07/31/14 Local Government
TAMPA — The City Council today considers a deal that would clear the way for a new Ybor City apartment complex with a brick-and-tall window design meant to echo the historic district's old cigar factories.
The council will decide whether to sell vacant city-owned land on the northern rim of Ybor to a partnership between Tampa developers Greg Minder and Phillip Smith and Robert Moreyra's Forge Capital Partners....
07/25/14 Real Estate
TAMPA — Two 21-story apartment towers are in the works for Harbour Island, with construction on each targeted to start by the end of this year.
Two different groups are developing the towers, which would flank the 20-story Plaza Harbour Island condominium on Knights Run Avenue.
On the west side of the Plaza, the Related Group from Miami is working on plans for a tower with 340 apartments....
TAMPA — To enliven downtown, Tampa has tried:
• Coloring the Hillsborough River kelly green for St. Patrick's Day.
• Creating a mac-and-cheese festival.
• Putting a pop-up golf driving range on N Franklin Street.
• Trucking in loads of white sand for a summer beach volleyball court.
Now comes a hot pink pingpong table where you can play table tennis for free in Lykes Gaslight Square Park....
07/24/14 Local Government
TAMPA — For the first time in five years, the city of Tampa will balance its budget without drawing cash from reserves, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Thursday.
Not only that, but Buckhorn's proposed $876 million budget for the 2015 fiscal year will start to replenish the rainy day funds that helped carry the city through the lean years after the housing crash.
"There is a good story to tell this year as we come out of the wreckage of what has been one of the most devastating recessions since the Great Depression," said Buckhorn, who plans to run for re-election in March....
TAMPA — When Punit Shah and Santosh Govindaraju bought the old Mercantile Bank building on Kennedy Boulevard, the ground floor was flooded, the elevators didn't work and demolition had been scheduled.
Two years and $20 million later, the pair on Wednesday celebrated the opening of the Aloft Tampa Downtown, a 130-room boutique hotel with views of the Hillsborough River, a bar, a poolside lounge and a sleek modern look....
The Pentagon expects to budget $32 million for infrastructure upgrades at MacDill Air Force Base to support new KC-135 jet tankers being transferred to Tampa, Department of Defense officials told five members of the Tampa Bay area's congressional delegation on Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, and Repubican representatives Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, David Jolly of Indian Shores, Rich Nugent of Spring Hill and Dennis Ross of Lakeland met at Castor's office with a group from the Pentagon that included Kathleen Ferguson, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics....
Tampa City Council member Lisa Montelione on Tuesday filed to run for re-election to the council's District 7 seat representing North Tampa and New Tampa.
Montelione, 53, lives in the Terrace Park neighborhood and works as the business manager for Rising Force Construction, a firm that specializes in environmentally friendly green projects.
"There are a lot of things in the north and New Tampa and Tampa Palms areas that I think could use improvement," she said. "There are a lot of people who need representatiion, whether they are registered voters or just people who happen to live within those boundaries, that I want to serve."...
07/21/14 Local Government
TAMPA — There's good news for those who have fought for Tampa's historic but long-closed Cuscaden Park pool.
After saying there probably would be no money for the pool next year, Mayor Bob Buckhorn's administration said Monday it plans to budget $300,000 in 2015 to design repairs to the pool.
And in 2016, the city plans to budget $1.5 million more for construction. That means the pool might not reopen until sometime in 2017, eight years after the city closed it in 2009 because of leaks and high maintenance costs....
07/17/14 Local Government
TAMPA — The 10-foot-tall sculpture is something like a family keepsake stashed out back by the trash cans for nearly 20 years.
But by the end of this year, it will be cleaned up and moved to a place of pride closer to the front door.
The City Council voted Thursday to approve a $38,515 upgrade for the Yaacov Agam sculpture Visual Welcome.
Agam is an Israeli artist with a global reputation as the father of "kinetic art" — art that appears to move....
TAMPA — Tampa's new $7.4 million Water Works Park will open on Aug. 12, with a grand opening celebration on Aug. 16 featuring fireworks, food trucks, live entertainment and children's activities.
Announcing the plans Thursday, Mayor Bob Buckhorn described the park as "transformative" for Tampa Heights and the city's urban core.
"It's another point of connection with the Hillsborough River and will be a space for entertainment and activity," he said....
07/17/14 Local Government
TAMPA — The City Council on Thursday approved a $6.9 million construction budget to create a new Perry Harvey Sr. Park near downtown Tampa — and to demolish and rebuild the historic Bro Bowl skateboard park at a new location.
The council's vote was 5-0, with Charlie Miranda and Yvonne Yolie Capin absent because they are traveling in Cuba on separate trips. No one from the public spoke before the vote. The approval comes after at least nine months of delay related to the Bro Bowl's designation last October as the first skate bowl in the United States to be named to the National Register of Historic Places....
07/16/14 Local Government
TAMPA — After nine months of delay, City Hall is poised to move ahead with construction of a new Perry Harvey Sr. Park — and the removal of the current Bro Bowl skateboard park.
The City Council is scheduled to vote today on setting a guaranteed maximum price of nearly $6.95 million for the new park. If the council approves, the contractor likely would fence the park in early September and begin construction a few weeks later....
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be among the local elected officials leading a trade mission to Santiago, Chile, later this year.
The mission is being organized by the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, a new collaboration between Pinellas County Economic Development and the nonprofit Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.
"This mission to Chile is our first joint mission since we made that announcement (of the export alliance's creation) in May," said Jennifer Mikosky, the Tampa Hillsborough EDC's vice president of marketing and communications. It is scheduled for Dec. 1 to 5....
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman will be among the local elected officials leading a trade mission to Santiago, Chile from Dec. 1-5.
The mission is being organized by the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, a new collaboration between the nonprofit Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and Pinellas County Economic Development.
“This mission to Chile is our first joint mission since we made that announcement (of the export alliance’s creation) in May,” said Jennifer Mikosky, the Tampa Hillsborough EDC’s vice president of marketing and communications....
07/15/14 Local Government
TAMPA — It's been nearly 10 years since Tropical Storm Frances scraped across the Tampa Bay area, dumping 6 inches of rain and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people.
In Tampa, students returned to school and evacuees went home within days. Though cleanup and repairs took longer, the city finished those jobs by April 2005.
But the paperwork?
It's not done yet....