“City Within A City”

It was only fitting that Mayor Pam Iorio was the keynote speaker at last week’s 20th anniversary Tampa Downtown Partnership meeting and luncheon. With a city-core visual aid and a pointer, she was preaching to the choir on her favorite boilerplate subject: the changing face — and focus — of downtown Tampa. Some asides:

*”Over the next 5 to 6 years” a virtual “city within a city” will come on line in the downtown core and Channelside. Upwards of 8,000 living units and 17,000 residents are anticipated.

*Would, however, that there were more apartments in the mix.

*The sort of growth now occurring – and now planned – is about 20 years ahead of what had been foreseen by most observers. Certainly not the $2.6 billion in investment interest.

*The Riverwalk will link Tampa Heights to Channelside, but the “key to our civic space” is Curtis Hixon Park.

*Ultimately, the city expects to have about “300 major events along the Riverwalk each year.”

*Iorio gave former Mayor Dick Greco his props for projects started under his administration, including the purchase of land parcels adjacent to the Riverwalk.

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