For Immediate Release  
November 4, 2019   
Planning Commission announces
37th Annual Planning & Design Award Winners
Tampa, FL - The Planning Commission is proud to announce the winners of our 37th 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 29 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.
Established in 2006, #PlanningMonth highlights the role of planners and the importance of good planning in our communities. This year, we're excited to announce the Planning Commission is also celebrating its 60th Anniversary, serving the Cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, and Unincorporated Hillsborough County since October 1, 1959.

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 seven Awards of Merit, five Awards of Excellence, one Award of Outstanding Contribution to the Community, and one Jan Abell Award.  
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
Casa Oliva
 
- Ariel J Quintela
- Darryl Shaw
- Cooper Johnson Smith Peterson Architects
- Ferrell Redevelopment

The Oliva Cigar Factory is a historic gem just two blocks from Ybor City's famous 7th Avenue. The building was hidden in plain sight, a ghost of its past, the exterior paint erased by time leaving bare distressed wood, with windows haphazardly boarded by plywood. In the spring of 2014, the building was purchased and put in the hands of developer, Ariel J. Quintela. A historian in his own right, he chose to uncover its history to inform his restoration.

Casa Oliva restoration
This circa 1800s cigar factory has been meticulously restored to its original splendor and converted into a modern apartment building. The beautiful, designer-styled lobby, club room, and common areas offer generous seating and social areas in a carefully curated ambiance that blends historic Ybor City with a contemporary artistic flair. Unique studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartment homes feature soaring 13-foot ceilings with 9-foot tall windows providing cascades of natural light. Original wood made of heart of pine, were about fifty percent intact. The remainder was replaced with matching wood salvaged from a mill house in Tennessee of the same century. These highlight new kitchens and baths, with contemporary countertops, fixtures, and stainless-steel appliances.

It took three years to restore the historic wooden building.Today the 32,000 sq ft, three-story structure is a beautiful addition at the corner of Palm Avenue and 19th Street. The judges were ready to move into this historic treasure. This adaptive reuse project raised the bar for historic preservation and is helping spark an influx of additional residential projects into the historic district. Open less than a year, Casa Oliva is nearly fully occupied and stands as a testament to Ybor City's history and culture.
Award of
Outstanding Contribution to the Community
The Portico cafe
Categories | Commercial, Entertainment, Historic, Investment
& Participation
The Portico
 
- Hyde Park United Methodist Church
- Rev. Justin LaRosa
- Clayton McNeel
- Clement Foss Atelier Architects
 
The Portico is a gathering space where people come together for conversation, connection, and community change. It is committed to enhancing the social, artistic, and spiritual fabric of Tampa through a social entrepreneurial Cafe that:
  • Employs people coming from addiction and homelessness with a living wage and healthcare access,
  • Showcases art that gives voice to important societal issues,
  • Raises awareness and puts tangible efforts in motion on homeless initiatives,
  • And, provides silent meditation practices that create stillness in a busy world.
The Portico rendering
Community participation is substantial, with more than 2500 people a month visiting the gathering spaces, special events, and worship. Located in the Central Business District of Downtown Tampa, The Portico is surrounded by residences, offices, and hotels, is near public transit, and has ample parking on site. It opened in April 2017 and is a re-adapted, mixed-use space in a renovated 1968 structure, formerly the First United Methodist Church. It houses two not-for-profits, and the Tampa Downtown Partnership's guides and clean team. The property also includes the historically designated 1948 Henderson Chapel. Hyde Park United Methodist Church was invited to redesign and reactive the space in a way that aligns with its mission of Making God's Love Real and serving others.

The design process and implementation reflect this through the invitation of community partners in planning the space and the adherence to the request for downtown gathering spaces. Partnerships with Tampa's not-for-profit community, such as the Drug Alcohol Community Coordinating Office, Metropolitan Ministries and Abe Brown ministries, help The Portico support participants' transition from homelessness, addiction, or other at-risk circumstances to employment ladders and stability.  
The Portico gathering

The desire was always to accomplish three things:
1. Be a gift to the City
2. Activate the block, and
3. Help the poor.
The Portico is living out that dream.

The judges were moved by this special place. "This is how you build community," said one judge. "It's an excellent example of adaptive reuse and preservation, but it's so much more," said another. It's a place with the purpose of improving quality of life for everyone, especially those who need it most. In just two short years, The Portico has helped more than 20 people through employment in the cafe, and 22 with safe shelter.
Awards of Excellence
Art on HART
Category | Entertainment  
& Investment
Art on HART
 
- Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture and Design (TBFAD)
- Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART)
- Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA)
- The Vinik Family Foundation
- Gasparilla Music Festival

The Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture and Design worked to develop and implement a creative placemaking program in partnership with HART to transform a standard transit bus into a 35 foot long rolling art canvas, bringing free public art throughout Hillsborough County in a manner that has not been achieved before in our region. This unique combination of community partners was able to come together to announce a public art contest, which received more than twenty-five submissions were received. A jury composed of leadership form each organization along with respected art professionals and critics in Tampa Bay selected three finalists. These works were shared with the team at HART to allow all their employees to cast votes for the final selection, which became the artwork that wrapped the Inaugural Art on HART transit bus intended to circulate the County for a year. The Art on HART Bus was unveiled to the general public in January of 2019 at the Marion Transit Center. At the same time, a public outreach campaign was launched for people who spotted the Art on HART bus on the street to snap a photo with their mobile device and tag it on Instagram to be entered into a monthly raffle for a free 31-day HART bus fare card.

The judges loved this innovative approach to tactical urbanism, the involvement of the HART employees in making the final art selection, the striking culture and transit-promoting billboard roaming the County, and cool social gaming component to win monthly bus passes. Art on HART effectively created an opportunity for local artists to elevate their works within the public realm, while providing the general public with a new opportunity to enjoy the artistic creations. At the same time, these benefits provided much needed visibility for our local transit system and showcase its ability to reach and connect us, resulting in a perfect blending art, transit, and community identity.
E 131st Avenue Preliminary Land Use and Transportation Study neighborhood cross section
Category | Planning
East 131st Avenue Preliminary Land Use
& Transportation Study
 
- Hillsborough County Public Works Department
- Hillsborough County Infrastructure & Development Services
- AECOM

The East 131st Avenue Preliminary Land Use and Transportation (PLAT) Study determined the most appropriate design strategy for the corridor, a 2-lane roadway between Nebraska Avenue and Bruce B Downs Boulevard in Hillsborough County. The study looked at demographics, existing land uses, transportation conditions, current market trends, existing local plans, and coordinated with stakeholders to create a list of recommendations to address land use regulations and transportation infrastructure. One of the most densely populated in Hillsborough County, the area's population has higher poverty rates, more zero vehicle households, and higher minority populations than the rest of the County. Industrial and institutional uses dominate the west and east ends of the corridor. The central portion of the corridor is primarily multi-family housing with some convenience retail. Much of the current development features gated apartment complexes that front on parking lots. To address these challenges, recommendations coming from the study include improving multi-modal transportation options with wider sidewalks, narrower travel lanes, and a more complete neighborhood sidewalk network. A form-based code will foster more compact urban development aiming to create denser missing middle housing and support redevelopment without large-scale displacement. Another cool recommendation is new stormwater facilities combined with recreational features to create innovative greenspace in this under-served community.

The judges applauded how the East 131st Street PLAT Study took previous studies to a new level, rethinking transportation infrastructure investments. It examines mobility needs, desired development form, and market forces simultaneously to build an improvement with the most benefits and enhancements for the community. The results will simplify the upcoming Project Development & Environment Study (PD&E) to reconstruct the roadway and the walk and bike infrastructure. This will be transformational for this community by making better use of the land and drastically improving safe transportation options resulting in a huge community impact and quality of life benefit by streamlining the path to a more safe and mobile community.
Green Spine Cycle Track Design
Categories | Environmental  
& Planning
Green Spine
Cycle Track Design
 
- Kisinger Campo & Associates, Corp.
- David Conner & Associates, Inc.
- The Valerin Group, Inc.
- Pedal Power Promoters, LLC

Kisinger Campo & Associates (KCA) was given the exciting opportunity to design a 4.5 mile bicycle track within the City of Tampa. The Green Spine Cycle Track begins at Howard Avenue and Cass Street near the Armory/Jewish Community Center. It then follows Cass Street through Downtown Tampa. At Nebraska Avenue it continues north along Nuccio Parkway into Ybor City, then traverses 15th Street to Cuscaden Park at 21st Avenue. When completed, the Green Spine will be one of the longest continuous urban cycle tracks built in North America. This project incorporates the City of Tampa's InVision Center City Plan, which was developed in 2011 to promote a "community of livable places, connected people, and collaborative progress that embraces and celebrates its river and waterfront." The KCA  team provided: cycle track design, roadway design, maintenance of traffic, structures design, drainage design, signing and pavement markings, traffic signals, environmental permitting, surveying, utility coordination, public involvement, inter-agency coordination, landscape architecture, geotechnical, and cultural resources for the final two phases of the Green Spine.  

The judges gave a warm welcome to one of the first separated bike facilities in Florida. Recognizing that some cyclists will only feel comfortable riding on the street in a protected lane, the importance of this highly visible project is elevated. It's time Florida caught up with the rest of the country in support of safe active transportation.
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful WaterGoat
Category | Environmental
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful WaterGoat
 
- Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful
- Bank of America
- Port Tampa Bay
- Sue Drenberg

The Hillsborough Trash Free Waters Program of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is continuously implementing new and innovative ideas. With their partners, they have developed a focused set of actions and projects that have significantly reduced and eliminated the volume of litter and debris entering the Hillsborough River Watershed. The program is a call to action to create more sustainable communities, counteract behaviors, and prevent activities that pose water quality issues and habitat concerns in Florida. The newest addition to the program is the WaterGoat. This is not the animal you might be expecting. It's an innovative device that collects litter and debris that washes into storm drains from surrounding neighborhood streets. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful enlisted the help of the WaterGoat company to minimize the amount of litter and debris from entering our waterways and trapping the litter before it flows out to the bay. In one year, one WaterGoat has collected and prevented 6700 pounds of litter and debris from entering the bay. So, human versus innovative technology... The WaterGoat is the clear winner.  It has significantly reduced the amount of volunteer sweat equity labor for removing the same amount of debris from 500 volunteers to needing just Three volunteers using less time.

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is the first affiliate to use a WaterGoat to capture litter and debris from the storm drain outflow before it enters Tampa Bay. The judges were amazed how this relatively simple solution to a such a huge problem. They were pleasantly surprised how effective this relatively low-cost technology is for the results achieved and hope to see more WaterGoats popping up along waterways all over.
More in Ybor Public Engagement Campaign
Category | Participation
More In Ybor
Community Engagement Campaign
 
- Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Tampa
- Ybor City Development Corporation
- HCP Associates

The Ybor City Development Corporation (YCDC) has undergone a transformation to engage, inform, and educate the community. The YCDC works to educate the public that Ybor City Historical Landmark District's identity as Tampa's Entertainment District is that and a whole lot more. Ybor City is a unique and walkable historic neighborhood ideal for relocation, expansion, or launching a business; plus, it's a great place to live. In 2016, the YCDC worked with HCP Associates to create and implement a proactive strategic public relations and communications plan to foster community engagement. This multi-layered campaign included a redesigned website; brochures; quarterly newsletters; Ybor Flash communication emails; various social media platforms; photo contests; video testimonials; print ads; and crisis management. The process initiated with a community-wide study to assess current perceptions of business owners, workers, and residents. The results set the foundation for topics to be addressed and minimize negative perceptions. More than 700 community participants shared points of greatest importance - sense of safety, walkability, things to do, and parking accessibility. Study findings also highlighted Ybor's strongest assets - inclusive of its historic significance, diversity, architecture, walkability, food and beverage, and activity.

The judges love Ybor City even more after looking at this public engagement campaign. Tremendous results were reflected in massive social media upticks and positive story-telling in a short period of time. Since More in Ybor launched, more than 30 new businesses, including corporate headquarters, startups, tech firms, consumer retail, restaurant, residential, commercial, and a new boutique hotel have opened or soon will. The community feedback was also used in the development of a ten year vision plan to continue positive growth and development for this diverse and vibrant community.
Awards of Merit
Carter G Woodson PreK - 8 Leadership Academy
Categories | Investment, Planning
& Participation
Carter G. Woodson PK-8 Leadership Academy
 
- Long & Associates Architects/Engineers, Inc.
- Williams Company
- School District of Hillsborough County

Combining two Tampa's Temple Crest neighborhood schools, originally named Van Buren Middle School and Cahoon Elementary Magnet School, would be paramount for implanting a landmark into a community longing for rejuvenation. The fundamental program requirement was to unite an under-used middle school and an overpopulated elementary into a single unified campus. To accommodate Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade students, functions would need to blend together inside and out. With tactful design, the neglected service drive between the two previous schools was transformed into a vibrant courtyard bridging the campuses. The new courtyard encourages social interaction and features basketball half-courts, an amphitheater, classroom space, and a Grand Oak terminus. Shade structures are cultivating an outdoor environment for both learning and play. The school's new wolf mascot signifies the union of the under- and upperclassmen as one pack.
 
The judges gave high marks for neighborhood involvement that included taking into account the adjacent Boys and Girls Club of America and allowing parking facilities to be open to the public for after-hours and weekend events. The Carter G. Woodson PK-8 Leadership Academy made the honor role for excellent reuse and investment in the community's educational infrastructure.
Dr Kiran C Patel High School
Category | Investment
Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School
 
- Dr. Kiran C. Patel
- Ash Bagdy
- Element Commercial Construction, LLC
- Taylor Studios, Inc.

As a new beacon of education, the Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School was born out of desire to bring high school students who, under normal circumstances, did not have access to superior quality learning opportunities. This unparalleled structure was the vision of Dr. Kiran Patel and his family, whose foundation graciously provided the resources for this project. The school's location helps address the needs of a semi-rural community while creating a world class facility visible from I-75. The creation, implementation and construction of the school serves as a model for founding a high performing regional school. The school is also designed for community engagement. There are areas specifically designed for lectures, meetings, and conferences that can happen during and after school hours.

The realized project, the visionary founders, it's designers and constructors, as well as the students and faculty that bring life to the school, serve as a new standard for future charter school development. The judges were amazed the team was able to finish construction in just 7 months after receiving a building permit and recognized the creation of a uniquely designed, state-of-the-art facility that provides a center for innovation and opportunity for aspiring students from across Hillsborough County that can also serve as a tremendous community facility.
Categories | Environmental & Planning | University of South Florida Student Project
Hillsborough County
Peril of Flood Studio
 
- USF Florida Center for Community Design and Research
- USF School of Architecture and Community Design
- USF College of Public Health
- USF Professors Taryn Sabia & Brian Cook

The Future Flood studio developed an in depth understanding of the built environment, social, and ecological vulnerabilities in Hillsborough County to sea level rise and flooding. A total of 25 students from various disciplines including architecture, urban design, urban planning, public health, and engineering developed proposals to increase resiliency and adaptive potential. The designs visualize opportunities for systematic change and answers to the question: How will we deal with flood?The project was sponsored by Hillsborough County as part of the ongoing the Hillsborough Community Vulnerability Study that is contributing to the Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan to meet the Florida Statute for Perils of Flood and Local Mitigation Strategy.

The judges gave high marks for coordinating three different USF programs on this huge interdisciplinary planning experience that will certainly inspire and fuel these students' planning careers. Impressed with graphical presentations on the design boards, the judges were delighted to award this important studio course with real world implications.
Categories | Commercial, Investment
& Redevelopment
Hillsborough County Redevelopment Incentives for Pilot Project Areas
 
- Hillsborough County Economic Development Department

This Hillsborough County program was created to address opportunities within the unincorporated County to enhance the development and uses of areas seen as declining or underutilized. Targeting four specific pilot project areas, the initial objectives focus on job creation through encouraging private sector investment in office and industrial development for infill and redevelopment. Over 1200 jobs have been retained or created as a result of the investments made in the ten completed projects so far. Being located adjacent to major economic engines of the region - Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay and the University of South Florida - helps share the benefit to job seekers throughout the region. This program presents a series of financial and regulatory incentives for revitalization designed to stimulate new investment, stabilize the tax base, and support retention and attraction of businesses and jobs.  

With a county-wide population growth of more than 600,000 people and more than 400,000 jobs anticipated over the next 20 years, maximizing available land within the Urban Service Area makes sense. The judges applauded this successful and highly transferable program. Redevelopment offers a fiscally responsible vehicle to make use of past infrastructure investments and keep urban economic centers vibrant, while providing strategies consistent with community plans, the comprehensive plan, and smart growth.
Midtown  Tampa rendering
Category | Planning
Midtown Tampa
 
- WDG Architecture Dallas, PLLC
- Bromley Companies
- Highwoods Properties, Inc.
- Atlantic Capital Properties

Midtown Tampa is a 22 acre development located on the northeast corner of Dale Mabry and Cypress just South of I-275. Construction is well underway and will be completed in 2021. Previously, the land was underutilized, ready for improvement, and in need of placemaking. Midtown Tampa is planned as an exciting mixed-use space that will include a central gathering plaza, retail, and restaurants, Class A office space, multi-family residences, hotel, and park space. It will be a place to gather, dine, mingle, live and work... a place currently missing from this historically significant neighborhood. Public art is planned throughout the site using local and national artists. The public art elements will create a sense of place with educational opportunities, story moments, way finding, and even whimsical scavenger hunting in the form of sculptures, graphics, and technology to encourage social interaction and sharing. Midtown Tampa could be a game changer for West Tampa and Westshore and serve as a catalyst for future development that could benefit the surrounding community for generations.

Looking forward to completion, the judges were delighted to award a plan certain to bridge the Downtown and Westshore neighborhoods. They also appreciated the consolidated construction period and shared parking amid this multi-use neighborhood destination. Midtown Tampa enhances the goals of the existing and well-conceived Westshore Overlay district, consistent with form-based parameters to ensure compatible architectural elements are implemented in the district to create appealing business, commercial, and residential development.
Park Tower
Categories | Lighting & Investment
Park Tower
 
- City Office REIT
- Feldmen Equities, LLC
- Tower Realty Partners, Inc.

Investing millions in renovating the city's original high-rise has created a dramatic change at Park Tower. The modernization of the 475,000 sq. ft. office building's façade includes a lighter color exterior, a new and dramatic entrance featuring a Light Box leading into a stunningly renovated lobby complete with a new, very cosmopolitan, Buddy Brew Coffee Café. The new glass storefronts with bright lighting inside and outside has made the Park Tower so much more inviting by day and night, that in the two years since the renovation was announced, the building reached 96% leased for the first time in over a decade. More than 25 new firms have moved into the building; 15 of which are new to Downtown Tampa.   

The judges were impressed with the premium amenities and attention to sustainability. Impressively, it is the only Florida building to earn both the LEED EB Gold certification and the 98% rating from Energy Star. The use of glass and light combined with a stellar amenities package succeeded in repositioning this prominent historic structure as one of the most notable and exciting buildings on Tampa's skyline.
Spurlino Family YMCA
Categories | Entertainment
& Environmental
Spurlino Family YMCA
at Big Bend Road
 
- Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA
- FleischmanGarcia Architects
- Creative Contractors Inc.
- REAL Building Consultants

Southern Hillsborough County residents are thriving at the new Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Road in Riverview. Tampa YMCA's first new family facility in nearly 18 years is as state-of-the-art in methods and techniques as it is in energy-efficiency and high-design. Featuring a two-story, 32,000 sq. ft. indoor facility in addition to a 30,000 sq. ft. outdoor aquatic center complete with a lap pool, warm water therapy pool, and zero-entry family fun pool, this $16.4 million project completed in collaboration with the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners also includes five outdoor athletic fields, a covered basketball court, two playgrounds and two picnic pavilions. The Spurlino Y fulfills a huge need in Southern Hillsborough County: strengthening the community through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.
 
Families achieve a balance of spirit, mind, and body through the Y's youth programs, family-friendly activities, and healthy-living initiatives. The judges were impressed with the LEED Gold achievement, innovative programming, and high design of this family-friendly Y that seems to have something for everybody. They also appreciated the focus on swimming safety given the alarming drowning statistics in Hillsborough County. There's nothing better than building confidence in kids, in or out of the water!

Thank you to our judges
Four special awards were presented that were not judged by our jury.
Hillsborough River Stewardship Award
Bob Luce
Bob Luce

The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board & Technical Advisory Council recognized Mr. Bob Luce for his leadership and dedication in the protection of the health and well-being of the Hillsborough River.

Bob Luce is a citizen who has taken it upon himself to collect and dispose of litter along the Hillsborough River. He does this on his own time, sometimes several times per week, and with his own equipment. He's been doing it for about a decade. He wanted to take wildlife photos, but trash kept getting in the way. He estimates he's removed more than 40,000 gallons of trash from the river. A recent Tampa Bay Times article was titled "Bob Luce captures a river's beauty - and its garbage - as it winds through Temple Terrace."  As it turns out, Mr. Luce is an excellent photographer who likes to document his river adventures like tracking alligator nests. He's rescued all sorts of things, from baby turtles to lost playground balls waiting to be reunited with their kid. He's a talented photographer, a fearless lover of all wildlife, and especially kind.

Chair of the Hillsborough River Board, City of Tampa Councilman Guido Maniscalco said, "Mr. Luce has never sought any recognition for the work he does. Yet, what he does has a major impact on the health of the river and the enjoyment of the river by others. He truly is a great steward for the Hillsborough River and an outstanding example for all of us."
Chairman's Awards
"As Chair of the Planning Commission, I am afforded the honor of selecting a person or project for a Chairman's Award. This year, a couple of placemaking projects stood out in my mind for activating Tampa's waterfront. It is my distinct pleasure tonight to recognize two great projects improving the quality of life in our community."
- Planning Commission Chair, Mitch Thrower
Sparkman Wharf
Sparkman Wharf

Since the day it opened, it seems like Sparkman Wharf has been a hit as an outdoor waterfront destination for locals and visitors alike. It celebrates the best of Tampa - waterfront views, craft beer, live music, innovative dining experiences, or even just a place to play or relax outdoors on the park-lawn.

Our region's first Congressman secured the federal funding to dig the deep-water channels to downtown, creating Port Tampa Bay and allowing larger ships to come closer to downtown and historic Ybor City. His name was Stephen Sparkman, and his legacy inspired the attitude and industrial/maritime vibe of this popular venue. On any day you visit, you'll likely be joined by today's movers and shakers... being active along our waterfront... and taking part in our city's continued growth and transformation.

Planning Commission Chair, Mitch Thrower said, "Thank you to Strategic Property Partners for activating Tampa's Waterfront by investing in Sparkman Wharf, a re-imagined open space and transforming the Garrison Channel into a welcoming, family-friendly environment."
The Sail Plaza
The Sail Plaza

The Sail Plaza is a major urban redevelopment project transforming a waterfront entertainment venue in Downtown Tampa into a thriving civic space that connects the Tampa Convention Center and Tampa Riverwalk to Tampa's central business district, convention hotels, and up and coming urban neighborhood. The updated plaza provides a complete 360-degree waterfront experience for visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy by providing an open public plaza with a waterfront restaurant. Its unique design and shades that represent the sails of a ship celebrate the waterfront. Big Ray's Fish Camp, a popular local seafood restaurant, opened in August.

There were several other common area improvements made, including new public restrooms; new seating; designated pet areas; landscaping and lighting upgrades; two new ADA  compliant ramps; and the conversion of the bus stop to a ride share drop-off/pick-up zone. This project preserves and enhances the urban open space and the public's access to Tampa's Downtown waterfront with attention to multi-modal and active transportation.

Planning Commission Chair Mitch Thrower offered his congratulations to the "City of Tampa, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Tampa, the Tampa Convention Center, and Aramark Food Services for activating Tampa's Waterfront with focused urban redevelopment transforming an entertainment venue into a thriving civic open space."
Executive Director's Award
Tampa Interntional Airport
Joe Lopano, CEO &
Tampa International Airport

There have been many advancements at everyone's favorite airport in recent years. A major economic engine for our region, TPA is the jewel of the community, redesigned not only to be convenient for travelers, but also to be community-friendly with better connections for locals getting to and through the airport. Phase 1 of the Airport's Master Plan expansion - an ambitious $1 billion project - has transformed the Airport experience. Master Plan Phase 1 is part of a three-phase expansion allowing the Airport to accommodate 35 million annual passengers. 
 
The Consolidated Rental Car Center and SkyConnect train system have created a seamless experience for travelers. Not only do these help improve traffic and parking around the main terminal, but also the increased regional transit connections at the transit curb are setting the stage for greater multi-modal access in the future. The design is user friendly and incorporates art and outdoor spaces in meaningful ways. The recent perk allowing locals to visit and dine at the terminal restaurants really opened up this asset to the community. Joe Lopano's vision has lead the way for the innovative modernization of TPA, enhanced by the addition of local flavors, and the expansion of community access, greater regional transit, and new worldwide destinations.

Planning Commission Executive Director, Melissa Zornitta, AICP, said, "The Airport's Phase 1 implementation of its Master Plan raised the bar on one of the best airports in the world. Now, the first and last thing visitors to Tampa see is a modern and beautiful facility filled with the local flavor of Tampa, from shops and restaurants, to public art installations. We can't wait to see what the next two Phases bring!"
Thank you sponsors_ TECO_ Tampa Bay Times and TPepin_s Hospitality Centre.
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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Caroline Charles  charlesc@plancom.org  |  Direct: 813.273.3774 x319

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Switchboard: 813.272.5940  |  Website: PlanHillsborough.org
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