Tampa Downtown Partnership unveils 2019 Urban Excellence Award Winners

Meet the people behind Downtown Tampa’s boom


TAMPA, Fla. – As Downtown Tampa experiences an economic boom, the Tampa Downtown Partnership is honoring those who are adding to the momentum. At its annual Urban Excellence Awards last night, local businesses, organizations and leaders were recognized for their positive impact on Downtown.


“More people than ever are choosing to live, work and play downtown. This type of growth wouldn’t be possible without our amazing, diverse community,” said Tampa Downtown Partnership CEO Lynda Remund. “The Urban Excellence Awards is our opportunity to say thanks to the trailblazers and champions who contribute to the vibrant future of Tampa’s Downtown.”


Tampa Downtown Partnership’s CEO Lynda Remund took the stage at the Tampa Museum of Art along with Hillsborough County Schools Spokesperson Grayson Kamm to announce 2019’s Urban Excellence Award Winners in each category.


“Both the nominees and winners of this year’s Urban Excellence Awards are helping to foster both economic investment and quality of life downtown. The Tampa Downtown Partnership is the glue that holds everyone together. We’re celebrating as a community what we can achieve by fostering a shared vision for Downtown,” Kevin Plummer, Chairman for the Tampa Downtown Partnership said.


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.


2019 Winners:

  • Activating Public Spaces Award: Channel District Community Alliance (CDCA)

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: Straz Center for Performing Arts 2018-2019 Season, Inclusion of Hamilton & Arts Legacy Remix

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: 13 Ugly Men Foundation Inc.

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: Lizzo Freak Shake by Bake’n Babes

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: Sparkman Wharf

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: Indie Flea Tampa at Armature Works

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: All for Transportation

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: Clean Air Fair by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County

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: “Because of Sam The Movie” Premiere at Tampa Theatre

This award is presented to a nominee who receives the most votes via on online submission by the general public.


  • Christine M. Burdick Person of the Year Award: Dave Burton

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:

Sean Baraoidan, Real Building Consultants

Frank Grebowski, European Wax Center

Jennifer Malone, Hillsborough County Planning Commission

Kevin Plummer, Tampa Preparatory School


Special thanks to our sponsors: FH Events, Mighty Fine Design Co., Carlton Fields, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, 13 Ugly Men Inc, David A. Straz Center for Performing Arts, Kimley-Horn, Liberty Group, Related Development, and The Wilson Company