Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa looks to Dublin for economic development strategies

TAMPA — Some of Tampa's trade missions over the past four years have been about recruiting new airlines (Lufthansa from Germany, Copa from Panama). Some have been about trying to line up contracts for local manufacturers or supply companies (Chile, Brazil).

And some, like the latest one, to Ireland, are about meeting people, getting your name out there, arranging for college students to study abroad and seeing how a city with a growing population of young, tech-savvy professionals attracts new companies.

"You don't get new business by email. You get business by establishing personal relationships, going to places and meeting with decisionmakers," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, one of 19 officials and business executives who went on the weeklong mission to Dublin last week.

For Buckhorn, who hitchhiked through Ireland during his Penn State days in 1980 and honeymooned there in 2000, what struck him about this trip was the change.

"Dublin, in particular, is a great role model for what Tampa could become," he said. "In 2000, everyone looked like me. You walk around Dublin now, and you hear a multiplicity of languages and see different ethnicities and a lot of young people.

"They have done exactly what we are attempting to do here."

That includes offering incentives for relocations and, in Dublin's case, redeveloping an urban area that had become an abandoned wasteland as a business park for tech companies like Citrix. Companies like Google, Facebook and Airbnb have picked Dublin — where the waterfront work-live-play area is known as "Silicon Docks" — for their European headquarters.

Tampa delegates talked with executives in insurance and banking, toured three different innovation centers and looked at how greater Dublin, with a population of about 1.8 million, handles transportation challenges.

"Dublin, like Tampa-Hills­borough, is experiencing strong growth," said Joe Waggoner, executive director of the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority. Among the things he saw were a commitment to collaboration, a willingness to try everything and a multipart approach to expanding both transit and roadways. "Everywhere you looked, there were large numbers of buses, both public buses and private bus service."

The University of Tampa worked on arranging study-abroad opportunities for UT students interested in studying at Trinity College or the University College of Dublin. UT is one of 10 U.S. universities that is receiving grants to provide scholarships through the Institute of International Education's Generation Study Abroad campaign.

"We are terrifically excited to mobilize our faculty and students and start our exchange of ideas," said Marca Bear, associate dean in UT's international programs office.

Buckhorn also signed an agreement making the county of South Dublin (population: 265,000) Tampa's latest sister city. Buckhorn's travel expenses amounted to less than $3,500, most of which were covered by the expressway authority, where the mayor sits on the board. The trade and protocol council of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce picked up about $1,000 of the cost.

Contact Richard Danielson at rdanielson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times.

Tampa looks to Dublin for economic development strategies 09/08/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]