Monday Morning Memo

Monday, September 24, 2018

Partnership Presents

Board Member Spotlight: Andy Wood

In March, the Florida Aquarium welcomed Andy Wood as its new Chief Operating Officer following an extensive nationwide search for the position. Wood brings more than two decades of leadership experience, with a focus on innovation and revenue growth. He most recently served as Mystic Aquarium’s Senior Vice President of External Relations, where he managed the Marketing, Guest Services, Membership, Exhibits Development, Government Relations and Sales departments. Andy has also led a number of boards and committees, serving as Chair of the Greater Mystic Tourism Marketing Committee, chairing the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Marketing Committee and as President of the Barrington New Jersey Board of Education. Wood has also served on the AZA Annual Program Committee and Cetacean Task Force; and the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. Wood oversees the Aquarium’s Operations, Marine Operations, Design & Engineering, Marketing & Communications, Education, Animal Care & Welfare, and Animal Health departments, as well as the Aquarium’s Center for Conservation at Apollo Beach.

Tampa’s Downtown Urban Excellence Awards

Do you know a business, organization, individual, event, and/or project that has made significant contributions toward Downtown Tampa? Nominate them for the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Urban Excellence Awards! All submitted entries will be considered on their merit. Nominations must be related to and/or located in Downtown Tampa and can be an individual, business, organization (for profit or not-for-profit), event, or project that:

  1. Were completed in the last 12 months; or
  2. Made a significant contribution to Downtown in the last 12 months; or
  3. Displayed an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and/or community leadership that positively contributed to Downtown during the last 12 months

A Nomination is not a vote, multiple nominations will not increase selection. All nominations will be reviewed by Jury Members. View all award categories. Please note the final deadline is Friday, October 5th, 2018. Winners will be announced on November 29th at the awards ceremony. Register today!

All About Transportation Debriefing

Registration is now closed for Tuesdays All for Transportation Debriefing. Not to worry! We are accepting day-of walk-ins and members of the media receive complimentary registration. Attendees will hear from local experts from Brightline, HART/Streetcar, Imagine 2040, Vision Zero, and All for Transportation as they share up to date information about our transportation challenges and proposed solutions. We are at a turning point. Learn about the impacts! View more information.

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.

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 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.

Help us Celebrate the Holidays in Tampa’s Downtown

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.

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

Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling

Wednesday, September 26 to Thursday, February 2, 2019
Tampa Museum of Art
One of the Kusama’s iconic Infinity Rooms, on loan from the Collection of the Vinik Family Foundation, will be on display starting this week. An immersive, experiential work of art, Love is Calling invites visitors to enter a mirrored room with tentacle-like soft sculptures hanging from the ceiling and positioned on the floor. These forms glow with bright, changing colors, and feature Kusama’s signature polka dots. Visitors hear audio of the artist reciting a love poem in Japanese as they walk throughout the installation. The poem, titled Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears, reflects Kusama’s musings on love, life, and death, recurring themes in the artist’s work. For more information, go to Yayoi Kusama: LOVE IS CALLING.

Fourth Friday

Friday, September 28, 4pm to 10pm
Downtown Tampa, Ybor City and Tampa Heights
When the sun goes down, the streets of Tampa 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 information, go to Fourth Friday.

Judgment at Nuremberg

Friday, September 28 to 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.

Paddle for Peace

Saturday, September 29, begins 8am
Water Works Park
This event is open to paddleboarders and kayakers of all experience levels, spectators, and pets! There will be challenges for 2 miles, 1 mile, and 1/2 mile along the Hillsborough River. Individual and team awards will be earned based on fundraising efforts. Great prizes await! Proceeds from the Paddle for Peace event will benefit three of The Spring’s most important programs and services fostering healthy lifestyles, domestic violence prevention, and creating a safe environment. For more information, go to Paddle for Peace.

On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre

Time Is Art (2015) – Thursday, September 27, 7:30pm to 9pm
SuicideGirls: Blackheart Burlesque – Friday, September 28, begins 9pm
Pick of the Litter (2018) – Saturday, September 29 to Wednesday, October 3

Taking the Stage at the Straz Center

The Florida Orchestra – Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 – Friday, September 28, begins 8pm
Lucia Micarelli – Saturday, September 29, begins 7:30pm
Valley’s End Album Release Party “Coming Home”  with Ginny Owens – Saturday, September 29, begins 7pm

Doing Business in Downtown

Downtown Business Spotlight: American Social

Fans of sports, food and drinks cannot get enough of the casual waterfront dining at American Social. The spacious eatery and bar reels in crowds all days of the week. The fun atmosphere, accessible boat slips and walkability to downtown Tampa are all reasons American Social Bar and Kitchen is booming. The unbeatable views are just another slam dunk for the upscale sports bar. And now, new menu items and specials are rolling out. On Wednesdays, the hip spot serves up Detroit style pizzas with 50 percent off a bottle of wine. As an added bonus, every weekday during happy hour, drinks are half off. Located right by the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and next to other downtown favorites, American Social is certainly a Hot Spot. View this feature on WFLA.

New Restaurants Bringing Vibrancy to North Franklin Street

When Lanfranco Pescante was looking for a celebrity chef to join his new Italian restaurant in downtown Tampa, he thought immediately of Fabio Viviani. He knew for certain he wanted a chef of Viviani’s caliber on board — Pescante, who was born in Italy, says the best Italian food he’s ever had stateside was at Viviani’s Siena Tavern in Chicago. What Pescante didn’t know is that he and Viviani were already acquainted, having met years ago through mutual friends in Italy in the early aughts. Viviani is from Tuscany; Pescante is from Rome. And on a 2017 visit to Tampa, on a recommendation from a friend, Viviani visited Franklin Manor, which is owned by Pescante’s Nocturnal Hospitality Group. When Pescante wrote to Viviani about Osteria, Viviani saw Franklin Manor in Pescante’s email signature and was immediately intrigued. That long-ago connection has blossomed into a partnership between Viviani and Nocturnal, which is about to open Osteria, its first joint project, and already has other concepts under development. While Osteria is in the spotlight right now, Viviani and Nocturnal are set to close on their purchase of Fly Bar’s real estate two days before Osteria’s grand opening on Sept. 30. In the Fly Bar space, they plan to open Mole y Abuela, a Spanish tapas restaurant, in early 2019.
“As Osteria Preps To Open In Downtown Tampa, Nocturnal And Fabio Viviani Are Already Cooking Up A New Concept For Fly Bar Space”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Fly Bar & Restaurant’s Last Week/Retro Month

Throughout the month of September, Fly Bar & Restaurant is hosting a Retro Month to celebrate their 12 successful years in the North Franklin Historic District. Fly will feature cult favorite dishes such as the Panko Crusted Goat Cheese and Ropa Vieja in addition to past favorite signature cocktails throughout the month until their closing date on September 28.

Florida Aquarium to Unveil New Exhibit

The Florida Aquarium will open a new exhibit experience this fall that will include sharks, sea turtles and coral. The newly renovated Waves of Wonder gallery, formerly known as Ocean Commotion, will feature the exhibit dubbed Heart of the Sea, which will open on Oct. 6. The new 100,000-gallon Heart of the Sea exhibit, the aquarium’s second largest habitat, will have cameras in the large tank, allowing guests to have different perspectives. The new exhibit and renovated gallery will present information to guests on how to make a difference for the ocean, for example, by not littering. The new exhibit, which will also be open to guests wanting dive experiences to swim with fish, is open to naming rights as well as the gallery.
“Exclusive: Florida Aquarium To Unveil New Exhibit, Reimagined Area”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Medical Tech Company Coming to Tampa Heights

A Florida-based medical technology that specializes in nerve repair is planning to have a major presence in downtown Tampa. AxoGen Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN), based in Alachua, has signed a “conditional agreement” to lease 75,000 square feet in a new office building in The Heights, planned on a piece of property that’s adjacent to Armature Works, according to a regulatory filing disclosed Sept. 20. That represents half of a new 150,051-square-foot building planned on the block of The Heights that’s south of West Palm Avenue, north of West Oak Avenue and between North Highland Avenue and North Tampa Street. That block will ultimately be home to two office buildings that total 342,000 square feet — 300,000 square feet of office space and 42,000 square feet of retail. The lease is with Atlanta-based TPA Group, an office developer. SoHo Capital, which owns the entire 50-acre Heights property, said Friday that the office buildings will be a joint venture with TPA Group.
“AxoGen, A Medical Tech Company, Inks Deal For Office Space In Tampa Heights”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Frontier Completes Sale Leaseback of Downtown Location

Frontier Communications Corp. has transferred ownership of an office building in Downtown Tampa to its pension fund. The pension fund paid $29.3 million for the 298,465-square-foot office building at 610 N. Morgan St. in a deal that closed Sept. 14, according to Hillsborough County property records. A spokesman for the company said Frontier is the single tenant in the building on a long-term lease with multiple renewal options. Frontier entered the Tampa Bay market in 2016, when it bought Verizon’s wireline operations in Florida, California and Texas. The telecommunications company was reportedly looking to sell its Florida operation earlier this year. A sale never came to fruition, Bloomberg reports, because none of the offers were high enough.
“Frontier Completes Sales-Leaseback Of Its Downtown Tampa Real Estate”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Development and Transportation

Construction Update

There’s construction buzz around Tampa’s urban core, from hotels in Ybor City and the Channel district to the massive Water Street project. Click through the photos for an aerial view of projects around the region, including these developments and more: JW Marriott, Altis Grand Central, Manor Riverwalk, Novel Riverwalk, and Channel Club.
“Construction Update: Downtown Tampa’s Publix, New Hotels, Sparkman Wharf And More (Photos)”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Water Street Tampa Poised for New Office Offerings

The 52-acre Water Street Tampa development downtown has to date been centered around new hospitality, institutional, residential and retail uses. But that focus is slated to change somewhat next spring, when master developer Strategic Property Partners LLC (SPP) embarks on the first of three planned office buildings that will add 1.06 million square feet to Tampa’s downtown in the first phase of the $3 billion project. In addition to Sparkman’s Wharf, a mixed-use project that will contain 180,000 square feet of new office space when delivered in mid-2020, SPP has unveiled plans for a pair of new towers rising 20 stories and 19 stories, respectively. To date, SPP has announced plans for a pair of new Marriott-flagged hotels, hundreds of residences, roughly a dozen restaurants at Sparkman Wharf and medical and teaching space within the USF Morsani project. In all, Water Street Tampa is being envisioned to contain roughly 9.5 million square feet of commercial and residential space downtown, in an area anchored by Amalie Arena, the Tampa Convention Center, the Tampa Bay History Center and other civic amenities.
“Water Street Tampa Poised For A Trio Of New Office Offerings”Business Observer

Local Hospitals Donate to All for Transportation

Two local hospital groups have donated a combined $175,000 to the group campaigning for a sales tax hike to pay for transportation improvements. They say the ballot measure will increase access to medical care and provide transportation options for hospital staff who work early and late shifts. Tampa General Hospital gave $125,000 to citizen’s group All for Transportation. The donation was made through the hospital’s for-profit arm House of Coffee, Tampa, which runs coffee shops in two hospitals. Baycare Health System, which owns six hospitals in Hillsborough County, also weighed in with a $50,000 donation. All for Transportation collected more than 50,000 verified signatures to get the transportation measure on the ballot. If approved by voters, the tax would raise about $280 million a year, which would go to priorities adopted in a long-range transportation plan developed four years ago by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Most of the money, 55 percent, would go to Hillsborough’s four local governments — Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and Hillsborough County — to spend on road improvements. Most of the remainder would go to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority to expand bus service and develop a transit system linking the University of South Florida, Downtown Tampa and West Shore.
“Local Hospital Groups Back Transportation Sales Tax Plan With $175,000 In Donations”Tampa Bay Times

Streetcar Extends Service Hours, Free Rides on Oct. 7

The TECO Line Streetcar System will begin offering free fares on Oct. 7. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority announced in June it was awarded nearly $2.7 million in grant funding from the Florida Department of Transportation and would extend the TECO Line Streetcar service hours, increase frequency and provide free rides to customers for the next three years. The grant is aimed at boosting ridership along the 2.7-mile route through downtown Tampa and Ybor City. The streetcar had 26,112 riders in July, according to HART’s most recent data. The streetcar extension would also increase frequency from every 20 minutes to every 15 and would provide extended service hours on nights and weekends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and provide extended service hours throughout the week. Meanwhile, the FDOT-funded Streetcar extension study is currently in project development to pursue federal funding to provide additional service to Tampa Heights along Franklin Street.
“Here’s When You Can Start Riding The TECO Line Streetcar For Free”Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)

Member Corner

Partnership Members Listed in Florida 500

Florida Trend recently released the 2018 Florida 500 issue that highlights the 500 most influential executives in different economic sectors throughout the state. The editorial selection of the 500 executives was based on extensive contacts in regional business circles, hundreds of interviews and months of research, culminating in a highly selective biographical guide to the people who really run Florida. The following members of Tampa Downtown Partnership were on the list:

Dr. Ron Vaughn – President, University of Tampa
Bill Carlson – President, Tucker/Hall
Rick Homans – President & CEO, Tampa Bay Partnership
Craig Richard – President & CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.
Chuck Sykes – President & CEO, Sykes
Ed Armstrong – Shareholder, Hill Ward Henderson
Rhea Law – Chair, Florida Offices, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Robert Grammig – Partner & Corporate M&A and Securities Practice Group Leader, Holland & Knight
Bob Martinez – Senior Policy Advisor, Holland & Knight
Harold Mullis – President, Trenam Law
Gary Sasso – President & CEO, Carlton Fields
Randolph J. Wolfe – Partner, Foley & Lardner
Ronald L. Weaver – Of Counsel, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson
James L. Ferman, JR. – President, Ferman Group
Paul Anderson – President & CEO, Port Tampa Bay
James Nozar – CEO, Strategic Property Partners
Larry Richey – Managing Principal, Florida, Cushman & Wakefield
Dan Woodward – Division Vice President, Highwoods Properties
Brett Couch – Head of Corporate Real Estate and Procurement, Regions Bank
Jeff Vinik – Chairman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Bill West – President & CEO, Bank of Tampa
Nancy Tower – President & CEO, Tampa Electric
Maryann Ferenc – CEO, Mise en Place
Richard Gonzmart – President, Columbia Restaurant Group
Paul Tash – Chairman & CEO, Times Publishing/Tampa Bay Times

New UT Institute Listed as Notable Program

The University of Tampa’s new Institute for Sales Excellence has been listed as a “Notable Sales Program” in Sales Education Annual 2018. The 23 notable sales programs listed were described as being within schools that “provide opportunities for students to obtain some classroom training and/or practical experience specific to professional sales.” UT’s Institute for Sales Excellence, based in UT’s Sykes College of Business, started last spring and already has more than 150 students this academic year. It provides world-class sales education and training through relevant business-to-business (B2B) sales methodologies and research to enhance the sales curriculum in the Sykes College of Business. The full ranking can be accessed at
“University of Tampa’s Institute for Sales Excellence Named a Notable Program” Tampa Bay Newswire

USF Plays Pivotal Role in Eradicating Tropical Disease

In life, some people are faced with heartbreaking problems they’re powerless to solve. Other times, that tragedy turns into triumph when there is an opportunity for positive change. Thomas Unnasch embraced that opportunity for positive change 26 years ago. While on a trip to Africa, he witnessed blind adults with walking sticks being led around by little children. The adults were victims of river blindness, a tropical disease which — if left untreated — can progress from skin problems to blindness. Today Unnasch, who chairs the University of South Florida’s Department of Global Health at the College of Public Health, plays a vital role in the battle against river blindness. His efforts have been financed by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Task Force for Global Health and the World Health Organization.
“USF Plays Pivotal Role In Eradication Of River Blindness”83 Degrees

Tampa Museum of Art Opens New Exhibit

The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present LOVE IS CALLING, one of Yayoi Kusama’s iconic Infinity Rooms, on loan from the Collection of the Vinik Family Foundation. An immersive, experiential work of art, LOVE IS CALLING invites visitors to enter a mirrored room with tentacle-like soft sculptures hanging from the ceiling and positioned on the floor. These forms glow with bright, changing colors, and feature Kusama’s signature polka dots. Visitors hear audio of the artist reciting a love poem in Japanese as they walk throughout the installation. The poem, titled Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears, reflects Kusama’s musings on love, life, and death, recurring themes in the artist’s work. Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929) is one of today’s most recognized and celebrated artists. In addition to her widely popular Infinity Rooms, such as LOVE IS CALLING, Kusama creates vibrant paintings, works on paper, and sculpture with abstract imagery. Her artwork has been shown and collected by leading institutions across the globe, and she is considered the world’s most popular artist. A comprehensive retrospective, organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, is currently travelling around the US and Canada. In October 2017, the Yayoi Kusama Museum opened in Tokyo. The artist lives and works in Tokyo. Information about the exhibition, artist, and related events can be found at, under exhibitions.

Port Tampa Bay Hits Milestone

Port Tampa Bay last week welcomed its 1-millionth cruise ship passenger for the first time ever in a single year. The port hit the milestone on Sept. 17, when the count hit 1,000,524 for this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. It rose further over the weekend when three more ships called at the port. Tampa port administrators expect cruise numbers continue to grow as the development of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project — including the transformation of the chronically under-performing and port-owned Channelside Bay Plaza into Sparkman Wharf — gives cruise ship passengers more options for dining out, shopping and touring.
“Port Tampa Bay Marks 1 Million Cruise Passengers In A Year For The First Time Ever”  Tampa Bay Times

Around Town

No Sewage Line for Harbour Island

The gated residential enclave of Harbour Island is breathing a sigh of relief now that it has dodged the short-term headache of disruptive traffic snarls and the long-term prospect of a new underground sewage line running the length of the island. The city has decided to replace a decaying sewage line on Harbour Island with a new line that skirts the island. The massive line, carrying 15 million gallons of raw sewage a day, will run instead beneath either Sparkman Channel or Ybor Channel on its way to the city’s Howard F. Curren sewage plant at Hookers Point. City officials have narrowed their choices to three underwater routes between Channelside and Hookers Point. A final decision should be made by the end of October, said Brad Baird, the city’s public works and utility services administrator.
“No New Sewage Line For Harbour Island As Tampa Decides To Build Underwater Instead”Tampa Bay Times

!p Celebrates Innovation, Investments In USF Area

When it comes to fueling ingenuity, the spark of creativity may come when you put people together. They talk, they share, and they make money. That’s the recipe for success and innovation shared by journalist, author, urbanist, futurist and two-time Jeopardy! champion Greg Lindsay, who spoke at the Tampa Innovation Partnership’s Innovation Gathering Thursday night. He showed bringing people together to collaborate often brings results. This is the fourth annual Innovation Gathering for the group dedicated to revitalizing a 19-square-mile district bounded by Bearss Avenue, Busch Boulevard and Interstates 275 and 75. Greg Lindsay, co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, talked about London, Boston and Detroit, and how the original tech incubators were coffeehouses or bars.
“!p Celebrates Innovation, Investments In USF Area Of Tampa”83 Degrees

Midtown Tampa Outlines Plans For Office Building

A sudden boomlet in premium office space is getting boomier as developers detail their plans for the first of three office buildings planned at Midtown Tampa, a $500 million mixed-use development near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway. Midtown One is planned to rise seven stories, grounded at the base by first-floor retail and topped by a curved, sail-like facade. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019, with completion expected in late 2020. At Midtown One, an 1,850-square-foot roof deck will offer views of downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, plus an on-site 3-acre pond with a landscaped running and walking trail. A 100-foot pedestrian bridge will connect the second floor of Midtown One to adjacent parking. Its 140,000 square feet of Class A space will be part of 750,000 square feet planned for Midtown Tampa’s three Class A buildings. Expect rents in Midtown One to be in the low to mid $40s per square foot.
“Midtown Tampa Outlines Plans For An Amenity-Rich Office Building”Tampa Bay Times

An Evening of Magic & Music

Join for an Evening of Magic & Music featuring Magician Nathan Coe Marsh and Don Juceam “Florida’s Frank Sinatra” singing the best of Frank Sinatra and Rat Pack favorites. The event is at the T Pepin Hospitality Centre from 5pm till 9 pm on Sunday, September 30th.The cost for the full evening’s package is $39 in advance and includes a buffet dinner. Get tickets here.

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