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Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park enliven downtown Tampa

Julie Watkinson, center, chats with friends in July after riding bicycles from Harbor Island over the bridge to Riverwalk.


Julie Watkinson, center, chats with friends in July after riding bicycles from Harbor Island over the bridge to Riverwalk.

The blossoming Riverwalk project has helped enliven Tampa's downtown, along with the adjoining Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

"It's one of our central gathering points in all of Tampa," said Lee Hoffman, Riverwalk development manager.

A few miles south of the park, just outside the Tampa Convention Center, people gather at the Sail Pavilion outdoor bar to enjoy drinks and Florida's friendly weather. The waterfront bar, which is owned by the city, also opened this year to steadily growing patronage.

"When they discover it, they go, 'Wow, I didn't know this was here,' " Hoffman said.

On tap next year is the construction of two more sections of the Riverwalk — a total of 550 feet that will cost Tampa about $3.2 million — marking completion of 1.6 miles of the 2.2-mile waterfront walkway project.

Justin George, Times staff writer

Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park enliven downtown Tampa 12/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:30am]
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