In 2017, six things on the upswing sure to elevate Tampa Bay's economy, quality of life

Published February 24 2017
Updated February 24 2017

What's most striking about Tampa Bay's momentum lately is the breadth both of economic and quality of life strides under way. Forbes this month published a list of the 25 fastest growing U.S. metro areas that, to use the magazine's words, "provides a holistic picture of places on the upswing."

Upswing. That's a pretty good description of Tampa Bay these days. Not only does Florida capture six of the top ten picks of fastest growing places by Forbes (with Tampa Bay coming in eighth), the Sunshine State grabs a total of nine of the 25 top metros. That's a whopping 36 percent.

That ranking focuses on recent and projected job, wage population and home price growth. All good, fundamental measures of progress. But let me suggest some other, more concrete and, frankly, more interesting things percolating across the Tampa Bay market at this moment of 2017 that also spell upswing.

They range from the latest signs of a rising urban renaissance in all three of our major cities to a more confident and genuinely regional startup culture. They include the arrival of soon-to-open museums and an influx of brand new supermarkets that promise better choices in food shopping and, yes, more competition.

All of these examples are parts of bigger trends that will play out for decades to come.

No question, Tampa Bay has its warts and challenges. So does every metro on the planet. But enjoy the fact that Tampa Bay in 2017 clearly is enjoying more than its traditional share of economic promise — courtesy of a whole bunch of new things under way. Here are six of the most promising.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @venturetampabay.

       
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