Board Member Spotlight: Robin DeLaVergne
Robin DeLaVergne was appointed Executive Director of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation and Senior Vice President Tampa General Hospital in July 2005. Prior to that she served as Vice President Membership and Marketing for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Ms. DeLaVergne is a member of USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, Tampa General Hospital Foundation Women’s Leadership Council, Florida Philanthropic Network, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, USF Town & Gown, Leadership Tampa Alumni, Junior Achievement’s Circle of Enterprising Women and the Philanthropy Leadership Council of the Advisory Board. She has served as an Honorary Commander for the 6th Air Mobility Group at MacDill Air Force Base. She is a past Chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Junior League of Tampa, past Chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership’s CEO Direct Program, and a past member of the Board of Directors for Metropolitan Ministries and the United Way. She serves on the Tampa Downtown Partnership Board of Directors, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Junior League of Tampa Community Advisory Board. She received the 2012 Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, the 2017 Woman of Distinction Award from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the 2017 Sustainer of the Year from the Junior Leagues of Tampa and Leadership Tampa Alumni’s 2017 Parke Wright III Award. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she received a master’s of science degree in audiology.
Downtowner Changes Service Hours
Effective Monday, September 3rd, service hours for Downtowner vehicles will be changing to the following: Monday – Thursday: 7am – 9pm, Friday: 7am – 10pm Saturday: Noon – 10pm, Sunday Noon – 8pm
Why? In previous years, a federal grant was available that assisted in funding the program. Due to grant guidelines, that grant is no longer available. In order to continue operating 7 days a week, service hours have been adjusted to focus on the busiest hours of each day, when ridership demand is highest. Downtowner continues to be dedicated to providing excellent service to riders. We look forward to having this service continue throughout Tampa’s Downtown and understand that many have come to rely on the program. We’re hoping this is a transitionary year for the program, as we continue to talk with HART about absorbing the service under their umbrella and providing additional resources. For those interested in other transit modes, HART offers several routes that travel throughout Downtown including Route 1, 8, 19, 30, and MetroRapid. More information can be found at goHART.org. View the Downtown Network Map. You can also visit the Getting Around section of our website for the comprehensive list. We wish to thank all of our funding partners for their support in making this mode of transit available in Tampa’s Downtown.
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!
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.
Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta
Wednesday, September 5, 11am to 2pm Lykes Gaslight Square Looking for a larger selection of lunch options? Step outside for a meal in the park! Choose from a wide variety of local food trucks serving up all sorts of delicious culinary creations. You’ll have your pick of dishes from plenty of delectable kitchens on wheels! For more information, go to Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.
Rock the Park
Thursday, September 6, 6:30pm to 9pm Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Listen to some great musical talent in a beautiful, relaxing setting. This month’s show features The Boats, Photo Fire, and Serendipity the Band. With food and drinks on the premises and an always exciting vibe, this free concert is guaranteed not to disappoint. For more information, go to Rock the Park.
Friday, September 7, begins 8pm Amalie Arena Legendary songwriter, recording artist and performer Paul Simon will take the stage in Downtown Tampa for a show for the ages. Hear all of your favorite hits live from the man himself. Fans of the Simon will not want to miss this concert, so find some tickets, take your seats, and get ready for an evening of masterful music. For more information, go to Paul Simon.
7th Annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede
Saturday, September 8, begins 8am Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park This event benefiting the Children’s Cancer Center includes a 5K run, 1 mile family fun run/walk, a mascot race, photo opportunities with the Chick-fil-A cows, and a post-race party in the Family Fun Zone including Chick-fil-A food, games, and great prizes. The Fall Stampede has grown from 800 runners to over 1,500 runners and has raised almost $400,000 in net proceeds within the last 6 years.. For more information, go to 7th Annual Chick-fil-A Fall Stampede.
On the Marquee at Tampa Theatre
The Bookshop (2018) – Through Sunday, September 9 The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) – Friday, September 7, 10:30pm to 12:15am
Taking the Stage at the Straz Center
Daniel Girón LIVE in Concert – Friday, September 7, begins 8pm Crossover for Christ – The Musical starring Ginger Minj – Saturday, September 8 to Sunday, September 16
Downtown Business Spotlight: Maestro’s Restaurants at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts
The Straz Center is known for great shows, great community support in arts education and great Broadway blockbusters. They are also known for great food open to the public in a truly unique atmosphere. Maestro’s Restaurant offers premier tableside service and features a rotating, show-themed menu and full bar. Located above the Jaeb Theater and enclosed by glass overlooking the river, Maestro’s opens at 5pm, and reservations are required. The Café, situated in the sumptuous Morsani Hall lobby, features upscale food stations and buffet dining with tableside beverage service. It opens at 5:30pm daily and at 12:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are required. For al fresco eating along the Riverwalk, On the River features light fare of sandwiches, burgers and salads. Open at 5:30pm daily and 12:00pm on Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting), no reservations are required and walk-ups are welcomed. The Straz also has a local on-site coffeeshop, SteamHeat Café, that serves Buddy Brew Coffee, grab-and-go, muffins, pastries and cookies as well as wine, champagne and event-themed specialty drinks. SteamHeat opens at 9am daily but is closed on Mondays.
Tampa Night Market Begins Sept. 6
Starting September 6, join for Tampa’s Urban Street Fair the first Thursday of each month in the Esplanade at Tampa City Center! This outdoor market runs from 6pm until 10pm featuring Live Art, Street Performers, Artisans, Crafters, Makers, Vintage, Jewelry, and more. Come to meet local shop owners and creators, while you enjoy music and entertainment under the stars. The event is free and open to the public. Follow the event page on Facebook for updates and more information.
New Group Focuses on Emerging Tech Leaders
ETL Tampa Bay has been formed to transform Tampa Bay into the technology capital of the Southeast and become a beacon for innovation and a nesting spot for startups, organizers said. ETL Tampa Bay is focused on introducing emerging tech leaders to the Tampa Bay community. An emerging leader is a professional who is building a career in the technology field, driving industry innovation and economic development for the tech community, and generally is under 40 years of age, said Allie Felix, director of programming and partnership at Embarc Collective, the Jeff Vinik-backed initiative to bring together entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academic resources in one location in Tampa. ETL Tampa Bay is a complement to other regional efforts such as Embarc Collective, Tampa Bay Tech and Tampa Bay Wave, she said. ETL exists to create connections to emerging leaders in those organizations, Felix said. Daniel James Scott, co-executive director at Tampa Bay Tech, is credited with the original idea for ETL Tampa Bay. “Young Talent Helps Tampa Bay Stand Out In Tech, New Group Says” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Splitsville Rebrands, Announces New Menu
Splitsville is reopening at the soon-to-be Sparkman Wharf this October with an all-new look and all-new tastes. Two-time James Beard Award winner Art Smith has completely reworked the menu at the rebranded Splitsville Southern + Social to incorporate his famous fried chicken, poutine, scratch-made cheddar biscuits, short rib sliders and signature flatbreads. A North Florida native, Smith is perhaps best known in Tampa Bay for opening the restaurant Homecomin’at Disney Springs. “The new look, new bar, and the new menu have an old Florida meetinghouse vibe,” adds Splitsville co-owner Guy Revelle. “We have worked with Chef Art Smith, a six generation Floridian, on other projects. When we decided to recreate our concept for a one-of-kind experience in downtown Tampa, Art was our immediate choice to add a slice of Southern hospitality to Splitsville.” “Chef Art Smith Brings New Menu to Tampa’s Splitsville” – TAMPA Magazine
New Restaurant Coming to Armature Works
Armature Works, the home of Heights Public Market and Steelbach, will soon add another restaurant to its lineup. Chef Anne Kearney is moving to Tampa from Dayton, Ohio, and plans to open the 100-seat Oak & Ola within Armature Works. Oak & Ola will be a “Euro-American” restaurant, Kearney wrote in an email to her followers. She compared the Tampa venture to a stint in New Orleans, where she was from 1991 to 2004. Construction plans for the restaurant were filed in late July. Oak & Ola will be 5,785 square feet, according to those documents. “James Beard-Winning Chef To Open New Restaurant Inside Armature Works In Tampa Heights” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Momentum Surging in Tampa’s Office Market
For the first time since the Great Recession, the Tampa Bay region is on the cusp of an office construction boom. From mid-rise buildings in the Westshore business district to skyscrapers in downtown Tampa, new office space is being planned throughout the area — and commercial real estate experts say the proposals have real momentum behind them. Developing new office space is key to the Bay region’s overall economic growth. Major corporate relocations typically require hundreds of thousands of square feet of available office space, and a lack of available space can keep the area out of the running for the biggest deals. The surge in demand and declining supply of office space have “allowed people the opportunity to look at development again,” said Chase Pattillo, managing director of CBRE Group Inc. in Tampa. “With Several New Buildings In The Works, There’s Finally Real Momentum In Tampa Bay’s Office Market (Renderings, Maps)” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
The Residences at The Tampa EDITION
Strategic Property Partners, LLC (“SPP”), the Tampa-based real estate development company, today unveiled plans to introduce the city’s first hotel-branded condominiums with The Residences at the Tampa EDITION as part of Water Street Tampa, the visionary 50-acre mixed-use development project currently under construction. Crowning the top 15 floors of a 26-story tower, the Residences at the Tampa EDITION will sit above the recently announced 173-room, five-star Tampa EDITION Hotel. Created through a partnership between innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, the Residences at the Tampa EDITION presents a rare condominium offering in Tampa and across the United States as the third property in the country to offer EDITION-branded residences, joining the Miami EDITION and the West Hollywood EDITION. Situated on the corner of Channelside Drive and Water Street, the 46 EDITION-branded residences will provide a new unrivaled level of residential development in Tampa, set within a premium downtown location. True to the brand’s commitment to groundbreaking design, vibrant public spaces and sophisticated programming, the Residences at the Tampa EDITION will offer design-forward, five-star luxury service punctuated by one-of-a-kind experiences.
Public Art a Key Component of Sparkman Wharf
When Sparkman Wharf’s dining garden opens this fall, there will be no shortage of colorful, Instagram-worthy backdrops. The repurposed shipping containers that house new concepts from Tampa chefs form a large-scale mural that the developer, Strategic Property Partners, says was “was inspired by the movement of Tampa Bay.” Sparkman Wharf was previously known as Channelside Bay Plaza. The dining garden is part of the first phase of redevelopment; it includes Fermented Reality, a craft biergarten, and a recreational lawn overlooking the waterfront. The wharf is the southern anchor of Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion, mixed-use district between the central business district and Channel district. SPP is controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC. “The Shipping Containers In Sparkman Wharf’s Dining Garden Form A Big Mural That Celebrates Tampa (Photos)” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Construction to Begin on Convention Center Restaurant
Big Ray’s Fish Camp is joining the burgeoning Tampa restaurant scene. Work will begin on the addition of Big Ray’s Fish Camp Sept. 17 at one of Tampa’s favorite waterfront locations, The Sail. The project will re-imagine the space around the 360-degree bar, adding new amenities like upgraded/expanded restrooms, additional seating, shade structures and a full kitchen for Big Ray’s Fish Camp adjacent to The Sail. This will be the second location for Big Ray’s Fish Camp, bringing the popular seafood restaurant to Tampa’s downtown for the first time. Once open, Big Ray’s Fish Camp will operate alongside The Sail in what will be known as The Sail Plaza. The Sail Plaza will offer a new waterfront experience and urban oasis where locals and convention center visitors can relax along the Tampa Riverwalk. Construction for Big Ray’s Fish Camp and The Sail Plaza is anticipated to be complete by next April. “Construction to Begin On Big Ray’s Fish Camp In Tampa” – Patch.com
UT Opens Graduate and Health Studies Building
The University of Tampa’s newest building is its largest and houses cutting-edge technology for its acclaimed nursing program and a new physician assistant medicine program. UT President Ronald Vaughn says the building reflects a long-range vision to address severe shortages of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. It also continues the university’s role as an economic engine for the city and region. Beck was the lead contractor on the 91,000-square-foot building in the heart if the UT campus; Eric Kreher was the architect. “First Look Inside UT’s New $40-Plus Million Graduate And Health Studies Building, Opening Today (Photos)” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Visual Storytelling for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
In collaboration with Moffitt Arts in Medicine Program, The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts will offer a Visual Storytelling Class held on September 9 from 1-4 p.m. at FMoPA, instructed by Pierre and Cathy Dutertre. This initiative is a partnership that offers those affected by cancer and their caregivers a class focused on Visual Storytelling. Instructors Pierre and Cathy Dutertre give participants a chance to use photography as an outlet to share their unique story and experiences with cancer. The program allows participants an opportunity to creatively express their process and offer a therapeutic value. Class enrollment is offered through September 8. For more information on enrollment please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (813)221-2222.
Westshore Alliance Lunch with Political Analyst
Join political analyst Dr. Susan MacManus to learn more about Florida’s political culture and what to expect in the upcoming elections during the Westshore Alliance’s upcoming event on September 27. MacManus is a USF Distinguished University Professor Emerita in the Department of Government and Internal Affairs, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. She served as political analyst for WFLA News Channel 8 from 1998 to 2015 and has been the political analyst for ABC Action News since the beginning of the 2016 presidential election. She is widely recognized as Florida’s most-quoted political scientist with appearances on every major broadcast and cable television and radio network and has been interviewed by major newspapers in Florida, the U.S. and abroad. Register today.
THEA Announces New Board Leadership
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is pleased to announce that Vincent J. Cassidy has been re-elected to serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors. “It is an honor to continue my service as Chairman,” said Mr. Cassidy. “THEA is a hub of innovation where cutting-edge technologies have improved the lives of our citizens, and I look forward to guiding this organization as we continue to provide 21st Century transportation solutions to the Tampa Bay Region.” In addition to re-electing Cassidy as Chair, the Board also elected Bennett Barrow to continue as THEA’s Vice Chairman and Daniel Alvarez to continue as Secretary. Mr. Barrow is President of Barrow Asset Management, a registered investment advisor in Tampa, Florida. After graduating from the University of the South (Sewanee) in 2002, Mr. Barrow worked in Madrid, Spain, and Santiago, Chile as a pension reform analyst. He received his Certified Financial Planner TM designation from the University of South Florida Financial Planner Program in 2011 and sits on the Board of Trustees at Berkeley Preparatory School, Board of Directors at St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, and the Advisory Committee for High Risk Hope. “Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Announces 2019 Board Leadership” – Tampa Bay Newswire
Apply for the Wave’s Post-Accelerator Program
Do you have a startup company that is actively growing with market traction and revenue? Apply for Wave’s Post-Accelerator Program! The Post-Accelerator program is a cohort designed specifically for companies that are in the Launch and Grow segments of our BUILD-LAUNCH-GROW framework. These are companies that have launched a product or service, have market traction, a minimum revenue/investment threshold, and other criteria that designate them as companies focused on growth. The deadline is September 15, 2018 at 11:59pm.
City Council Votes in Favor of Social Club
Plans to convert a historic estate on Bayshore Boulevard into a private social club are a step closer to reality after a public hearing that spanned more than six hours Thursday evening and stretched into early Friday. Tampa City Council approved both a rezoning and a special use for alcohol for 4621 Bayshore Blvd., the century-old Stovall-Lee home, in a vote that was handed down just after 1 a.m. Friday. Tampa’s Casper family — Caspers Co. CEO Blake Casper, his wife, Tate, and sister Allison Casper Adams — is planning to turn the home into a private social club with a five-unit bed-and-breakfast on the property. Caspers Co. is the largest McDonald’s franchisee in the state of Florida; Blake Casper and Allison Casper Adams are co-owners of Tampa’s Oxford Exchange. The Caspers paid $9.5 million for the home in March, the highest residential sale in Tampa history. “Caspers’ Plans To Convert Historic Bayshore Estate Into Social Club Clear First City Council Vote (Video)” – Tampa Bay Business Journal (subscription required)
Shortage of Construction Workers in Tampa Bay
Eight out of every 10 firms are having trouble finding enough skilled labor, according to a nationwide survey from the Associated General Contractors of America released Wednesday. Just as many expect hiring in the next 12 months to be as hard or even harder than the previous year. The shortages span the trades, with pipelayers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, concrete workers, pipefitters and welders in particularly high demand. Companies big and small are feeling the pinch. Eighty-two percent of the state’s firms expect to hire additional hourly workers in the next year, compared to 76 percent nationally. They also plan to hire significantly more office personnel than the national average, as well as more salaried workers. The labor shortage has increased competition, with more than half of the Florida companies saying they are losing workers to other firms. They are also having a harder time finding adequately trained workers, the survey found. “Florida Construction Projects Slowed By Worker Shortage. Problem Could Get Worse.” – Tampa Bay Times
New Dog Park Opens
Hillsborough County’s newest dog parks will open today, Tuesday, Sept. 4, giving dogs and their people more than 2 ½ acres where they can frolic, fetch, and socialize. The new dog park is built on a portion of Bertha and Tony Saladino Park, 1705 Bryan Road in Brandon. The dog park includes 1.8 acres for large dogs and 0.8 acres for smaller dogs. Both areas are fenced and include shaded seating, water fountains for people and dogs, and canine agility and play equipment. The project also includes a walking trail and paved parking.
Vinoy Resort in St. Pete Sells
SCG Hospitality, whose principal is Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ owner Bryan Glazer, has bought the venerable Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in downtown St. Petersburg. The deed had not been recorded as of Wednesday and the price has not been revealed. The sale includes a golf club and 74-slip marina as well as the 362-room hotel. The seller is RLJ Lodging Trust, which acquired the Vinoy last August as part of its $1 billion takeover of a Maryland company. It had announced that the venerable hotel was for sale, saying it wanted to get out of the resort business and concentrate on single-building, moderately price hotels like Embassy Suites. SCH Hospitality hired The Plasencia Group, a Tampa-based hospitality investment advisory firm, to provide owner representation and development management. “St. Pete’s Vinoy Resort Sold To Company Backed By Tampa Bay Bucs’ Bryan Glazer” – Tampa Bay Times
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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