Tampa Downtown Partnership Announces Urban Excellence Award Winners

By Press Release

TAMPA (November 30, 2018) – The Tampa Downtown Partnership is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Urban Excellence Awards. Nominees were recognized, and winners received their awards during the annual celebration on Thursday, November 29 at The Gathering in Armature Works Public Market located in Tampa Heights.

Kari Goetz of the Florida Aquarium and Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined the stage Thursday night with Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Acting President and CEO Lynda Remund as well as Chairman, Mickey Jacob to address the crowd and announce the winners in each category.

“The Urban Excellence Awards event is a unique opportunity where the Tampa Downtown Partnership brings together the downtown community and stakeholders to say thank you and recognize those pioneers, trailblazers, and Downtown champions that make downtown a great place to live, work and play,” said Mickey Jacob, Chairman for the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “It’s an event I look forward to each year.”

Finalists are chosen through a three-step process. First, the Tampa Downtown Partnership invites the public to submit nominations for each category. When the nomination period closes, each submission is considered based on the criteria set within each category. Finally, a panel of jurors representing a cross-section of downtown constituencies evaluate the nominations on a scale of 1-10 based on the criteria and their relation to six topics; innovation, creativity, engagement, sustainability, advancement, and impact.

“Tampa’s Downtown would not be the vibrant, unique place that it is without the hard work, dedication and devotion of the many Urban Excellence nominees and winners,” said Remund. “Their contributions have made a significant and lasting positive impact on Downtown and this awards ceremony allows us the opportunity to recognize and thank them for all they’ve done.”

Winners are:

  • Activating Public Spaces Award: Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Pocket Parks Phase 1

This award recognizes a person, organization, business, project or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to a Downtown space or has created a more attractive pedestrian atmosphere, and commercially vibrant environment through activities, street level store front improvements or design elements.

  • Arts & Culture Award: Tampa Museum of Art “Love Is Calling” Exhibit

This award is presented to an organization, event or initiative that has had a significant and lasting impact on downtown’s arts and cultural life, stimulates economic growth, encourages tourism and enhances downtown’s cultural image.

  • Downtown Collaboration Award: TECO Line Streetcar Reimagined: Free Fares & Modernization & Expansion Study

This award recognizes a group partnership that has made a unique, positive contribution to Downtown; and has been responsible for a project or program that has complemented the work of the City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

  • Downtown Experience Award: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Franklin Street Block Party by Tampa Theatre

This award is presented to an event, entity or idea that involved people in or exposed them to a positive Downtown experience, thus enhancing their enjoyment while visiting the area.

  • Landmark Development Award: Armature Works – Heights Public Market

This award recognizes an iconic building that serves as a magnet to attract people to Downtown by improving the physical environment or by enhancing the economic, cultural or social well-being of the area.

  • Marketplace Award: Duckweed Urban Grocery

This award is presented to a person, business, project or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to the Downtown marketplace or has improved Downtown by contributing a new or unique retail experience.

  • Private Sector Award: The Wilson Company – CW’s Gin Joint

This award recognizes a private sector project that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; and has demonstrated a commitment to assist in revitalizing the Downtown area.

  • Public Sector Award: Julian B Lane Riverfront Park – City of Tampa

This award recognizes a public sector project that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; and has demonstrated a strong impact in revitalizing the Downtown area.

  • People’s Choice Award: Catherine Bennett of Skypoint Condos

This award is presented to a nominee who receives the most votes.

  • Christine Burdick Person of the Year Award: Leo Rodgers

This award is presented to an individual that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; has added to the Downtown visitor experience and/or that has demonstrated strong leadership in revitalizing the Downtown area.

All entries are considered on their merit. Entries may include Downtown Tampa or center city individuals, businesses, organizations, events, or projects (public or private) that:

  1. Were completed or accomplished during the past three years; and
  2. Made a significant contribution to Downtown; and/or
  3. Displayed an entrepreneurial spirit or community leadership that positively contributed to Downtown; and/or
  4. Have demonstrated a long-term commitment to Downtown.

Awards Jury:

  • Neil Khant, NRK Real Estate Advisors, LLC
  • Jin Liu, Carlton Fields
  • Susan Nelson-Crowley, Tampa Real Estate Pulse
  • Brant Peterson, Peterson’s Properties & Management, LLC
  • Kevin Preast, Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment
  • Kendall Wilson, Holland & Knight LLP

Special thanks to our sponsors FH Events, BDG Architects, Create+Co, Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay Business Journal, AECOM, Carlton Fields, EWI Construction, Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Preparatory School, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, and Unlimited Printing.