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Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

University of Tampa student Crystelle Zephir loads groceries from the Publix near Bayshore Bouevard into a Downtowner shuttle driven by Anthony Santana. The Tampa Downtown Partnership is looking to expand its services, including the Downtowner, north into Tampa Heights. Final approval could come in August. ANDRES LEIVA | Times (2017)
Published Feb. 23, 2018

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.

That's because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights.

"Tampa Heights is becoming an important gateway into downtown Tampa with its own eclectic vibe and personality," partnership interim CEO and president Lynda Remund said in a statement issued after the City Council's vote Thursday. "We are looking forward to bringing our full suite of services to this area just north of downtown."

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Through a contract with City Hall, the partnership runs a special services district that staffs downtown with the free electric Downtowner shuttles, plus guides for visitors and a "clean team" that picks up litter. It also works on initiatives related to marketing, business development, planning, activating public spaces and issues like transportation.

The expansion wouldn't be final until August, when the partnership is scheduled to go back to the council to renew its special services district with the expanded boundaries.

Once that happens, property owners already inside the district and those in the new boundaries would be assessed $1.10 per $1,000 in assessed, non-exempt property value to pay for services provided by the partnership. Last year, the district's budget was $2.45 million. Adding Tampa Heights would add an estimated $44,000. Expanded Downtowner service would begin Oct. 1.

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Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times


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