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Ybor City Development Corporation

Client: Ybor City Development Corporation
Industry: Economic Development/Government


The Ybor  City Redevelopment Area (CRA) wanted to understand the community’s needs and increase awareness of the district’s residential, commercial, and tourism amenities.


HCP developed a study to establish the quality of life for workers and residents, provided strategic recommendations, and implemented a foundational marketing plan.

The Ybor City Redevelopment Area (CRA), a division of the City of Tampa’s Economic and Urban Development Department, facilitates the development, redevelopment, economic revitalization, and general improvement of Ybor City’s Historic District.

In late April of 2016, HCP was named marketing firm of record of the Ybor CRA. In May, HCP took overall marketing for the district and simultaneously launched an assessment with the objectives of understanding development priorities from resident and worker perspectives; establishing benchmarks for satisfaction and recommendation levels; collecting perceived assets and opportunities for the district; documenting motivating factors for use in attracting future residents; gleaning benefits for potential businesses to relocate to Ybor City; identifying challenges to achieving residential, retail and commercial capacity; and solidifying how the stakeholders define Ybor City’s brand.

The more than 700 participants shared factors of greatest importance—a sense of safety, walkability, things to do, and parking accessibility. The study also highlighted Ybor’s strongest assets, including its historical significance, diversity, architecture, walkability, food and beverage, and activity. Learning from visitors, residents, workers, business owners, and leaders would shape the strategy and call attention to the district’s broader offerings to help grow its diverse community through additional economic development efforts. In addition, this process shaped the communication tools HCP would use over the next year to communicate the assets of Ybor to prospects that match their profiles.

Once the strategy was defined and our foundational marketing plan was agreed to, the creative team refreshed the brand message and launched the website, fueled by the messages that rose to the top during the assessment. Our public relations professionals worked with the CRA and city officials to devise a Crisis Management Plan. HCP was also able to make recommendations regarding the structure of the CRA committees, again ensuring that their focus matched the demands of the district’s stakeholders. During our eight months of involvement with the CRA, social media engagement increased by 121 percent, positive comments on stories increased by 300 percent, relevant post shares increased by 23 percent, and our summer campaign tripled the number of people reached the previous year on a 50 percent smaller budget.

To date, HCP Associates is serving a second three-year term as the strategic communications firm of record for the Ybor City CRA and the City of Tampa. Some noted accomplishments include but are not limited to:

Serve as Strategic Communications Provider via RFP Process           

  • We conducted the CRA’s past three biannual resident and workers studies (2016, 2018, 2021) 
  •  HCP began by agenda setting the perception of Ybor City from “Tampa Night-Life Playground” to an up and coming, revitalized and diverse neighborhood. “America’s Neighborhood” 
  • We created and implemented the CRA’s crisis communications plan 
  • We maintain all media relations with the City of Tampa Communications team 
  • HCP watchdogs all media content 24/7/365 to ensure reporting is accurate and follows CRA boundaries and official city departments like TPD, TFD, Emergency Services, etc.  
  • HCP monitors all social media trends while utilizing Cision to forecast citizen sentiment  
  • We have created two website designs from start to finish and maintain the current website 
  • We created a short form video series titled Faces of Ybor and later Voice of Ybor for social media 
  • HCP created, launched, and maintained the “More in Ybor” campaign and the current “The Heart of Tampa” 
  • HCP creates and maintains the CRA’s quarterly newsletter “The Ybor Legend” 
  • We created the first “HeART of Ybor Community Arts Contest  
  • We create national stories for publications that feature urban and historic revitalization  
  • HCP develops all branding, positioning, and creative content for all mediums  

HCP Associates has won numerous awards for both campaigns “More in Ybor” and The Heart of Tampa.” HCP received multiple Radiance Awards from the Public Relations Society of America, The Roy F. Kenzie Award for Promotion Excellence by The Florida Redevelopment Association, and The Planning & Design Award of Excellence from The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission 


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