easy to believe this — Tampa Bay remains among Florida’s most active markets for apartment construction. In a new report, the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield says the bay area leads Orlando and Jacksonville in multi-family housing starts this year although population growth and demographic changes are fueling the demand for rentals in all three areas. Nowhere are those changes more apparent than in Tampa Bay, which already has 600,000 more residents than Orlando and twice as many as Jacksonville. Cushman & Wakefield says a “generational sandwich” is also contributing to the apartment boom in Central and North Florida. Millennials are waiting longer to buy houses while baby boomers are downsizing to rentals.
“Tampa Bay Leads Orlando And Jacksonville In Apartment Construction”Tampa Bay Times

Input Needed to Fix Traffic Issues

Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties are looking for your input on what is needed to fix Tampa Bay area traffic issues. Your thoughts are needed on three very different transportation and growth scenarios. Survey results will help the three Metropolitan Planning Organizations create the very first tri-county Long-Range Transportation Plan for Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. It’s Time Tampa Bay has developed three different long-range solutions. Individual elements of each scenario may be combined into a final regional plan. By 2045, our region will have over a million more people living and working here, according to It’s Time Tampa Bay.
“Tampa Bay Area Leaders Want Your Feedback On How To Fix Traffic Problems”ABC Action News

Member Corner

USF System President Plans to Step Down

Following another record-breaking year and unparalleled stretch of recent achievements, University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft today announced her decision to step down from her position, effective July 1, 2019. “The University of South Florida is on a trajectory unlike ever before in its history. We are reaching milestones once reserved for universities twice our age.  We continue to make groundbreaking strides in research, student success, teaching and community impact,” Genshaft said in a letter to the USF community, which also thanked the USF Board of Trustees for their continued support. “Because of this positive momentum, my family and I believe that this is the right time for me to step down from my post as president, effective July 1, 2019.  It has been the honor of my professional career to be part of this journey since the year 2000.”
“USF System President Judy Genshaft announces plans to step down, effective July 2019”Tampa Bay Newswire

HART Adopts New Budget

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has adopted a 2019 budget of $111,554,915. The agency that provides fixed-route local bus services has ambitious goals for 2019 that was reviewed Monday night during its first public hearing on the tentative fiscal year 2019 millage rate and annual budget. The budget represents an increase of 11.6 percent from the 2018 budget. The budget breaks down to $78.9 million for operations and $32.6 million for capital projects. The final public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the HART Administrative Office in Ybor City. Meanwhile, the agency is still searching for its next CEO who would take the reins on these future projects. The board changed the proposed time line for the search for a new CEO and will now search for the new CEO in January 2019.
“Hillsborough Transit Authority Votes On $111.5M Budget For 2019”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

BDG Opens New Charlotte Office

BDG Architects, a full-service architecture and design firm with 24 years of experience throughout the United States, is pleased to announce the opening of their new office in Charlotte, North Carolina. This location is centrally located at 201 South Tryon Street in the heart of the city’s downtown business district. “The decision to expand our presence to Charlotte was the next logical step in our business growth strategy,” said Chris Kirschner, President of BDG Architects. “We see great opportunities in the Carolinas market and look forward to being part of this community.” BDG Architects currently has offices in Tampa, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and Charlotte, North Carolina with remote staff in South Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and Cincinnati, Ohio.
“BDG Architects Announces the Opening of a New Office in Charlotte, NC”Tampa Bay Newswire

CAMLS Brings Together Trainees at AMALIE

The USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation brought an advanced patient simulator to Amalie Arena Sept. 10 so that Tampa Bay Lightning team physicians and athletic trainers, Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics, and a few USF Health emergency medicine trainees at Tampa General Hospital could more realistically practice life-saving stabilization procedures on the ice. The simulation scenarios were performed on a life-like manikin, fully outfitted in Lightning gear, with laptop-controlled breathing, heart rates and pulses, eyes that could blink and dilate, and an artificial tongue that mimicked a real one. The training exercises included simulations of heart rhythm disturbances and cardiac arrest, as well as airway trauma from a neck injury. An ambulance was standing by just like during actual Lightning games.
“Player Down!”USF Health

Around Town

Join the Rays 2020 Movement

Please show your support to help keep the Rays in Tampa Bay by signing the petition at

HCC Calls for Mural Artists

HCC’s Dale Mabry Campus has sent out a call to artists to create a mural for the Learning Resources Center building as part of their Grounds4Art@HCC public art program. The artist’s budget will be $20,000 — allocated from various sources including the HCC Dale Mabry campus student government, the Gobioff Foundation in Tampa, as well as other private donors and Gallery221 supporters — which will be used for fabrication, materials, installation, programming, and other purposes. The deadline for mural proposals is Oct. 1. From there, three finalists will be selected to send in a finalized design proposal and will receive a stipend. The project is to be completed in the early spring term (Jan.-Mar.) in 2019.
“New Call For Artists To Create First Mural At HCC Dale Mabry”83 Degrees

THEA to Hold Gandy Business Meeting

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is hosting a second Business Engagement meeting on Thursday, September 13th at 6:00 PM. During this meeting, local Gandy business owners will have the opportunity to meet with the Selmon Extension project team and discuss the project’s progress or construction concerns. The Business Engagement Meeting is a part of THEA’s commitment to maintaining open communication with Gandy-area businesses during the construction phase of the Selmon Extension.
“THEA to Host Second Gandy Business Engagement Meeting”Tampa Bay Newswire

Red Tide Continues in Pinellas

After Red Tide reappeared on Pinellas County beaches the day before, the sights and smells of dead fish continued to wash ashore Sunday. Red Tide is an algae bloom that produces toxins that kill fish and can be dangerous for humans with respiratory issues. The microscopic algae Karenia brevis reproduces offshore; it can be carried to beaches by ocean currents. It’s spread north along Florida’s gulf coast for months. According to state measurements, the bloom was present as recently as Thursday along beaches from Pinellas County to Lee County. Sunday morning, Red Tide caused “strong” odors and dead fish on Madeira Beach, Redington Shores, Indian Shores, St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach and Pass-A-Grille, with other beaches affected to a lesser extent. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Red Tide is forecast to continue cause moderate irritation on northern Pinellas beaches and high irritation for southern Pinellas beaches on Monday.
“Red Tide Continues To Foul Pinellas Beaches”Tampa Bay Times

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