07/27/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — It's been nearly 20 years since the Cold Storage Cafe — a lively coffee shop, bar and hub of political gossip — was closed and demolished.
Now Tampa officials think the site across from City Hall is ripe for commerce again. They are inviting developers to submit proposals for mixed-use projects featuring office, retail, hotel rooms or housing.
In announcing the request for proposals, Mayor Bob Buckhorn called the site, a city-owned parking lot on N Florida Avenue just east of City Hall, "essentially the most prominent undeveloped parcel" in downtown....
07/26/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — Ybor City investor Darryl Shaw has paid $10 million for an industrial site that another Tampa developer once targeted for two high-rise towers.
Shaw bought the Gas Worx property — yes, it's really spelled with an "x" — from Tampa Electric Co. late last month, according to Hillsborough County property records.
The 7.6-acre site lies between Ybor City and the Channel District, and is on the other side of the Nick Nuccio Parkway from the Tampa Park Apartments, a much discussed possible site for a Tampa Bay Rays ballpark....
Hillary Clinton on Friday evening named U.S. Sen. Timothy Kaine of Virginia as her vice presidential running mate.
Minutes after 8 p.m., Clinton tweeted her selection: "I'm thrilled to announce my running mate . . . a man who's devoted his life to fighting for others."
The announcement came after Clinton spent Friday on the I-4 corridor, the fulcrum on which America's biggest swing state turns, to respond to two words in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's acceptance speech — "I alone," as in "I alone can fix it" — with two words of her own: "Stronger together."...
With speculation rampant about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s choice for vice president, and whether she’ll announce the selection in Tampa on Friday, the website for the Florida State Fairgrounds seemed to offer some clarity Thursday, at least for a little while.
Late Thursday afternoon, the fairground’s online calendar said Clinton's campaign rally on Friday would feature “Hillary & Running Mate” and “Announcing her VP.” A fairgrounds staffer told The Buzz the information came from the campaign website....
07/21/16 Local Government
TAMPA — When Mayor Bob Buckhorn took office, putting together a city budget had real drama to it.
His first year in office, he had to close a revenue shortfall of more than $34 million. His second year, it was nearly $28 million.
This year, not so much.
Thanks to a fourth straight year of rising property values, Buckhorn on Thursday proposed a $905.9 million city budget for 2017 that does not dip into city reserves....
07/18/16 Local Government
TAMPA — Monday wasn't the first time Tampa has tried to do something bold and visionary and transformative at the 23 acres of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
But at $35.5 million, City Hall has never put this kind of money into the effort.
"This park is not cheap," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at a mid-morning ceremony to kick of 18 months of construction at the park, which is just across the Hillsborough River from the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. "But I think we also understand as a community the value of parks in our city. They are the common ground."...
TAMPA — With about two weeks to the deadline, organizers of a petition drive to hold a referendum aimed at replacing Tampa's new police review board with a stronger investigative panel have turned in no signatures and don't expect to reach their goal.
The activist coalition Tampa for Justice launched the petition drive in mid-March. ...
TAMPA — Relationships and accountability.
In response to a week of killing where the news got worse and worse, more than a dozen ministers, elected officials and top law enforcement officers kept circling back to those ideas during a "unity in the community" news conference Tuesday at Tampa City Hall.
"We all feel the pain of those who live in Falcon Heights, Minn.," Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick said of the Minneapolis suburb where Philando Castile was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop. "We feel the pain of those in Baton Rouge," where Alton Sterling was shot dead by police. "We also feel the pain of those in Dallas," where Micah Johnson killed five officers and wounded nine others....
07/08/16 Public Safety
After a violent and trying three days in America, civil rights activists and law enforcement officers from across Tampa Bay found themselves grappling with their own emotions — and the grief of a bruised nation.
"I'm still trying to get my arms around where we're going as a country," Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said Friday, hours after he ordered members of his department to wear memorial bands around their badges in tribute to the five police officers killed in the ambush in Dallas....
07/08/16 Real Estate
Tens of millions of dollars in road, drainage and sewer work is expected to start in August on two massive projects at the southern and northern ends of downtown Tampa.
One, the Jeff Vinik-Cascade Investment project, has been the talk of Tampa for more than two years.
The second is the Heights, just north of Interstate 275, near Ulele and Water Works Park. You haven't heard as much about it, but that's changing, and for good reason....
07/02/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — The Related Group's new apartment tower on Harbour Island is already about three stories tall and is on its way to 21, but islanders who oppose the project have not given up their efforts to block the project.
Since January, more than 80 residents and property owners on the island have pressed a lawsuit — the second filed over the city's approval of the tower — to have a judge declare the city's building permit null and void on the grounds that Tampa officials miscalculated the number of parking spaces available for the project....
TAMPA — The president of Tampa's police union has been cleared of an allegation that he made a throat-slashing gesture during the contentious City Council meeting where Frank Reddick was ousted as council chairman.
Vincent Gericitano, president of the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, which represents about 1,000 sworn officers, denied making the gesture. He did not respond to requests for comment Friday, but told internal affairs investigators he was shocked when Reddick interrupted the April 7 meeting to accuse him of making the gesture....
TAMPA — Construction is still a year and a half away, but officials have begun work on plans to minimize disruption to businesses on Gandy Boulevard when they extend the elevated lanes of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.
This week, the board of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to support the $192 million project.
"With several new businesses recently opened on Gandy Boulevard, and more currently under development," the corridor needs relief from traffic congestion, and the elevated lanes will provide it, South Tampa chamber president Kelly Flannery said in an email sent to members Tuesday. "As the project progresses, our No. 1 priority will continue to be to educate and support the businesses along Gandy Boulevard."...
TAMPA — With a campaign built on invective and a business record that includes lawsuits and corporate bankruptcies, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump would be a "disaster" for the U.S. economy, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.
"Twitter is not an economic policy," Buckhorn said at a Clinton campaign event at Allegra Design Print Mail in downtown Tampa. "His infrastructure policy consists of building a wall. I don't know that we can move forward with a President Trump."...
06/17/16 Local Government
TAMPA — With construction on the rebound and property taxes on the rise, Tampa's budget outlook is steadily getting brighter. But some recent bad news about employee pensions has darkened one corner of the picture.
Thanks mostly to a change mandated by the Legislature, officials say City Hall will have to contribute an additional $5 million-plus next year to make sure the city's two employee pension funds have the money needed to pay future benefits....