Tampa Public Art - Downtown Development/Cbd


TPA's Ordinance encourages Public Art in private development projects citywide, but specifically through the Central Business District (CBD), or Downtown Zoning regulations. The goal is to encourage art throughout the downtown open spaces and to insure that the public can enjoy this art. Public Art should support downtown as a regional cultural center. Toward this end, Public Art in private real estate development creates a competitive edge by attracting people who are curious about the artwork. Citizens may pause to enjoy the artwork and often return to experience it again while shopping, conducting business, or visiting Tampa.


Developers of new construction projects in the CBD are required to comply as follows: each new development project shall be assessed at .75 % of the total project cost, with a maximum contribution of $200,000, for ground floor or on-site publicly accessible art. A developer may pay a fee-in-lieu of .5% of the total project cost, up to $200,000, into the Public Art Fund.

Location of Public Art

As required by the ordinance, a minimum of 75% of the Public Art funds must be spent on artworks that are clearly visible from the sidewalk or other public space. A maximum of 25% of the funds may be used to acquire artwork that is placed in publicly accessible locations indoors. A developer may provide Public Art on another site that is agreed upon by the City.

Eligible Projects

In each case mentioned below, the art project must be designed or created by a professional artist. Examples of eligible Public Art projects include:

  • Building features and enhancements such as bike racks, gates, benches, fountains, or shade screens, which are unique and/or produced in limited editions
  • Landscape art elements such as walkways, bridges, or art features within a garden; or murals or mosaics covering walls, floors and walkways. Murals may be painted or constructed using a variety of materials, including the use of imbedded or nontraditional materials
  • Sculpture, which can be freestanding, wall-supported, or suspended. It may be kinetic or electronic, provided it is crafted of durable materials appropriate for the site.
  • Fiber works, neon or glass artworks, photographs, prints and any combination of media including sound, film and video systems, or other interdisciplinary artwork applicable to the site
  • Community arts projects resulting in tangible artwork such as community murals, sculptures or kiosks.

Ineligible Projects

Examples of ineligible Public Art projects include:

  • Business logos
  • Directional elements such as super graphics, signage, or color-coding except where these elements are designed by the project artist as part of the development
  • "Art Objects" which are mass-produced such as fountains, statuary or playground equipment
  • Most art reproductions
  • Landscaping or hardscape elements that would already be associated with the project unless designed by the artist
  • Services or utilities necessary to operate or maintain artworks
  • Elements designed by the project architect, landscape architect or engineer.

Eligible Costs

When preparing a budget for the artwork, certain costs may be included to meet the developer's minimum art investment: professional artist's budget, including artist fees, materials, assistant's labor costs, insurance, permits, taxes, business and legal expenses, operating costs, and art dealer's fees, if these are necessary and reasonable; fabrication and installation of the work of art; site preparation; structures enabling the artist to display the work of art; documentation of the work of art; acknowledgment plaque identifying the artist, work, and development.

Recommended Process

The following process will help a developer create a successful Public Art project which will both enhance the value of the site, and create enjoyable and compelling public spaces for people living in and visiting Tampa. The TPA staff is available to answer questions but the following steps are intended as guidelines to aid the developer.

Staff Meeting/ Pre-Application Conference

The TPA program is represented at the pre-application conference to explain the requirements. The developer should call the TPA staff to arrange a meeting to discuss what the project is to accomplish, the minimum art investment, and the type of professional artist needed for the project. A slide bank is available to help developers in selecting artists.

Artist Slide Bank: The slides from the City's Artist Registry are available for viewing. TPA staff will assist in viewing the slides and will provide contact information on the artists chosen.

Professional Artist Selection: The developer contacts the artists under consideration and hires the artist directly. The Artist must be a person who practices in the visual arts as a professional and be someone other than the project designer or architect.

Presentation: The Public Art Committee meets once a month to review art project plans. The developer (or his/her representative) and the artist(s) will prepare the following information for presentation to the Public Art Committee:

  • Resume of the artist selected
  • One-page narrative description of proposed work of art
  • Budget detailing applicable costs
  • Letter of agreement between the developer and artist
  • Scale site plan and landscape plan
  • Scale drawing(s) or model(s)
  • Perspective view showing the proposed work of art in development context.

Key points of the presentation will be: professional background of the artist(s); budget; proposed work's accessibility to the public; and durability, safety, placement and visibility of the project. The Committee will vote on whether the art project plan satisfies the developer's requirement as per the ordinance. It will provide its approval in writing to the developer.

Signed Contract: A copy of a fully executed signed contract will be faxed or mailed between the developer and the artist(s) to the TPA Program.

Certificate of Occupancy: Once the art project plan is approved and the contract is in place, the TPA staff will write a letter releasing the Certificate of Occupancy with regard to the Public Art component. The developer can get their Certificate of Occupancy once they show that they have a contract with the artist.

Artist Final Report: The developer will request the project artist(s) to submit a brief report on the project to the TPA Program that includes a final budget for the art elements, a visual image of the finished work, detailed instructions for core and maintenance, and suggestions for program improvement.

Public Art Fund Option: If a developer chooses to contribute the required art investment to the Public Art Fund, moneys must be deposited into the Public Art Fund in order to receive approval for the Certificate of Occupancy to insure the contribution will benefit both the developer and the City.