Downtown upswing: City’s urban core becomes a place to call home

According to the latest results of a biennial survey, the long-awaited completion of the Riverwalk and Tampa Heights have spurred unprecedented growth in the number of people who make downtown Tampa their home.

The report, the Biennial Downtown Worker and Resident Study, has assessed the mindset of the city’s downtown residents and workers since 2008, when it was first conducted. The 2018 survey, orchestrated by HCP Associates on behalf of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, reveals the urban core’s impressive gains as a live-work-play destination.

Chief among the finds: sustained uptick in long-term residents. The percentage of survey respondents who’ve lived in their current residence for more than five years has doubled since 2010, from 18% to 36%. Half live in condos or lofts; 29% in apartments; 16% in single-family homes; and 6% in townhomes, the report shows.

Also surprising, 96% identify downtown Tampa as their primary residence, while the population is a diverse mix of socioeconomic and demographic groups. A little more than half, 53%, identify as middle class; 39% as upper class; and 8% as working class. Age-wise, 26% are millennials; 41% are Gen Xers; and 33% are baby boomers.

Some 80% of residents who responded to the survey are college graduates, while 49% are married. Most do not have children; however, 34% report owning dogs and 14% have a cat.

The survey also looked at downtown Tampa’s liveable shortcomings. Grocery shopping was the leading area of insufficiency, with 61% of respondents saying they needed more options. Also, 67% of survey respondents who work in downtown Tampa say the area doesn’t have enough places to shop for casual clothing.

To read the full survey results, visit

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