Once upon a time, people lived where they grew up or moved specifically for work opportunities. The city choose them rather than the other way around. These days, Millennials curate their moving options as if they are selecting the perfect avocado, weighing the pros and cons of each potential city before settling on a decision. Three in four U.S. Millennials say they are willing to consider moving to a new city, with 19% planning to do so within a year, and 44% within the next five years, according to “Millennial Matter” research.
Increasingly Tampa, Florida is coming out on top, ranking at the number-one city people moved to in 2016, according to Realtor.com. It also ranks as the hottest city for start-ups, according to Fortune, the most pet-friendly, claims RewardExpert and the best overall city in the Southeast, says Money magazine.
Although Florida as a whole has been changing and getting younger in recent years, a confluence of activity, along with a visionary mayor, accessible airport and diverse population, is transforming Tampa into the hippest city in America.
It turns out that Millennials cite less traffic and low crime rate as two major factors that influence their selection of a new city. To that end, Tampa has the lowest violent crime rate compared to other major cities, particularly Dallas and Atlanta.
Millennials seek communities with water and beaches, warm weather, parks, nightlife, lots of activities and events, and culture. They want thriving breweries and a vibrant music scene. Affordability is another key benefit tipping the scales towards Tampa.
Tampa also benefits from both informal and formal mentorship programs from a core group slightly older peers, like Cigar City Brewing, as well as those that are paying it forward like chefs Greg Baker and Ferrell Alvarez who, in turn, are collaborating with other young people.
Either online or offline, Tampa is the city of romance. The area has a plentiful supply of prospective dates. Nearly three quarters (73%) of Millennials are single/never married. In fact, only 21% of Millennials in the entire Tampa metro area are married, compared to 41% in Dallas, 38% in Nashville, 36% in Charlotte, and 30% in Atlanta.
This population influx is led by several Millennial leaders who have returned to their hometowns attracted to the business climate, lifestyle and ability to balance lifestyle with their careers. Although Tampa has a job market, including 19,000 people at the MacDill Air Force Base, an increasing number of Millennials are preferring to embark on their own adventures.
Tampa is small enough where they can actually make a difference, whether it is through politics, business, or philanthropy, say Millennials.
Anthony Derby is one of these boomerang residents. He founded The Brew Bus in 2011 following his graduation from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His love of the beer community had lead the 26-year-old to politics where for the past three years, he has lobbied on behalf of the Brewers Association to all of the U.S. Senators and Congressman including Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Kathy Castor, and David Jolly to lower excise tax and bring awareness to local Florida and Tampa Bay breweries.
Tampa’s Chon Nguyen is the quintessential Tampreneur having founded three city-based companies, Digital Aspire, AVIT, and 212 Digital which introduced the iPad-app based restaurant platform FusionPrep before his 35th birthday. He abides by the mantra to pay-it-forward by serving as an investor and mentor to aspiring young CEOs.
Thirty-year-old Ali Glisson is overseeing a $3 billion-plus plan to reinvent the 53-acre area around Amalie Arena into an urban, mixed-use waterfront development and what the city hopes will become the first health- and wellness-focused city district. Glisson previously served as the PR director for Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn before becoming VP of marketing and communications for Strategic Property Partners (SPP), the real estate firm owned by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment.
Tampa is also embracing Millennials’ preferences for scaling down by becoming one of the first major U.S. cities to develop micro apartments. Urban Core Holdings is converting the top eight floors of a 12-story building into 300-400 square feet micro-apartments. For $850 a month, renters will get a kitchen with a two-burner stove top, refrigerator, dishwasher, a stackable washer-dryer unit, as well as a bike rack and a Murphy bed that transforms into a dining table.
Millennials aren’t just about their careers. They love their downtime. Tampa’s breweries and bars are continuously developing a lot of very interesting pairings to interest Millennials, including “Yoga Pants & Craft Drafts” and the “Running for Brews” club. This summer, Cigar City Brewing’s Ferrell Alvarez and partner Ty Rodriguez are introducing Nebraska Mart, new casual concept aimed at younger crowds. The key selling point to lure their young guests? Shuffleboard courts.
Tampa isn’t perfect. Millennials complain that the community is not a headquarter city (39%), the K-12 public school system could be stronger (36%), and there’s a lack of public transportation (35%).
That said, when asked to name Tampa’s negative, 48% of the local respondents said “none.”
April 25, 2017, Forbes, Larissa Faw
WASHINGTON – Aug. 1, 2016 – An overwhelming four-out-of-five Americans believe that owning a home is a good investment, according to a recent poll commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The nationwide survey of more than 2,800 registered voters was conducted July 22-24 by polling firm Morning Consult.
“The survey shows that most Americans believe that owning a home remains an integral part of the American Dream and that policymakers need to take active steps to encourage and protect homeownership,” says NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a homebuilder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.
- 82 percent rate “a home for you to live in” as a good or excellent investment (the highest of six choices), far ahead of the second option, retirement accounts, at 67 percent
- 81 percent of 18-29-year-olds want to buy a home
- 72 percent support the government providing tax incentives to encourage homeownership
- 46 percent say now is a good time to buy a home – twice the 23 percent who say it is not
- 36 percent would like to buy a home in the next three years
Among those polled, 55 percent said the biggest obstacle to buying a home was finding a home at an affordable price, followed by 50 percent who cited insufficient savings for a downpayment and 41 percent who reported difficulty getting approved for a home loan.
The survey was evenly split on which presidential candidate would be best for housing. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents cited Hillary Clinton, 37 percent Donald Trump and 25 percent reported “don’t know” or “no opinion.”
The Tampa metro area is a star among Florida communities when it comes to a handful of economic measures.
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was a clear standout in population growth, life science employment, tourism spending and apartment completions, according to a new report from Wells Fargo Securities.
Overall, Florida’s economy has battled back from the depths of its deepest downturn since the Great Depression and resumed its position as one of the nation’s fastest-growing economies, Mark Vitner, senior economist, wrote the Florida economic outlook for May.
Florida’s growth model now is “building up and playing off of the state’s unique competitive advantages” and taking advantage of inherent strengths in financial services, health care, logistics and aerospace, he wrote.
Here’s a look at the metrics in which the Tampa metro performed well:
Population growth has ramped back up, as job seekers flock to Florida’s stronger employment markets and retirees move south. “Among Florida’s largest metropolitan areas, Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg were the clear standouts this past year. Population gains in Florida’s largest metro areas tend to be more driven by employment conditions rather than retiree inflows.”
Life science is a notable bright spot. Florida’s life sciences industry employs 63,000 workers across the state. The Tampa metro area has the second-highest number of life science workers, more than 10,000.
Tourism spending, as measured by sales tax receipts, rose 8.8 percent in 2015, with the bulk of the increase coming from Orlando, Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.
The housing market statewide has slowly and steadily improved since the it went bust in 2006-2007, but home sales have slowed in recent months, the report said. Apartment construction, however, has been “robust,” across Florida’s major markets. The report said there were 426 apartment units completed in the Tampa metro in Q1 2016.
Construction of apartments and condominiums will remain close to its recent pace for the rest of the year, Vitner said, but starts of new high-end condominiums will likely pull back a bit, as buyers from Russia and Latin America put off purchases due to economic uncertainties in those economies as well as the stronger value of the dollar relative to their currencies.
The complete report is here.
Margie Manning is Finance Editor of the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She covers the Money beat. Original Article
A cost of living report released Monday indicates the Tampa metro area has a lower cost of living than cities like Denver, Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta, and has the lowest in Florida.
For the second consecutive year, a Cost of Living Index report from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. found that the Tampa area has the lowest cost of living in the state, scoring 91.6 on the 2015 index, compared to a national average of 100.
“What this score means is that Tampa metro’s housing, groceries, gas, clothing and health care costs are all lower than the national average,” said Randy Smith, director of research for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, in a statement.
The Tampa metro has been occupying the first and second spot for affordability in Florida since 2011, the statement said. The EDC looks at consumer goods price variations on things like food, apartment rent, appliance repair and recreational activities like bowling.
However, exclusive data developed by American City Business Journals in 2015 showed thatTampa Bay — and other Florida cities — are in the bottom 25 percent of metropolitan areas nationwide for purchasing power.
One of the reasons for that was that it costs more to live here.
“When considering income levels in a local area, it is important to consider more than just the raw numbers, but to take into account the cost of living. For instance, in order to have the same purchasing power as a person earning $50,000 in the Tampa Bay area, a resident of Honolulu would need to make $61,820, whereas someone in Akron, Ohio would only need to earn $44,470.”
Jo-Lynn Brown is Digital and Social Engagement Manager for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Jan 25, 2016, 1:03pm EST
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC have formed Strategic Property Partners to lead a billion-dollar, mixed-use development on the land Vinik owns between the Channel district and the central business district. The port’s vision is not connected to those plans, but port and city officials say it would be complementary — and that the buzz created by those plans would bolster the port’s plans.
“As we continue developing our master plan, we look forward to continued discussions with port leadership to see where the projects might meld together into the best possible solution for Tampa’s downtown waterfront,” a Lightning spokesman wrote in an email Thursday.
SPP has a ground lease with the port for Channelside Bay Plaza.
“Tampa is already at the forefront for a lot of these likely investors and real estate development companies,” Paul Anderson, port CEO, said. “They are aware of what’s going on in Tampa — that’s what makes this so exciting.”
The port’s vision will keep those conversations going, Conn said, combined with other ambitious developments that are in the works: Related Group’s plans to demolish The Tampa Tribune and build a residential building in its place and Feldman Equities CEO Larry Feldman’s proposal to build a 52-story tower on the downtown riverfront.
“It continues to say good things about our downtown that we are even talking about projects of that size and scope,” Conn said.
At this point, Anderson said, the port is planning to work with private developers on a ground lease basis. He said the port may be open to selling some parcels but will “never” sell anything on the waterfront.
The ground lease structure may make it difficult to lure in developers, Conn said, because it can complicate the financing. To secure a loan for a new development on leased land, a lender typically requires the land owner — in this case, the port — to subordinate its position in the deal. If the developer were to default, the lender’s claims in a foreclosure lawsuit would take priority over the land owner’s.
“It makes it a little more challenging,” Conn said. “It’s not anyone’s first choice.”
The vision unveiled Thursday is a very ambitious one that includes two “landmark towers,” each up to 75 stories tall. Anderson said the port’s research shows the market is ready.
“Frankly, I think we went into some public meetings with people ready to be the doubting Thomas in the room and they said, ‘You won me over. This is an impressive plan,’” Anderson said. “The market will bear it based on our market analysis, and we’re really excited this can happen.”
Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Mayor Bob Buckhorn sees the birth of “a livable, walkable, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood” in North Hyde Park.
Published: July 12, 2015 | Updated: July 12, 2015 at 09:43 AM
TAMPA — The legend of Kennedy Boulevard being the great dividing line between Cool Tampa and the rest of the city may be fading.
The latest evidence? A residential boom appears imminent in North Hyde Park, a neighborhood of former warehouses and light industry just north of Kennedy that has been targeted for several new apartment, town home and mixed-use projects.
“There’s just a buzz of activity in the North Hyde Park area that we hope is continuing,” said Stefan McSweeney, a director with St. Petersburg-based Cardinal Point Management, which is proposing a mixed-use project at 301 N. Rome Ave. “For us, it’s a mix of the demographic of people that want to be in an infill location. It’s close to the highway (Interstate 275), close to downtown, close to South Tampa. We see that as good long-term potential for our project and a lot of other ones in the immediate area.”
The Cardinal Point project would have 23 town homes along North B and Fig streets and light retail facing Rome between those two streets. It joins a series of proposed and recently completed projects in the same strip.
Southport Financial Services has filed paperwork for a 90-unit apartment complex at 707 N. Rome Ave.
Construction continues on Lennar at West End Townhomes, with 39 units ultimately for sale along Oregon Avenue and Lemon Street.
Phase II of the recently completed NoHo Flats apartment complex between Gray and Fig streets will get underway this summer, with the 274-unit Havana Square apartments rising across Rome Avenue from NoHo Flats.
Those complexes join Vintage Lofts at West End, a seven-story complex with 528 units at Rome and Cypress Street that was built before the recession.
Though downtown Tampa, with the University of South Florida medical school relocation and developer Jeff Vinik’s megapresence, has received the lion’s share of attention in redevelopment circles, the city has been looking west.
It has established a West Tampa Community Redevelopment Area that includes North Hyde Park, a designation that earmarks future tax revenue from increased property values to improvements within the area. It has a West River Redevelopment Plan intended to diversify and economically integrate that area, and the city has allocated $8 million with an expected total pledge of $30 million for a dramatic revision of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
❖ ❖ ❖
The city’s InVision plan, a 20-year blueprint for making downtown Tampa and its surrounding neighborhoods a community of livable places, describes the North Hyde Park area as “emerging as a new opportunity for significant transformation.”
“I think the real estate community was paying attention,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “I think they realized that this was an opportunity to create a livable, walkable, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with retail and residential. It’s an established neighborhood, it’s within walking distance of downtown, and it’s got great view corridors. I think the market was following the city in this case and realizing this was a neighborhood that offered a lot of potential.”
Anthony Everett, director for central Florida for Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, said Kennedy Boulevard no longer is the symbolic barrier it once was. The original Hyde Park and south-of-Howard Avenue, or “SoHo,” neighborhoods remain among the city’s elite addresses, but skyrocketing home and land costs are pushing development north, he said.
“I think that line has now moved to (Interstate) 275,” said Everett, whose Atlanta-based company breaks ground this summer on the Havana Square project. “I think that barrier has now been broken, and I think the natural path of development and just the need for housing broke that.”
Another key development driver in the North Hyde Park area is Tampa General Hospital, which is in the final planning stages for a satellite facility on the site of the former Ferman auto dealership in the 1300 block of Kennedy. That four-story facility, including an urgent care center, clinical diagnostics lab with full imaging services, ambulatory surgery capability, a pharmacy, procedure rooms and two floors of physician offices, is expected to be home to several hundred medical personnel, said Michael Gorsage, TGH’s senior vice president for strategic services and business development.
Meanwhile, the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center is emerging from the old Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory on the neighborhood’s western border. It will include a preschool, recreational amenities, health and wellness services and art space.
❖ ❖ ❖
The city may have acknowledged the potential of North Hyde Park, but neighborhood groups say the area needs more than just words in a master plan.
Ben Buckley, head of the North Hyde Park Civic Association, said city codes adopted in automobile-centric post-World War II Tampa are an impediment to creating a live-work-play environment.
He and Rob Dubsky, past president of the New Hyde Park Alliance business group, point out the lack of sidewalks and streetlights and severe flooding issues along Cass Street, which has been identified as a key segment of the city’s “Green Spine” car-bike-pedestrian route from the Glazer Family JCC to Cuscaden Park.
Buckley and Dubsky are pushing for a city planner to assume a role similar to that of Jeff Speck, a renowned urban planner hired by Vinik to marshal the Tampa Bay Lightning owner’s plan to develop the downtown core.
“We need an orchestra leader, if you will. We need somebody to work with all the different departments in the city, all the neighborhood associations, the city council, all the codes. Everything has to be re-thought, and there needs to be one person that understands this new concept.”
Dubsky said he was thwarted from opening a North Hyde Park retail shop because of antiquated parking requirements. His target customer base would have been pedestrians in the bustling Rome Avenue residential stretch.
He remains sold on the area and holds three properties within North Hyde Park.
“I knew that the area would change. Well, lo and behold, it has,” Dubsky said. “You’ve got millions being pumped into that Julian B. Lane park, you’ve got Tampa General Hospital coming around this summer on the old Ferman lot, the University of Tampa on the southeast side just blowing up, and on the west side, the Jewish Community Center coming.
“It’s surrounded by ‘happening,’ ” he said. “It’s a no-brainer.”
TAMPA — In December, Jeff Vinik unveiled his $1 billion vision to transform 40 acres of downtown property into a vibrant waterfront district. He asked the public to help shape it.
Now it’s time to ask the experts.
Vinik has hired two men considered among the best in the business: “new urbanists” Jeff Speck and David Dixon are city planners at the forefront of the movement to build walkable urban spaces for people to live and work in.
Speck’s hiring leaked out last week and Dixon’s was announced on Tuesday, when the mission for both also was made public. They will create the guidelines that builders will use to fulfill Vinik’s “vision plan” of creating a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly space to unite the district and connect it to the water.
In short, they will design the ground floor of Vinik’s urban redevelopment project.
“When a developer is trying to build a vision plan, you’re still left with a lot of questions,” Speck said. “A vision plan embodies peoples’ hopes and aspirations for the project but doesn’t give you the specificity you need in terms of:
“How many lanes on every street? How wide are the lanes? Where does the parking go? How tall are the buildings? Where exactly will people sit?”
Dixon and Speck will lead a team of architectural designers, residential and retail planners, and transportation and traffic engineers who will answer those questions.
“We need to give the architects that will be (designing) the individual buildings in the project a firm understanding of what their urban obligations are,” Speck said.
But there’s more to it than that. Most urban construction takes place in designated sites. Architects don’t have to worry about also designing the surrounding areas.
What Vinik wants the two urban planners to do is something entirely different: create a new neighborhood and business district from scratch.
“When you’re building an urban district, every building has to help each other create that public realm,” Dixon said. “Public realms are not one size fits all. We’re a very diverse society. This is a district that belongs to everybody.”
Dixon, 67, will lead the master plan team. He’s also the senior principal and urban design group leader for the urban design arm of Stantec, an international engineering firm. Dixon was named to Residential Architect magazine’s hall of fame in 2012.
Speck, 51, will serve as consulting design leader. He has his own Washington D.C. firm, Speck & Associates LLC. He’s also a vocal proponent of new urbanism — creating neighborhoods that are hospitable to pedestrians and offer a variety of employment and living options — as well as a vociferous critic of suburban sprawl and auto-dependency.
Vinik brought Speck on board after reading his book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time. Vinik liked the book so much he bought copies for his entire staff.
Vinik called Speck over the winter holidays and asked him to come see his project. Speck was vacationing with his parents in Sarasota’s Siesta Key and tried to beg off. But he’d already heard of Vinik’s project, and couldn’t say no to the former hedge fund star.
“I said — with a gulp, because it was Jeff Vinik — I’m sorry I don’t have an opening in my calendar for a couple of months,” Speck said. “But I happen to be in Tampa Bay. I guess I can stop by.”
Speck signed up, and so did Dixon. The two know each other through their work as proponents of new urbanism. But this is their first project together.
They have four months to come up with a plan.
Vinik owns the leases to the Amalie Arena and Channelside Bay Plaza and he owns the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina outright. But he also owns about 25 acres of barren, blighted lots connecting those properties.
All of his holdings are within walking distance of the Tampa Convention Center, the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Bay History Center, the Channel District neighborhood and a public waterfront park, Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park.
Speck said that, taken together, the established properties and the empty lots are ripe with possibility:
“To find 40 acres of principally surface parking this close to downtown that already has anchors in place in the form of an arena, a museum, a convention center, an aquarium, a marketplace, and you still have all this empty space and the waterfront. What could have greater potential?”
Dixon said Vinik’s project has the most promise of any current urban redevelopment effort he’s seen.
“Nobody has 40 acres,” he said.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Jamal Thalji at email@example.com or (813) 226-3404. Follow @jthalji.