TAMPA, Fla. (October 31, 2014) HCP recently launched the fourth installment of the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s biennial study of “downtowners.” This has historically included a study of Downtown Tampa residents and workers; this time a third study was crafted to capture feedback from urban college students.
The initial downtown study occurred in 2008. At that time, the landscape of Downtown Tampa was changing. Availability of residential housing had significantly improved, with the completion of several real estate projects, and the Tampa Downtown Partnership (TDP) recognized the importance of pragmatic growth and retail development, as units would become increasingly occupied. The TDP needed to develop a baseline study and analysis that would not only gauge participation in current Downtown Tampa events, activities and venues, but identify opportunities for future development, as a part of a larger, long-term plan for the area.
HCP developed two separate studies, one that reached out to Downtown Tampa residents and the other, Downtown Tampa workers. Respondents offered insight into their visions for the future of Downtown Tampa, by responding to questions on topics of area growth, development trends, retail needs, transportation and mobility satisfaction, parking requirements, demographic data and other important lifestyle activities. The overarching goal was to get a sense of the respondents’ vision for the future of Downtown Tampa. HCP has conducted these studies every two years since that time.
The landscape of Downtown Tampa has changed each year and the residential population has grown tremendously since 2008. The growth of the urban student population and influx of urban programs through the University of Tampa, Saint Leo Channel District campus, Stetson Tampa campus and Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus, prompted the addition of the student study.
In the current installment, historical questions were maintained, while modifications were made to enable capture of how well Downtown Tampa is catering to various target groups, where they are spending their time and money, and what the perceived strengths and weaknesses are of various Downtown regions.
Past study insights have supported enhancements to river accessibility through new waterfront dining and water sports opportunities, the Sunday market, extended streetcar routes, reopening of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the addition of dog parks, parking meters that accept credit cards, new directional signage, new restaurants and retail, and extended retail operating hours. Results of the current study will be shared with the public in early 2015.
To follow the survey progress, please visit the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s website: http://www.tampasdowntown.com/learn/newspr/reports.aspx.