State of the City Mayor Bob Buckhorn - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 10:30 a.m. - Kress Building

Economic Development

InVision Tampa

InVision Tampa is the master planning process for our City Center, Nebraska Transit Corridor, and surrounding neighborhoods. With the help of more than 800 residents, 1,000 online users and globally recognized urban planners from AECOM, the team presented the draft plan for our City Center in November 2012, and is currently working on the Nebraska Transit Corridor part of the project.

Accela Permitting System

This $2.8 million technology upgrade came from the Mayor's Economic Competitiveness Committee. The system will provide the City, businesses, homeowners and developers with integrated, real-time access to permitting and licensing information with a heavy emphasis on easy-to-use web and mobile technologies.Title Number Three

Restoration of the Classic Federal Courthouse

The $25 million project which will transform the Classic Federal Courthouse into a 130-room Le Meridien Hotel that will include a signature restaurant, outdoor dining, a 2,400 sq. ft ballroom and meeting space. The project is being developed by Development Service Group (DSG) of Memphis, TN which is the same team that developed the award winning Le Meridian Hotel -- Philadelphia which is located in a historic YMCA in downtown Philadelphia that was built in 1907.

New High Rise Residential Project
Near the Straz Center

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced that the Intown/Framework Group, LLC will invest $85 million to create a new high-rise, 350-unit residential complex in downtown Tampa. The parcel of land is currently the right-of-way between Cass and Tyler streets, and as part of the development, the City of Tampa will sell that land and reconfigure the streets, allowing Cass to become two-way.

Choice Neighborhods Grant

The Tampa Housing Authority in connection with the City of Tampa was awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the construction of the Tempo apartment complex at Encore. The grant will also provide for the historic preservation of St. James Church for community services, renovations at Perry Harvey Park, and a job training facility on a site donated by the GTE Federal Credit Union.

Progress at Encore

The Tampa Housing Authority (THA) in connection with the City of Tampa opened the Ella senior apartment complex at Encore. By the end of 2012, construction had started on both the Trio and Reed apartment complexes.

Zack Street Promenade of the Arts -- Completion of Phase I

The over $1.2 million investment consists of the construction of a pedestrian-friendly area along Zack Street with an emphasis on the integration of public art into the streetscape. The project was designed by Graham-Booth Landscape Architecture and the contractor will be Trimar Construction, Inc.

Agua Luces -- Public Art Bridge Lighting Program

Mayor Bob Buckhorn unveiled "Agua Luces" ("Water Lights" in Spanish), a new, permanent art installation and an extension of the "Lights on Tampa" program. Four bridges, Platt Street Bridge, Brorein Street Bridge, Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, and CSX Railroad Bridge along with the Crosstown were lit as part of the initial project. Chicago-based lighting artist Tracey Dear, who lit the bridges in Chicago as well as the Wrigley Building, was chosen for the installation.

Enterprise Resource Planning System

A unique example of government cooperation, this five year, $34M deal with Hillsborough County provides a fully-integrated, cloud-hosted public sector management system designed to improve the flow, flexibility and responsiveness of Tampa's back office operations.

Accela Code Enforcement

This project builds on the Accela permitting system implementation and replaces a 20 year old system with a fast, mobile enabled system geared to manage modern code enforcement activities..

Public Wi-Fi for Key City Locations

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced seven new public Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the City of Tampa offices. Each hotspot was chosen because it is in a highly trafficked area and will be of most use to our customers.

Restoration of the Water Works Building

The Columbia Restaurant and Metro Bay Realty, LLC were selected to redevelop the historic Water Works Building as a waterside restaurant. The restaurant is part of a larger concept for Water Works Park. The City of Tampa will extend the Tampa Riverwalk through the park, connecting the Tampa Heights neighborhood. The project will transform the area into a space for everyone to enjoy, with a new park, a restored spring, and a restaurant with views of the Hillsborough River.

Trade Trip to Colombia

In December 2012, Mayor Buckhorn traveled to Colombia on a week long trade mission. In Bogota, Mayor Buckhorn and Governor Rick Scott before traveling to Tampa's sister city Baranquilla with local officals from the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, airport, and port. The trip is the first American trade mission to Colombia since a free trade pact between Colombia and the United States took effect in May 2012.

TIGER Grant for the Riverwalk

The City of Tampa was awarded a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant in June 2012 which will allow the City to construct the Kennedy Boulevard Plaza segment as well as to design and build the Doyle Carlton segment, which runs from the Straz Center north to Water Works Park.

Historical Monument Trail

The first six busts along the Tampa Riverwalk were installed. The Historic Monument Trail honors significant events and noteworthy people that have shaped the history of Tampa and Hillsborough County. The first six busts represented James McKay, Clara Frye, Eleanor McWilliams Chamberlain, Vicente Martinez-Ybor, Henry B. Plant, and Mound Building Indians.

Captrust segment of the Tampa Riverwalk Completed

The Captrust segment of the Tampa Riverwalk, an overwater section that runs from the north end of the Brownstone segment to the south end of MacDill Park, was completed in 2012. A continuous riverwalk runs from MacDill Park down to the Channelside area.

Brorein Street Underpass and Brownstone Segment of the Tampa Riverwalk Completed

The City of Tampa celebrated the completion of the two sections of the Tampa Riverwalk, the Brorein Street Underpass and the Brownstone Segment. This segment extends the southern part of the existing Riverwalk an additional 550 feet and allows visitors to easily walk under the Brorein Street bridge. The segment also features a path of literary elements, called Quotes on the Water which are engraved into the walkway.
Mayor's River O'Green Fest

The Mayor's River O'Green Fest is the City of Tampa's official annual Saint Patrick's Day event that takes place in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Tampa Water crews transform the Hillsborough River into a bright shade of green for the occasion.

Bicycle Sharing

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced that the team of CycleHop, LLC and Social Bicycles will create a bicycle sharing program in Tampa. Tampa released a Request for Proposals in the fall of 2012 with the goal to have 30 bicycle stations with 300 bikes throughout Tampa's downtown core, Ybor City, and surrounding neighborhoods by the fall 2013. Expansion phases will continue out to Westshore and the University of South Florida area by fall 2015. The Bike Sharing Program is part of Mayor Buckhorn's overall goal to make Tampa a more bicycle-friendly community and to expand on our bicycle infrastructure.

Restoration of the Florida Avenue Mural

In 2012, the famous Florida Avenue mural was restored by local artist Carl Cowden III. Water damage had caused the stucco to crack and crumble. The total cost was $12,000.

Kinetic Ring

In partnership with the City of Tampa and Westshore Alliance, local artist Catherine Woods designed Kinetic Ring to reflect the flavor of Westshore: colorful, lively and active. Westshore's "on-the-move" vibe was captured in the sculpture through the dynamic 'pinwheel' framework. The shape of the glass suggests a kinetic appearance, and is designed for a drive-by experience. The gateway, titled, Kinetic Ring, sits 24' tall, and cost $95,311.

Restoration of the Old Clock Tower atop Tampa City Hall

The City of Tampa Public Works Department oversaw the restoration of the Old Clock Tower atop of Tampa City Hall.

Tampa's first CNG solid waste CNG vehicles

The City of Tampa initially purchased five CNG-powered solid waste trucks will add five more to replace aging diesel trucks to its fleet by 2014. The new CNG vehicles will save Tampa taxpayers approximately $152,000 annually.

Waste Management Refund

The City of Tampa settled with Waste Management for $1.2 million after a preliminary audit showed that the City was overcharged for services. After discussions, the City accepted Waste Management's settlement offer for $1.2 million.

Opening of Bay Bistro at the Tampa Convention Center

The Bay Bistro is a new 7,800 square foot waterfront bistro providing visitors to the Tampa Convention Center and patrons of the Riverwalk a new outdoor dining option along the waterfront. The menu is eclectic, ranging from burgers to special Bay Bistro fritters, and repositions the Convention Center as a destination in it's own right.

Opportunity Corridors

Mayor Buckhorn believes that major transportation arteries are economic development opportunities. In 2012, the City of Tampa improved the aesthetics throughout the downtown core, including along Ashley Drive and Bayshore Boulevard, and planted 783 trees. The City of Tampa's goal is to encourage these corridors to grow neighborhood supporting retail and to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.




Agua Luces






Opportunity Corridor



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