Sunday, December 10, 2017
Business

Carlton: What do we call not-Vinikville?

Buzz has long been building over Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's plan to transform, rebuild and revitalize a southern swath of downtown Tampa. It just got a big buy-in from the City Council, and shovels will soon hit the dirt to get things started.

So. What are we supposed to call it?

As the Times' Justine Griffin reports, Vinik's big real estate venture has yet to be named. (Though one would assume a snappy moniker would be valuable for getting people who live here behind it.) The generic "Vinik project" seems to chafe some involved who think any reference should represent both Vinik and Cascade Investment, which formed the developer Strategic Property Partners, or SPP.

The Vinik Cascade SPP Project?

Yawn.

To his credit, Vinik was not enamored of the unsolicited early nickname Vinikville. But over those University Club power lunches with that million-dollar high-rise view of what he will one day have wrought, people have to call it something. It's like your neighbors brought home a new baby but hadn't gotten around to that whole naming thing. Awkward.

Well, we're happy to help out here.

Hooterville has been offered — a nod not only to Tampa's small-towny ways but also to the tight-T-shirt-and-chicken-wing emporium that stuck it out at the beleaguered Channelside entertainment complex perched at downtown's edge.

Times readers helpfully suggested San Vincisco, Vinikwood, San Vinadino, Vinsylvania, Viniapolis, and Most People Can't Afford To Live There Town. I bet Vinikville is starting to sound pretty good about now.

Worth actual consideration: Waterside, the Waterfront, Downeast and SoDo, as in south downtown, complementing the nearby Soho fun mecca on South Howard Avenue.

There's the Lightning District. Bayside (though Miami already has one). Top of the Bay, where it sits, though the mayor who likes to wear shamrock pants and dye the river green might prefer Top O' The Bay.

In fact, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has yet to get his moniker on anything major around here, since the big parks coming to fruition under his watch are already named for prior notables. (Though he did manage to etch his name in stone on a pillar at one of them.) Buckhorn has been a most enthusiastic booster of That Which Will Not Be Called Vinikville.

"Bobtown?" suggests Patrick Manteiga, political columnist and publisher of La Gaceta.

Buckhornia, perhaps?

City Council member Charlie Miranda likes something not too aloof. Councilwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin suggests the South River District, given the Hillsborough River that winds through downtown and the pretty Riverwalk at its edge.

Here's an interesting suggestion from the City Council's Guido Maniscalco, something apart from the Cuban sandwiches and cigars iconic elsewhere in town: Tocobaga, the Indian tribe that long ago lived in the area.

" 'Where do you live?' 'The Tocobaga.' " he says. "Sounds exotic."

You get the point. Clearly, people are interested enough to want to call it something, a good sign.

So name that baby already.

Sue Carlton can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

TAMPA — Hundreds rallied near the University of South Florida on Friday night to protest President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that the United States will recognize the divided city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The protest was organize...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Duke outage leaves 7,700 without power near Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Up to 7,700 customers across Pinellas Park, Lealman and Kenneth City lost power in a Thursday night outage, according to Duke Energy.The outage impacted a cloverleaf-shaped area of customers, with pedals extending in the cardinal dire...
Published: 12/08/17
Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

TAMPA — Drivers on the Veterans Expressway will gain an extra lane from Gunn Highway to Hillsborough Avenue starting Saturday.But there’s a catch: Once drivers enter the lane, they won’t be able to leave it — not until a designated exit about six mil...
Published: 12/08/17
St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure ...
Published: 12/08/17
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

In a decision driven by some major data crunching, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater next year will focus its tourism advertising on three target markets: Orlando, New York City and its Tampa Bay home."Research is going to dictate our behaviors and direction...
Published: 12/08/17
Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

TAMPA — JW Marriott, a luxury hotel brand new to Tampa, will run the new 519-room hotel that the Water Street Tampa project is building next to the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, developers announced Friday.Construction on the 26-story hotel is ...
Published: 12/08/17

Gravel spill shuts down parts of northbound Howard Frankland Bridge

TAMPA — Authorities are cleaning up a load of gravel spilled onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge on Friday afternoon, shutting down at least two lanes of traffic.The incident was reported at 2 p.m. on the stretch of the bridge drivers approac...
Published: 12/08/17
A longer wait: Some now try nearly 3 years to get disability insurance

A longer wait: Some now try nearly 3 years to get disability insurance

By the time Teralyn Fleming could finally plead her case to get federal disability insurance, she had been waiting two years and three months. The wait was not a peaceful one — a blood clotting disorder pushed her out of the workforce in 2015 ...
Published: 12/08/17
Why has bitcoin’s price shot up so fast?

Why has bitcoin’s price shot up so fast?

SAN FRANCISCO — Bitcoin has been in a bull market like few the world has ever seen.At the beginning of the year, the price of a bitcoin was below $1,000. It hit $5,000 in October, then doubled by late November. And on Thursday, less than two weeks la...
Published: 12/08/17
U.S. employers added 228,000 jobs in November, unemployment rate stays at 4.1 percent

U.S. employers added 228,000 jobs in November, unemployment rate stays at 4.1 percent

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added a robust 228,000 jobs in November, a sign of the job market’s enduring strength in its ninth year of economic recovery. The unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the Labor Department reported F...
Published: 12/08/17