12/26/14 Local Government
TAMPA — Now that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has unveiled his vision for downtown Tampa, the City Council is expected to look at — and could vote on — a key piece of project financing.
Vinik's development team hopes to have a draft agreement ready for the council to consider when it meets as the Community Redevelopment Agency on Jan. 15.
That way, a city approval could be presented to the Florida Board of Governors when it meets the next week to consider the University of South Florida's request to build a new medical school building on about an acre of land donated by Vinik....
12/25/14 Local Government
TAMPA — There's been talk for more than three years that Tampa's oldest public housing complex is due to be torn down, but now residents of North Boulevard Homes have been told to expect a move as soon as next year.
The first moves could start in April, with relocations taking about 18 months. The notices went to residents a few weeks ago.
North Boulevard Homes, built in 1941, and the neighboring Mary Bethune High Rise Apartments, have about 820 apartments and are home to 2,000 or more residents....
TAMPA — Barring a last-minute surprise, watch for Mayor Bob Buckhorn to walk into a second four-year term unopposed.
To get on the ballot, any challenger either would have to gather the signatures of 3,472 registered city voters by Jan. 2 — a monumental task, given the deadline — or pay a $9,000 qualifying fee by noon Jan. 16.
If no one does, Buckhorn will be re-elected automatically. That appears more likely now that former Occupy Tampa activist Becky Rubright has given up trying to make the March 3 ballot....
12/18/14 Local Government
TAMPA — In a promotional video shown to the City Council on Thursday, pro wrestler Hulk Hogan said of his namesake nightclub, "Outside, it's party time all the time at Hogan's Beach!"
Not for us, said homeowners from Dana Shores and managers from a nearby hotel and several apartment complexes along the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
"People cannot sleep in their own homes," said Pamela Adkins, one of about a dozen Dana Shores residents who took their complaints to the council....
Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin has endorsed West Tampa businessman Guido Maniscalco in the race for Tampa City Council District 6.
“Guido has the necessary skills and knowledge to help move Tampa forward,” Griffin said in a written statement released Tuesday by Maniscalco’s campaign. “He will serve the city well with his professionalism and knowledge of city issues."...
12/14/14 Real Estate
TAMPA — A group of Harbour Island condominium residents has lost a round in their battle against a planned 21-story apartment tower next door, but the fight isn't over.
After taking evidence from both sides, a hearing officer has concluded that city officials followed proper procedures when reviewing plans for the Manor of Harbour Island, a 340-apartment tower proposed at 402 Knights Run....
12/12/14 Local Government
TAMPA — For a third year, there's a big New Year's Eve party with DJs, bands and fireworks planned at Hogan's Beach, the waterfront nightclub owned by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.
But this year, neighbors and Tampa City Council members are saying, not so fast.
This week, the City Council asked for a report on whether the Hogan's Beach party scene complies with the property's zoning and city land-use rules....
A week after his only declared opponent dropped out the race, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has reported raising nearly $109,000 in November, bringing his total so far for his re-election campaign to $291,725, according to monthly campaign finance reports due Wednesday....
Julie Jenkins on Monday filed papers to run for the citywide Tampa City Council seat that will come open in April when Mary Mulhern leaves because of term limits.
"The city's been good to me, and the people have been good to me," said Jenkins, a Bel Mar Shores resident and the director of development at St. Peter Claver Catholic School. "I've always given back in many ways ... I’ve got a lot energy. I’ve got ideas. I’m a get-things-done type of person."...
Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez on Monday endorsed West Tampa businesman Guido Maniscalco in the race for Tampa City Council District 6, which represents parts of West and South Tampa.
“Guido has lived, worked and played in this district his entire life," Henriquez said in a prepared statement released by Maniscalco's campaign. "He not only cares about the issues we face, he understands them.”...
12/06/14 Local Government
TAMPA — After years of haggling with St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Rays might soon get their chance to explore stadium sites in Tampa.
Major League Baseball prefers urban locations near office towers, restaurants, condos and parking garages — at least 10 acres in vibrant, walkable areas.
Unfortunately for the Rays, sites fitting that description are becoming hard to find in Tampa....
12/05/14 Public Safety
TAMPA — Taxpayers will pay $41,500 to settle a claim for damages from a Tampa woman arrested as she made a cellphone video of her husband's DUI arrest.
The City Council this week approved the settlement to Leeanna Presson, 40.
Presson was arrested on Feb. 2, 2013, in front of her Interbay-area home. In a claim sent to City Hall, her attorney, Michael Maddux of Tampa, outlined this sequence of events:...
TAMPA — The City Council on Thursday approved an $8.7 million project to turn E Cass and E Tyler streets from one-way thoroughfares into more pedestrian-friendly two-way streets.
Cass and Tyler are the latest — and among the last — one-way pairs in downtown Tampa to be converted to two-way traffic.
The one-way pairs were originally created to move lots of traffic into and out of the central business district quickly. Over time, the city has been converting them to two-way streets....
Acknowledging that “campaigns don’t run on good intentions,” Becky Rubright says she has decided to drop out of Tampa’s race for mayor.
“Unfortunately, we’re done,” Rubright said Monday. She announced the decision in a Facebook post over the weekend. (UPDATE: On Wednesday, Rubright made it official, formally withdrawing from the race, according to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections web site.)...
TAMPA — Acknowledging that "campaigns don't run on good intentions," Becky Rubright says she has decided to drop out of Tampa's race for mayor.
"Unfortunately, we're done," Rubright said Monday. She announced the decision in a Facebook post over the weekend.
Rubright, 41, a Seminole Heights acupuncturist who was active in Occupy Tampa, had intended to gather signatures rather than pay a qualifying fee to get on the March 3 ballot....