For Immediate Release  
November 1, 2018   
Planning Commission announces
36th Annual Planning & Design Award Winners
Tampa, FL - The Planning Commission is proud to announce the winners of our 36th Annual Planning & Design Awards presented by TECO with marketing partner, the Tampa Bay Times. This celebration of excellence in planning and design in Hillsborough County was held on October 25 at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. Our annual awards program now aligns with the many national festivities held during the American Planning Association's National Community Planning Month (NCPM) and celebration of Great Places in America. Established in 2006, NCPM highlights the role of planners and the importance of good planning in our communities.

Award winners were selected by a panel of distinguished judges from outside of Hillsborough County. Photographs of the event and award winners can be viewed in an album on the Planning Commission's facebook page. Brendan McLaughlin, Master of Ceremonies, presented eight Awards of Merit, four Awards of Excellence, and three Awards of Outstanding Contribution to the Community, including the Jan Abell Award for Historic Preservation.

Jan Abell Award
The Jan Abell Award was created in 2001 by the Planning Commission to recognize Outstanding Contribution in the Historic Preservation Category.
Jan Abell was a local, passionate preservationist who successfully
saved some of Tampa's and Florida's most important buildings.
Category | Historic Preservation
City of Tampa
Old City Hall Restoration
 
- Walbridge
- FleischmanGarcia Architecture
- Restocon

Tampa's Old City Hall is listed as a National Historic Building on the Register for Historic Places. It has seen its fair share of changes and played a major role in the advancement of the City over the last 100 years. With project partners FleischmanGarcia Architects and local restoration experts Restocon, Walbridge transformed this high-profile building to look like it did a century ago. With pedestrians, employees, and vehicles in mind, safety on all worksites came into play throughout the planning and construction phases.

The work included repairing brickwork, granite and ornate terracotta balustrades and cornices. Modern technology, including 3-D scanning and drone video flying, was incorporated to successfully restore the building's exterior. With its impressive layer cake look, Old City Hall has maintained its historical feel. When the building was first constructed in 1915, it had a price tag of $235,000. The original layer-cake design was created by renowned local architect M. Leo Elliott.

Now completed, the building has been restored to its 1915 glory and is compatible with the history that radiates from the building. The judges embraced the preservation of this historic building. They felt it was important for Tampa and provides an excellent example of how historic preservation and attention to detail can help solidify the identity of a place, enhance its authenticity, and help the community remember its past. Congratulations to your entire team and to the City of Tampa for preserving this historic treasure!
Awards of
Outstanding Contribution to the Community
Categories | Environmental,  
Planning, Investment & Participation
City of Tampa Tree Canopy and Urban Forest Analysis 2016 & Urban Forest
Management Plan
 
- City of Tampa - Planning & Development
- University of South Florida
- University of Florida - IFAS Extension 
 
The City of Tampa's Urban Forest Management Plan was adopted by Tampa City Council in 2013 and enacted by an executive order in 2014. The Plan defines objectives and measurable performance criteria to guide implementation and ongoing evaluation. The 2016 Tampa Tree Canopy and Urban Forest Analysis was the third urban forest inventory and ecological analysis conducted. The initial tree canopy inventory was taken in 2006. Each five-year inventory describes the state of the urban forest and provides economic, social, and environmental values as a part of the analysis. Detailed information about the current size, composition, health, and distribution of Tampa's urban forest helps determine how the forest and associated benefits have changed over the last five years, allowing the City to measure its progress.  
 
The Vision Statement seeks to enhance the quality of life, address economic and ecological benefits, sustainability, and public engagement to accomplish a thriving urban forest. The Plan establishes adaptable, quantifiable, and science-based strategies for maintaining and expanding the urban forest over a 20-year planning horizon. It also defines criteria, performance measures, and 178 alternatives for action. Reports are reviewed by an Internal Technical Working Group and Natural Resources Advisory Committee, who make recommendations to Tampa's planning department and executive branch on ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of urban forestry operations and policy outlined in the Urban Forest Management Plan.

The Urban Forest Management Plan, along with the Canopy and Urban Forest Analyses, are the first of their kind in the State of Florida, and could be applied in any city. The judges praised this Plan for making a huge difference in the community. They loved the science and methodology; the public involvement and education on the benefits of trees; and the multi-institutional collaboration. 
Category | Participation
Harvest Hope
Community Garden 
 
- University Area
  Community Development Corporation
- Hillsborough County
- University Area Community Residents

In 2013, the University Area CDC launched its newest venture, the creation of the Harvest Hope Community Garden to promote healthier eating habits and education on nutritional needs through gardening. Interested residents who want to learn about gardening and nutrition volunteer at the Community Garden, where the University Area CDC hosts weekly gardening classes, monthly workshops, and cooking demonstrations. The Harvest Hope Community Garden houses 33 raised beds with organic seasonal produce. It fosters a climate of sharing and caring among members, leading to a stronger and more effective local community. By investing time and sweat equity to enhance their families' nutrition, each gardener working a parcel on the acre facility keeps a percentage of what they grow to bring home to their families. The remaining food is then distributed to community residents, veterans and at-risk families. When volunteers plant a seed, they invest a piece of hope in the garden. They come back to check on their seeds, watch them grow, learn about the plants, and eventually consume and share the fruits of their labor.

In 2017, the University Area CDC installed a beautiful and colorful butterfly garden to not only attract wildlife, but to also remember the life of a young boy. In 2014, Yves Zamora was riding a scooter that he got for his sixth birthday when he rolled into the street and was hit by a speeding car right in front of what is now the future site of Harvest Hope Park.

The judges were moved by how this project helps children, veterans with disabilities, and this entire diverse community learn about and have access to healthy food. With the slogan of Let's Grow Together! - the University Area CDC has taken a grass roots idea, and built it from the ground up, to provide a safe place for families to learn about gardening, meet their neighbors, and feel connected to their community. Oh, and the residents get more exercise, and eat more vegetables too. This wildly successful community garden plants the seeds for a healthier future for the University Area community.

Awards of Excellence
Category | Environmental
Improving Compensatory Mitigation in the
Tampa Bay Watershed
 
- Environmental Protection
  Commission of Hillsborough County
- University of South Florida
- United States Geological Survey

Wetlands are important ecological systems that provide habitat to wildlife, aquatic organisms, and birds, as well as provide a natural filter for surface waters and groundwater systems. Wetlands accomplish this by slowing the pace of overland runoff and allowing uptake of nutrients, prior to release to surface waters, as well as controlling storm surges and flooding. The goal of this study was to identify environmental factors that may improve mitigation design, evaluation, and long-term success. Federal, State, and local EPC rules require wetland mitigation to offset wetland impacts in the form of creation, enhancement,  or preservation. The report shows that our wetland program is more than meeting the no-net-loss requirement of the Clean Water Act. It also provides practical recommendations for improving the program. This study:
  • Determined the status of constructed freshwater mitigation wetlands in Hillsborough County;
  • Identified methods to improve mitigation design, evaluation, and success criteria for permittee-responsible wetlands; and
  • Evaluated internal and external factors, including hydrology, that may influence mitigation success over time.
The first-of-its-kind in the United States, this study allowed the EPC to evaluate which procedures and factors are necessary to promote successful, healthy wetlands and how to implement these factors into the existing program. The judges were thrilled to find out the result showed an improvement to the overall quality of sustainable wetland habitat in Hillsborough County. They applauded this benefit to the citizens' quality of life and appreciated the solid application of planning with the integration of water resources into the urban fabric.
Category | Entertainment
Julian B. Lane
Riverfront Park
 
- City of Tampa
  Parks and Recreation Department
- Civitas, Inc.
- Skanska

A key component of the 2012 InVision Tampa plan was the redevelopment of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park as part of a bigger plan to revitalize the West Tampa area, with the Hillsborough River identified as the centerpiece of Downtown Tampa. In 2013, Civitas was selected to lead the design team. Through an extensive public input process, they garnered input from as many in the community as possible. Known as a park for everyone, the new Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park boasts a plethora of features. Among them...
  • The River Center community center and boathouse
  • A playing field for football, soccer, and lacrosse
  • Two basketball courts and eight tennis courts
  • The City's first two pickleball courts
  • A splash pad and playground, six picnic shelters, and two dog parks
  • A 2.5 acre Festival Lawn with an Event Pavilion
  • A West Riverwalk connection under the Fortune Taylor Bridge
  • Floating docks for rowers and docks for visiting boaters
  • A River Promenade and Overlook 
Fittingly, it even has an outdoor living room complete with game tables. The new Riverfront Park has breathed new life into the neighborhood and brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to partake in a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities. The judges loved everything from the intensive public engagement to capture the history and needs of the community; to the infusion of art, history, and care for the environment; and the easy access to the Hillsborough River now available for this West Tampa neighborhood. There's nothing but Tampa pride for this new park!
Categories | Investment,  
Planning & Participation
SR 60 / Jackson Street Resurfacing, Complete Streets Improvements,
and Cycle Track
 
- Florida Department of Transportation
- City of Tampa
- Tampa Downtown Partnership

As resurfacing plans for SR 60 were being prepared, now became the right time to transform Jackson Street to improve safety for all users. FDOT sought input from the City of Tampa, the Downtown Partnership, other public agency stakeholders, and the community at large to identify opportunities to provide better accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists along the corridor. Through continued coordination and engagement, several improvements were identified and incorporated into the resurfacing project. Among them:
  • A new two-way protected bicycle lane, also known as a cycle track, along Jackson Street between Ashley and Nebraska
  • Upgrades to sidewalks and curb ramps
  • Curb extensions and intersection bulb-outs to help calm traffic and make pedestrian crossings safer
  • A new traffic signal with pedestrian crossing at Jackson Street and near the School Board building
  • A road diet along parts of the corridor and new dedicated turn lanes at Tampa Street and Florida Avenue
  • Installation of bicycle boxes and two-stage turn boxes at several intersections
  • Reconfigured parking with a net gain in spaces
  • Drainage upgrades to help reduce ponding and stormwater issues
  • Plus, landscaping and other aesthetic enhancements
Recognizing that a robust, connected roadway network provides options for the movement of people and goods and is the foundation for safe and comfortable travel for all road users, FDOT's Complete Streets Program applied flexibility and innovation in planning and design to this project. The judges cited FDOT for implementing the first protected bicycle facility on the State Highway System. This investment complements the new bike lanes on Palm Avenue, the Cass Street Cycle Track, the Selmon Greenway, and the Riverwalk to provide safe mobility for cyclists in Tampa's Downtown. They loved how engineers listened to citizens and are making a huge impact on our city. Here's to more great projects like this one down the road! 
Category | Housing
The Graham at Gracepoint
 
- DDA Development
- Gracepoint
- Place Architecture

The Graham at Gracepoint is a 90-unit apartment community developed under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. Located in the Seminole Heights East neighborhood, the two buildings are three-story elevator structures made of concrete block. The target set-asides are 50% at-risk homeless and 50% senior. The Graham was financed solely with an allocation of housing tax credits and a loan issued through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. The development features a commercial kitchen and dining area that seats 60, a community area, gym, library, coffee bar, indoor bicycle storage area, and a beauty salon. The community has unique features such as apartments adopted by community groups to provide furniture and basics for new homeless residents.  Residents can also volunteer to earn "Graham bucks" which can be used to purchase necessities in the community store. The Graham was formerly occupied by a 30-unit residential treatment program owned and operated by Gracepoint under a trust dating to the 1950s. The old structures were demolished to make way for this new green-certified development with a 50-year land use restriction, ensuring the property will continue to serve its tenant population. Many of the residents from the "Old Graham" were able to move into the new Graham, helping bridge the past to the present and creating a bright future for the residents and the community.

The judges applauded The Graham at Gracepoint for planning with integrity and respect, creating affordable housing that doesn't look or feel like affordable housing. From the green certification to the modern amenities and community engagement, The Graham represents quality redevelopment meeting a critical community need for populations at risk. The judges found it to be a thoughtful and provocative model project with huge community impact and quality of life benefit.
Awards of Merit
Category | Redevelopment
Armature Works
 
- Booth Design Group
- Place Architecture
- SoHo Capital
- Civil Landmark Engineering
- EWI Construction

Armature Works is a fully restored, mixed-use locally designated historic landmark that breathes new life into the Tampa Heights neighborhood. With its unobstructed view of the Hillsborough River, the two-story brick structure was reinvented as a premier community destination with innovative eateries, the Heights Public Market, reimagined event spaces, and an expansive co-working space. Totaling 73,000 square feet, the building and adjacent public spaces are a destination for residents of the neighborhood and the region, as well as for tourists. Incorporating several unique outdoor public spaces, there's a large plaza with seating for three hundred, games and activities like chess and checkers for children of all ages, as well as an extension of the Riverwalk with a kayak and canoe launch. Strategically placed seating lets those enjoying the Riverwalk take a break and grab a bite to eat. New arcades added to the building provide shaded walkways and gathering spaces. An interior courtyard with open seating can be rented for private, corporate, and social events. The unique, rehabilitated building with rustic exposed brick and state-of-the-art audio visual technology has seven unique event spaces that can hold from ten to more than one thousand guests.

While preserving the history of Tampa, Armature Works moves forward in a unique, positive, and successful manner. The judges felt the project team had their finger on the pulse of what a redevelopment catalyst needs to be in today's real estate and economic development markets. They applauded the vision and sensitivity that went into adaptation of this historical building into the very cool, and very busy space, it has become.
Category | Investment
Arthenia L. Joyner
University Area
Community Library
 
- Harvard Jolly Architecture
- Bandes Construction
- Hillsborough County

A collaboration between the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative and the Hillsborough County School District, the 15,000 square foot building serves as a partnership library with Muller Elementary Magnet School. A portion of the library serves as the school's media center during school hours and is available to the public during after-school library hours. It offers a variety of meeting spaces, state-of-the-art technology and instruction, early literacy and family events, as well as job seeking resources. The outside was designed and built to fit into the architectural theme to create the sense of a campus. Inside, the library presents an exciting d├ęcor with vibrant colors, tinted glass, and suspended ceiling elements. Much of the main space is flexible with casters on shelving units and furniture to facilitate the ability to reconfigure the space quickly for different uses.

This beautiful facility was named in honor of State Senator Arthenia L. Joyner, a distinguished lawyer and politician and dedicated advocate for service, equality, and civil rights. The judges gave the University Area Community Library high marks as an excellent model for a joint-use facility that is fiscally wise and responsible. They were impressed with the multi-agency collaboration and awesome design that meets green certification standards.
Category | Environmental
Courtney Campbell
Causeway Trail
 
- City of Tampa
  Parks & Recreation Department
- Hillsborough County
- AECOM
- Courtney Campbell Causeway
  Scenic Highway Corridor
  Advisory Committee

The Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail is part of a regional trail plan to connect communities in the Tampa Bay area. At the urging of the Courtney Campbell Causeway Scenic Highway Corridor Advisory Committee, the trail was funded and built by FDOT and completed in 2015. This committee, initially formed to support the designation of the Causeway as a Florida Scenic Highway, provides a yearly status report and guidance on maintenance and issues that affect the appearance and use of the highway as a transportation and recreation corridor. It quickly became obvious that amenities needed to be added to provide respite for the trail users. The advisory committee asked AECOM consultants to prepare a master plan, pro-bono, and then requested the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners support this regional facility... and it worked! The City of Tampa oversaw the design and construction of ten comfort stations they continue to maintain along the 5.5 mile section of trail that now includes bike repair stations, wayfinding signage, and landscape enhancements contributing to the user experience.

The judges loved the vision and determination of the citizens, stakeholders, and advisory committee to give this unique scenic highway experience the amenities and environmental respect it deserves. They applauded the collaboration among the jurisdictions and the pro-bono consultant work done to create the stations designed to respect the scenic highway designation and reflect the history of the area as a place for the community to gather, enjoy the sun, and picnic.
Category | Investment
Entrepreneur
Collaborative Center
 
- Hillsborough County
 Economic Development Department

Launched in December 2015, the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) has transformed the delivery of entrepreneurial and small business support services in Tampa Bay. The 8,000 square foot facility is a satellite home for more than 85 non-profit organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions, all serving the regional community. A common ground to come together, the ECC is a place to host meetings, collaborate, communicate, and focus on supporting community building within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Successfully creating synergies between non-profits, the ECC helps build capacity through shared resources and activating programs. The space and staff support are provided to partners at no charge. During the past fiscal year alone, nearly 800 events were held with nearly 11,000 participants. County staff provided more than 3,700 hours of consulting to more than 1,700 clients. Entrepreneurs have easy access to business service providers, resources, mentorship, and specialty training.

The co-location of the County's services, non-profit service providers, and professional organizations is a win - win - win for innovation and investment in our regional economy. The judges loved this cool project for its tremendous positive community impact. Beyond the economic development benefits, they loved the support for start-ups, young entrepreneurs, and non-profits to elevate their potential success and contributions to Hillsborough County and the entire region.
Category | Planning
Port Tampa Bay Master Plan
/ Vision 2030
 
- Port Tampa Bay
- Renaissance Planning
- Capstan Consulting
- Bermello Ajamil

Port Vision 2030 is the new master plan for Port Tampa Bay to take it through the next decade. It provides a strategic, market driven roadmap for planning, rehabilitating, modernizing, and expansion of Port Tampa Bay's marine terminals and supporting infrastructure. It guides investment to accommodate projected growth in cargo, vessels, shipbuilding and cruises.  It also goes beyond traditional maritime uses with the transformation of the Port's Channelside property to a vibrant and livable mixed-used community that integrates seamlessly with the development patterns of the Channel District. The master plan outlines strategies to optimize port resources, return on investment, and long-term value for the broadest spectrum of stakeholders and Tampa Bay residents.

The judges were on board with how Port Vision 2030 reaches beyond the geographical, political, technological, industrial and commercial borders of the past, and integrates innovative planning that harmonizes maritime and community uses. They celebrated Port Tampa Bay's incredible investment and proactive approach that comprehensively accounts for their own growth, as well as their relationship with the local community, and economic impact on the entire region.
Category | Investment
Selmon Greenway
Pocket Parks
 
- Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority
- Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC
- Wade Trim, Inc.

A series of four parks on previously underutilized right-of-way beneath the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, the Pocket Parks are built between Ashley Drive and Meridian Avenue along a 1.7 mile, 15-foot wide multi-use trail. The award winning Selmon Greenway provides pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the downtown area with connections between the Ybor City, Channel District, Amalie Arena, Tampa Convention Center, and the Central Business District. Transportation infrastructure represents the largest share of public space in a city and has historically been forgotten for use as communal places. The Pocket Parks increase park space in Downtown, while enhancing safety and comfort of Greenway users seeking shade during the day, light at night, benches, bicycle racks, or just to enjoy the landscaping. Art and historical monuments, cooperatively developed with input from diverse community stakeholders, help foster a relationship between Greenway users and Downtown's cultural and social venues.

The judges viewed the Pocket Parks as a fundamental reimagination of how transportation infrastructure can contribute to a community's identity and sense of place. They praised THEA for softening the hard streetscape and for altering the traditional conception of transportation infrastructure by going above and beyond to create a community asset enjoyed by diverse users.
Categories |  
Entertainment & Redevelopment
SHUFFLE
 
- The Heights Shuffleboard Society
- Allegedly Design

Enhancing the local social scene and strengthening bonds within the community, SHUFFLE is the first of its kind in Florida. Located on North Tampa Street along a designated bike lane and near four HART bus routes, where else can you enjoy the most iconic of our state's cordially competitive recreational activities in the air-conditioned comfort of a public house as unique as the surrounding neighborhood and its residents? An adaptive re-use of an existing Disabled American Veterans Hall that sat vacant for years, SHUFFLE represents important revitalization re-establishing the local district in contrast to a rash of tear-down and rebuild projects homogenizing the distinct old-Florida character of the neighborhood. The project team sought approval from Tampa City Council for a 44% reduction in required parking and wet zoning approval prior to submittal for building permit plan review. They got by with a little help from friends, neighbors, and community leaders working in partnership to present a unified vision. SHUFFLE opened to the public in March of 2018 and has quickly become a regular hang-out for patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and social status.

The judges wanted to hang out at this cool community establishment. They loved the community support and inventive reuse of this historic building.
Categories | Investment,  
Entertainment & Participation
USF Student Memorial
 
- University of South Florida
- USF Student Government
- USF Facilities Management,
  Campus Planning

The USF Student Memorial was conceived and funded by the USF Student Government as a tribute to the lives of students who passed away during their time of enrollment or during time of military service. Students were fully engaged throughout the process, from concept to site selection through construction. The site is in a shaded area along a sidewalk with a row of colorful Crepe Myrtle trees connecting the new mixed use Village and the Marshall Student Center. Water is an important feature of the memorial. The fountains actively symbolize life, while masking the noise of nearby traffic. The water then flows along a five-foot tall black granite inscription wall toward the reflecting pool, symbolizing the passing of life. The water then enters the quiet reflecting pool, where it becomes calm and restful, representing eternity. The engraved granite wall provides a lasting tribute that, sadly, continues to be updated annually. The curved seat wall defines the opposite edge of the plaza and a colorful landscape provides a soft edge to the surrounding natural environment of mature Live Oaks, completing the serene space where one can reflect that life is precious and fleeting.

The judges were touched by the peacefulness of this beautiful park and memorial that eternalizes the spirit of the students whose lives ended far too soon. They loved this thoughtful tribute, how engaged the student body was every step of the way, and the semicircular composition that provides a quiet respite to pause, rest, listen, and remember amidst a very busy campus.
Thank you to our judges_
Four special awards were presented that were not judged by our jury.
2018 Student Planning & Design Project Award
AuthentiCITY: Designing Tampa's Public Realm

AuthentiCITY was the product of a Spring 2018 Studio Course at the University of South Florida, comprised of graduate students in Architecture, Community Design, and Urban and Regional Planning. Lead by faculty project manager Taryn Sabia, twelve students, including Hanna Shaffer, worked with the Tampa Downtown Partnership to inventory and analyze how public and open spaces are used and relate to one another. The data was synthesized to produce priority spaces and design guidelines to enhance connectivity and livability in the Downtown Tampa area. This was an impressive planning project and a great experience for these students. Hanna's twelve teammates will also receive award certificates.
Hillsborough River Stewardship Award
City of Tampa
Mayor Bob Buckhorn

The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board and Technical Advisory Council recognized City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn for his leadership and dedication in the protection of the health and well-being of the Hillsborough River.

The Mayor has a crystal clear understanding of the value of a healthy river on water supply, recreation, and economic development. He is a tireless advocate for the Hillsborough River and its importance as the centerpiece of Downtown Tampa. There's so much to talk about... from the implementation of living shorelines to new stormwater technologies that are better for aquatic flora and fauna as well as water quality. And then, there's the award-winning Riverwalk and new parks with features like boat slips, kayak launches, a public boathouse and docks...
  • With six mayors in the making, the Tampa Riverwalk was completed under Mayor Buckhorn's leadership on the east side of the river, and planning has begun for a Riverwalk on the west side of the river;
  • The West River Master Plan was created as a collaboration among the City of Tampa, Tampa Housing Authority, and local stakeholders to create more livable housing choices at all levels of affordability, improve streets, and increase access to the River;
  • The Mayor secured funding for the major redevelopment of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, a waterfront jewel for our community;
  • Back on the east side of the River, there's the stunning Water Works Park, and through a public-private partnership, Ulele Restaurant was developed and Ulele Springs was restored;
  • The Mayor's River of Green and Riverfest Events beckon people to enjoy the waterfront and everything Downtown Tampa has to offer;
  • Mayor Buckhorn has reimagined the river from the edge of downtown to its center, literally lighting up the River with decorative lighting on the City's bridges and skyline to reinvent the nighttime atmosphere along the beautiful Hillsborough River.
Vice Chair of the Hillsborough River Board, Temple Terrace City Council Member Andy Ross said, "The River Board and Technical Advisory Council applaud Mayor Buckhorn. We thank you and look forward to enjoying the results of your stewardship of the Hillsborough River, and the health and prosperity that brings, for generations to come."
Chairman's Award
THEA CEO
Joe Waggoner

Joe Waggoner is a transportation leader and the CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. When he began his tenure, THEA's future was uncertain. Under his leadership, THEA has transformed into an independent, self-sustaining toll agency. Improvements like a 2017 bond rating of A+ ranked THEA among the top-ranked credit performers, allowing them to do more transportation projects. 100% funded by toll revenues, not tax payer dollars, current work projects include the Selmon Extension that will provide a vital link for commuters driving between Brandon and the beaches and a critical outlet during hurricane evacuations.

His focus on innovation, combined with his legislative and business savvy, have enhanced the way transportation initiatives take place in our region. The Selmon Expressway became the first all-electronic roadway in the State of Florida, improving safety while simultaneously reducing emissions. He has been instrumental in obtaining a USDOT grant to make Tampa Bay one of only three places in the country to be a test bed for connected vehicle technology. By the end of this year, THEA will have equipped ten buses, ten streetcars, and the cars of up to 1,600 volunteers with this exciting new technology, making Downtown Tampa a much safer, smarter place to walk, ride, and drive.

In addition to more effectively moving freight and people in our region, Joe Waggoner is also deeply committed to our local community.  He has championed community enhancements like:
  • Honoring Deputy John Kotfila, Jr. with a Memorial Dog Park along the Greenway;
  • Making multi-modal safety projects like the Selmon Greenway happen, connecting the City's Riverwalk and THEA's Meridian Avenue Trail;
  • And, helping start the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.
If you recall, Lee Roy Selmon asked one thing of his Expressway Authority - to find a way to help and mentor the young people at the University of South Florida - well, Joe has been making good on this commitment through mentoring and developing the Selmon STEM Scholarship program. Each year scholarships are given for paid internships and books for USF Engineering students. Materials and sponsorships are also provided so middle and high school students can participate in the USF Engineering Expo Bridge Building Competition.

Planning Commission Chair, Derek Doughty said, "It is my distinct pleasure tonight to recognize a great community leader whose vision and efforts continually strive to improve our standing here in Tampa Bay. Please join me in a well-deserved thank you to Joe Waggoner, for driving transportation innovation, safety, education, and equity in the Tampa Bay region!"
Executive Director's Award
University of South Florida
President Judy Genshaft

Since becoming President in 2000, Dr. Judy Genshaft has catapulted the USF System to national and international prominence in every key institutional area, including student success, research and innovation, fundraising, and economic development. In June, the Florida Board of Governors looked at USF's achievements in academics and research and unanimously voted to designate the University of South Florida as a preeminent state research university, winning USF more than six million bonus dollars.
 
But this award is focusing on President Genshaft's incredible leadership as a planner with a View of Growth since 2000 at USF. During her tenure, she's overseen approximately $1.7 Billion in construction projects. Planning for growth, on the Tampa campus alone, has produced more than seven million gross square feet of redevelopment and new construction. There are 16 new Academic and Research Buildings. Athletic and Campus Recreation facilities abound with Bull pride, and are making wellness choices convenient for students. President Genshaft's focus on improving the Campus Context has enhanced safety and the student experience in many ways, including: multiple sustainability certifications and achievements; shade trees and landscaping; parks and public art; much-needed Parking Structures, expanded Bull Runner Shuttle service, and the Share-a-Bull Bikeshare program.

A dozen USF Health and Medical Buildings now educate and save lives, both on and off campus. Not far from the Center for Advanced Medical Simulated Learning in Tampa's Downtown, USF is Growing into the Future with the new USF Health - Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute scheduled to open next year, as the anchor tenant for Tampa's new Water Street redevelopment.

Back on campus, five Student Residence Areas have been built, including a $134 Million new mixed-use student housing village, which is the largest public-private partnership to be completed in State University System history. It soon will include a first-of-its-kind campus Publix. Other Student Support Facilities, like the Marshall Student Center, are student central and the heartbeat of a vibrant campus.

Planning Commission Executive Director, Melissa Zornitta, AICP, said, "Dr. Genshaft has made a tremendous impact planning for growth and economic development for the University System. Not only has her leadership provided USF students and faculty with state-of-the-art resources, but also, has played a key role in elevating the economic vitality of the Tampa Bay region and State of Florida. All this planning and building to accommodate growth has been going on while preparing the next generation of talent to make Hillsborough County a top community to live, work, and play... Thank you, Planner and President, Judy Genshaft!"
The Planning Commission's annual Planning & Design Awards program is
paid for entirely through project entry fees, ticket sales, and sponsorships.
 
Thank you to all our incredible sponsors for your support of excellence in planning and design contributing to the quality of life in our community! 
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Plan Hillsborough Media Contacts:
 
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What is Plan Hillsborough?

Plan Hillsborough provides value-added planning services through a diverse team of professionals working towards a thriving future for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, and Hillsborough County, and provides staff to the:

Promotes, coordinates, collaborates with, and facilitates the involvement of all people in comprehensive planning and visioning to improve economic development opportunities and quality of life in our community
A long-range transportation policy-making board made up of local government and transportation agency representatives planning for more than $1.5 billion
in state and federally funded multi-modal transportation investments in the first 5 years of each 20+ year plan
Responsible for promoting collaborative planning, regulation, and development along the river corridor while ensuring the environmental health of the river running through Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa and Temple Terrace