With the Container Store opening in Tampa, tbt* took to the streets to ask an all-important question: Has Tampa arrived? Or is there something else we need to finally feel like a real city? The answers varied, but all skewed close to, We're almost there, but I'd love to have ...
"We need a Bloomingdale's and a West Elm. Right now, I have to drive to Orlando to shop at West Elm."
— Elizabeth Schuck, 31, urban planner, St. Petersburg
"Tampa, specifically, needs more downtown activity and more nightlife downtown. There's more pedestrian traffic than there used to be, but there are only two bars and a couple restaurants that are open late."
— Josef Cigoi, 26, recruiter, Tampa
"When I was in Atlanta, the downtown had a lot of buildings connected and a central place with shops. Tampa could use a place like that so when it rains people would still venture out."
— Cierra Barker, 27, legal assistant, Tampa
"As far as big-box, brick-and-mortar places, we've got pretty much everything. It's exciting that businesses are seeing our city through things like Gasparilla Music Festival and seeing that we have people here with disposable income for these non-necessities. It's a good indicator that Tampa has a healthy economy. Hopefully in five years we'll have even more."
— Dan Schuman, 32, attorney, Tampa
"I don't know that we need any more stores, but do need better transportation like more bike lanes, better bus schedules and bike paths that intersect with mass transit so I don't have to drive my car everywhere."
— Grace Stewart, 58, computer programmer, Temple Terrace
"We need an In-N-Out Burger. It's really good and it's fast. Anything I've ever had here doesn't come close. Five Guys is okay, but it's no In-N-Out. Also a Fry's Electronics; you can't get a motherboard or component parts anywhere around here."
— Sreekanth Gadhiraju, 42, software designer, Riverview
— Robbyn Mitchell [email protected]