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New Tampa Bridge Enhances Safety For Drivers, Walkers

New Tampa motorists and pedestrians will soon have an alternative route over I-75.

Connecting Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa Palms with New Tampa Boulevard in West Meadows, the New Tampa Boulevard Bridge will provide an easterly and westerly connection between Bearss Avenue and S.R. 56.

The $12.8 million bridge, designed by Kisinger Campo & Associates and constructed by Prince Contracting, will open shortly after a ribbon cutting by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on February 27th.

"The New Tampa Boulevard Bridge has been eagerly anticipated,'' Buckhorn says. "When combined with the widening along Bruce B. Downs, it will give residents of New Tampa the traffic relief they deserve.''

Giving motorists, pedestrians, first responders and New Tampa travelers an option other than traveling through the I-75/Bruce B. Downs interchange, construction began on the bridge in May 2011 and was not expected to see completion until July 2013.

Spanning a little less than one mile, the bridge includes a 5-foot sidewalk on the south side and an 8-foot wide multiuse trail on the north side, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to safely cross the interstate without using the high-traffic and construction-filled Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Additionally, the bridge will improve emergency access for first responders in the area.

The bridge came in response to the New Tampa Area Traffic Safety Study where existing conditions on roadways in the area were evaluated. New Tampa Boulevard from Meadow Pine Drive to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Commerce Park Boulevard and Tampa Palms Boulevard West and East were included in the study, honing in on potential improvements to enhance the safety and traffic ease of the New Tampa transportation network.

"Over the long term, the bridge and the convenience it provides to the surrounding neighborhoods will improve the quality of life for area residents,'' Buckhorn says.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

Anise Global Gastrobar Opens In Downtown Tampa

Offering fresh, globally inspired Korean, Thai and Spanish cuisine, Anise Global Gastrobar is now open on Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa.

Located on the bottom floor of Skypoint Condos, at 777 N. Ashley Dr., Anise is on the opposite side of Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge, occupying the 2,500-square-foot former site of the Point Bistro & Lounge.

"If you look around, we seem to have a great influx of ethnic restaurants in the downtown area,'' says Angela Ruth, director of marketplace development at the Tampa Downtown Partnership. "There's a lot of people of different ethnicities traveling, finding food that they like and bringing it back to Tampa to share with residents and visitors. It's really a neat thing.''

Owners Kevin and Xuan Hurt say they plan to play with global flavors and recipes, offering an eclectic menu of rice bowls, salads and a variety of steamed buns including pork belly with kimchi and shrimp with spicy green papaya slaw and ginger aioli. The Hurts plan to offer craft beers, boutique wines and both traditional, as well as innovative, cocktails at their new concept.

Featuring indoor and outdoor seating, the approximately 90-seat restaurant includes Parisian influences in the interior décor by Doxa Home designer Jaime Rogers. The plan is to serve lunch and dinner Monday through Friday with brunch, dinner and a late-night menu offered on weekends; to-go picnic baskets will be made available for customers to enjoy at open-air spaces in downtown, such as Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

"It seems just as one restaurant opens up in downtown, there's another and another,'' Ruth says. "It's almost like clockwork, which is wonderful.''

Prior to Anise, Xuan previously partnered with downtown Tampa's Bamboozle Cafe for more than two years, worked as manager of Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club in South Tampa and ran local Tampa Bay area food truck Stinky Bunz.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Angela Ruth, Tampa Downtown Partnership

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport To See New Check-In Area, Terminal

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is making some much-needed changes to ensure easier travel for Tampa Bay area residents and visitors.

In early February 2013, SRQ unveiled plans for a new check-in area as part of a master plan to renovate many areas of the two-story, 240,000-square-foot airport; SRQ currently houses 14 gates for flight arrival and departures, serving seven major airlines.

“The sleek, contemporary styling is more economical and easy to maintain, and the new lighting systems are environmentally friendly,” says SRQ President and CEO Rick Piccolo. “SRQ takes pride in providing a safe, customer-friendly airport where travelers can enjoy a relaxed and stress-free experience in a modern and easy to navigate terminal.”

During the past two years, under the master plan, SRQ has installed new escalators, renovated restrooms, replaced chillers and HVAC systems, updated information technology infrastructure, updated the baggage screening system, resealed most of the building exterior and replaced the roof and skylights.

Future plans for improvement under the master plan include remaining terminal renovations and third office facilities and baggage claim. Travelers can expect renovations to be complete within the next two years.

“SRQ, like any commercial airport, generates a great deal of tourism and business activity with more than 1.3 million passengers utilizing the airport each year, spending millions in the local community,” Piccolo says. “Having a vibrant and thriving airport is a key economic attraction.”

Currently SRQ is a totally self-sufficient, funding an operating budget of over $16 million in business activities. With no taxing power, the airport -- the primary air carrier and general aviation airport for Sarasota and Manatee Counties -- provides local economic impact and job creation at no cost to Tampa Bay area residents.

Additionally, SRQ is on track to be debt free by August 2014, paying off the remaining $6 million of $150 million in terminal debt.

“This will essentially result in a new terminal with no debt -- that is rare amongst airports anywhere,” Piccolo says.

With nonstop service to major cities including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago and New York and easy connections to other countries, SRQ currently generates more than 11,000 jobs and $962 million of economic impact on the local community.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Rick Piccolo, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

Boutique Hotel To Transform Classic Federal Courthouse, Tampa

The renovation of downtown Tampa's Classic Federal Courthouse is underway with Mayor Bob Buckhorn and representatives of Tampa Hotel Partners breaking ground on the project on February 13th.

Kicking off the $25 million project, the courthouse will transform over the next 14 months into the 130-room Le Meridien Hotel. After considering five proposals for the redevelopment of the more than 100-year-old building, Buckhorn announced in January 2012 that the City of Tampa had made its decision on Tampa Hotel Partners, LLC.

“The federal courthouse is a historical and cultural landmark and it is important to not only preserve it, but to also utilize it in a way that people can enjoy it,” says Buckhorn.

Redevelopment plans for the Beaux-Arts style building call for a complete transformation into a boutique hotel housing a signature restaurant with outdoor dining and 2,400-square-foot ballroom and meeting space.

Featuring stone, marble, three-story columns and oak trim throughout, many of the building's original features will be restored during the project; Development Services Group of Memphis will act as the project's developer while Ferrell Redevelopment of Tampa will be the historical architectural consultant. Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design of Miami will be the project's architect and the Beck Group of Tampa will manage the construction of the project.

“Our urban core is long overdue for activity and this hotel will activate a piece of our downtown that has been vacant for too long,” says Buckhorn. “It represents our history, will anchor downtown's future and adds to the unique flavor of Tampa.”

Prior to being considered for renovation, the building was first used as a post office and customs house, later becoming a federal courthouse. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has a Local National Landmark designation.

The project is expected to create approximately 425 construction jobs with the hotel itself will employing about 100 people upon completion.

“The renovation and reopening of this hotel will benefit practically everyone,” Buckhorn says.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

Flying Pan Creperie To Open, Kennedy Blvd, Tampa

The scent of decadent, made-to-order crepes served in a relaxing, vintage-inspired cafe with indoor and outdoor seating will soon be part of Tampa's growing urban scene along Kennedy Boulevard west of downtown.

Flying Pan, one of the Tampa Bay region's newest franchises, will soon offer crepes, fresh omelets, waffles, pancakes, soups, salads and paninis made with fresh, whole ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a fast-casual restaurant seating nearly 100 people.

“With customers being able to see their food being prepared -- their crepes cooked right in front of them on the griddle -- a visit to the Flying Pan will be entertaining and visual. Not to mention, you'll have the aroma of the fresh crepes,” says Misann Ellmaker, company spokeswoman and Walker Brands brand manager. Walker Brands provides public relations, marketing and advertising for Flying Pan.

In 2001, the Flying Pan's ownership group, BFC Retail Group, started what was called the Crepe Cafe in Australia. According to Ellmaker, the concept moved from Australia to the Middle East with 30 locations before looking to expand in the United States.

“In putting their plans together, they wanted to come up with a new brand that translated well into the American market,” Ellmaker says. “They chose Tampa as their first U.S. location because they really wanted a testing ground with a broad demographic -- a mix of tourism and residents varying in income and age.”

Flying Pan will feature breakfast crepes like the Fruity Museli with granola, greek yogurt, fresh fruits and mixed berries; lunch crepes like the Flyin' BLT with bacon, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and Dijonaise sauce; and dessert crepes like Apple Pie with apple compote, butter, white sugar, cinnamon, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

The menu will also feature one-of-a-kind omelets, waffles, pancakes, soups, salads, paninis and specialty coffee, smoothies and tea. Vegetarian options are available and the griddle-cooked crepes will not be cooked in oil or butter.

“The menu is so dangerous,” says Ellmaker. “But what I really like is that you can come at any time of the day and find something: On your way to work for breakfast, at lunchtime for a meeting or dinner with family or a date. It's so versatile.”

BFC Retail Group's goal with the Flying Pan is to have 10 franchise agreements signed by the end of 2014.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Misann Ellmaker, Walker Brands

Community Volunteers To Build Tampa Heights Playground

The Tampa Heights Civic Association, PNC Bank and KaBOOM! are partnering on a new, innovative playground that will provide a safe place for children to play in the Tampa Heights community. Several years in the making, the new playground will be assembled in one day by volunteers on March 2. 

"This is so much more than a playground; it represents part of the implementation of a comprehensive neighborhood plan that the entire community has come together to create,'' says Lena Young Green, president of the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association.

A national nonprofit organization, KaBOOM! has helped launch more than 2,200 playgrounds across the country. Founded in 1996 with the vision that every child in the U.S. should have a playground within walking distance of their home, KaBOOM! collaborates with communities to develop safe, accessible outdoor play spaces for kids.

A commitment of volunteers and community funding is required for planning to begin. PNC Bank, through the PNC Foundation's Grow Up Great initiative, provided the majority of funding to cover the cost of the playground. The Tampa Heights Civic Association is responsible for an additional $8,000. As of mid-February, $4,500 has been raised by the civic association, says Green.

The Tampa Heights playground will also include an Imagination Playground in a Cart, a play space designed by the New York architectural firm, The Rockwell Group. Movable blocks, mats, crates and fabric give children unstructured free play. 

When completed, the playground will be part of a Tampa Heights Health Zone, says Green. Other features include the Heights community garden; a greenway path for bicycling and walking, along with exercise stations and a dog walking area; a basketball court; and a youth and community center with commercial kitchen.

Volunteers are still needed to help assemble the playground equipment and move 43,740-square-feet of safety surface. The playground build-date is Saturday, March 2, from 8:30 am to 3 pm. 

Writer: Janan Talafer
Source: Lena Young Green, Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association

The Container Store Expands To Tampa's Westshore Area

Contain yourself: The Container Store is making its way to Tampa.

Offering a plethora of storage and organization products, The Container Store will open a 25,000 square foot store across the street from International Plaza at 4720 W. Spruce St. in the Westshore area.

As the third store in Florida with additional locations coming in 2013 to Orlando and Boca Raton, the Tampa Bay area location will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, March 16th, and Sunday, March 17th; 10 percent of all sales from the weekend will go to the Junior League of Tampa.

"We are so thrilled to bring our beautiful collection of solutions to customers in Tampa, who have been requesting a store for years.'' says Casey Shilling, VP of public relations and marketing communications. "In fact, Tampa is our most requested location by our Facebook fans!''

The Container Store's new space will be organized into 16 signature lifestyle departments including closet, kitchen, office, travel, gift packaging and laundry, featuring more than 10,000 muftifunctional and innovative organization products.

Think: 700 organized office products, 350 products to organize travelers, 120 food storage solutions and 80 styles of hangers. Chances are, if you're looking for a storage solution, The Container Store has what you need.

"We value locations with a high density of our customer base, which is compromised of time- and space-starved customers who value our unique collection of products and high level of customer service,'' says Shilling of the Tampa Bay region. "We feel our proximity to International Plaza provides great visibility and accessibility for these time-crunched customers.''

One of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For,'' The Conatiner Store's expansion to the Tampa Bay region will add about 55 jobs to the local community.

"We know our highly trained employees and fun, friendly atmosphere help make The Container Store a great place to work and shop.''

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Casey Shilling, The Container Store

Men's Lifestyle Apparel Company Chooses CoWork Tampa, Focuses On Environment

Black & Denim Apparel Company, a men's lifestyle apparel company looking to take the green route by taking care of the environment with fashionable, eco-friendly clothing, has picked the Tampa Bay region to base its headquarters.

Black & Denim searched for a space to house an office and showroom, ultimately stumbling upon CoWork Tampa's entrepreneurial atmosphere, which offers the opportunity to interact with other companies, all under one roof.

"Instead of cities that have garment districts -- New York or Los Angeles -- we did a bit of research and it turns out that when the embargo hit, a lot of cigar factories in Tampa became sewing facilities,'' says Roberto Torres, president of Black & Denim. "Tampa's a natural hub, with one of the most active port systems in Florida, so we dug into the area's roots and decided to help create a garment district. We're trying to harness all of the talent coming out of design schools and major universities, which is paramount for our growth.''

According to Torres, Black & Denim -- which, by the way, is made and sourced entirely out of the United States -- plans to ultimately make CoWork Tampa a permanent home for the company with plans to house machinery on an empty floor, advertising their factory as a "must see destination for tourists,'' he says.

But for now, Black & Denim is focusing on the environment, calling "green technology fashion's new black'' with the launch of a kickstarter project in hopes of showing the region -- and the country -- that fashionable, eco-friendly clothing is possible. One technology currently being utilized by the company includes water-based inks versus traditional plastisol, which is harmful to the environment and, potentially, those wearing it. Sampling and upcycled materials are also a focus for the brand.

"We are thrilled to be able to add to the Tampa Bay economy: We're local and support the local shops and enterprises driving this town,'' Torres says. "One day, we want to be one of those 103-year-old businesses that calls Tampa home. We want to be a part of the history and fabric of the area.''

Black & Denim supports seven local boutiques and employs five employees at the local distribution facility. According to Torres, the company is looking to not only continue supporting local jobs, but create job opportunities in the near future.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Roberto Torres, Black & Denim Apparel Company

Leadership Sarasota Makes Plans To Improve Michael Biehl Park, Venice

Leadership Sarasota, a program of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is making Venice's Michael Biehl Park a focus, with plans to improve the local park as part of a community service project.

Located next to Venice Theatre on West Tampa Avenue, improvements will be made to the park with $5,000 of seed money that was given to Leadership Sarasota by the local chamber of commerce to get the project off of the ground. ProGo Solutions, a company specializing in agronomic solutions, will also play an instrumental role in the project, as well as the City of Venice, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Venice Theatre.

In addition, the program -- which is designed to nurture and engage leadership skills through community immersion, leadership training and educating participants on "how things work'' in the local community -- will use resources through various Tampa Bay area-based businesses for additional funds via in-kind donations of consulting, supplies and equipment.

"Leadership Sarasota's Class of 2013 came to choose the Michael Biehl Park project after thorough consideration'' says Bridget McGrath, a member of Leadership Sarasota. "We all felt that this park and location had immense potential to enhance downtown Venice and, with the resources we have through our class and the local community, knew this project would be a success.''

The project plans to brighten the park with lighting and landscaping, add picnic tables and bike racks and enhance the overall design of the park; an existing mural will be embellished with new lighting.

"Currently, the landscape is pretty drab and lacks color; we intend to change that,'' McGrath says. "We feel that this park is a main focal point when you enter historic downtown Venice and will be helping the continued revitalization of the downtown area.''

An unveiling and community barbecue will be held at the park on April 21st, celebrating the new and improved Michael Biehl Park. Until then, Leadership Sarasota has plans to put in more than five scheduled work days where the class in its entirety will be putting in work to see the project through.

"Leadership Sarasota's class of 2013 is full of solid talent and great charisma with a strong desire to give back to our beautiful community that we are so fortunate to call home.''

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Bridget McGrath, Leadership Sarasota

Moffitt Grows Outpatient Services, Builds New $74M Clinic

Moffitt Cancer Center officially broke ground on a $74.2 million clinic building at it's McKinley campus in Tampa.

Located less than one mile from Moffitt's main campus, the eight-story, 200,000-square-foot outpatient medical facility, at 10902 N. McKinley Dr., will house clinical space for breast and skin cancer programs; infusion and imaging facilities; research labs; an ambulatory surgery center serving patients with cancers including breast, head and neck, melanoma and sarcoma; and space for blood draws. Administration facilities, offices and dining areas will also be located at the clinic.

Approximately $20 million of the budget will go toward new equipment with the remaining $54.2 million spent on the construction of the building itself and a parking garage.

“This new facility would not have been possible without the foresight and vision of our Florida Legislature, including timeless efforts of Rep. James Grant and Sen. Ronda Storms,” says Moffitt President and CEO Alan List, M.D., of the small increase in Cigarette Tax revenue the center received during the past legislative session.

Additionally, the 30 acres of land being utilized for the first phase of the McKinley expansion was donated by the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

“We are so grateful that the city and county have stood in full support of Moffitt's mission -- to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer -- since we opened,” List says.

With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of Florida of nearly $2 billion. This specific project is expected to create more than 600 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs upon opening.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Alan List, M.D., Moffitt Cancer Center

Tampa's Nehemiah Project: Reinvent Sulphur Springs

Mayor Buckhorn is making Tampa's Sulphur Springs a focus for community progress with the announcement of the Nehemiah Project.

As part of city's commitment to improve the low-income neighborhood north of downtown, the project will demolish 51 uninhabitable homes over the next six months. Funds for the project will come from the general fund with each demolition costing approximately $5,500. Once demolished, each lot will be maintained by the Clean City Division.

“These demolitions are long overdue,” Buckhorn says. “Abandoned houses are like a cancer in the neighborhood: They become a magnet for drugs, gangs and prostitution and devalue all of the adjoining properties.”

Additionally, in an effort to help continue the revitalization of Sulphur Springs, the city has dedicated three full-time code enforcement officers to the area and will install 33 new street lights in a four-block radius as part of the “Bright Lights, Safe Nights” initiative.

“Block by block, I am making a commitment to bust the blight and improve the quality of life,” Buckhorn says.

Each of the homes facing demolition has multiple code enforcement violations and been deemed uninhabitable. Of the 51 properties, 45 are located within the Sulphur Springs neighborhood and six are just north of Busch Boulevard. Many of the homes are in foreclosure and none are historic properties.

"What I would like to do is not have a vacant lot sitting there, but have a single-family home," Buckhorn says.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

Fitlife Foods Opens Fourth Location, St. Pete

Attention health food nuts: Don't miss the new Fitlife Foods location in downtown St. Pete.

Open to the public as of Monday, January 28th, the 1,200-square-feet store is the fourth location in the Tampa Bay area, offering flavorful, healthy and convenient prepared meals -- “indulgently fit prepared meals.”

Fitlife Owner and CEO David Osterweil says Fitlife Foods is all about powerfully good, made-from-scratch, fresh prepared breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options. Whether you're looking for a healthy bagel sandwich, Mexican veggie melt (aka nachos), feel good chicken tenders or snicker doodle cookies -- Fitlife Foods has you covered, using unique ingredients to make all of your favorite foods guilt free.

“What law says you can't eat the foods that you crave and have it be nutritious and delicious as well?” Osterweil says. “It doesn't matter whether you are running a marathon, running behind on time or just trying to manage your busy life. Fitlife Foods is there to make it easier for you.”

The first Fitlife location opened in February 2011 on South Dale Mabry Highway in South Tampa. Since, additional locations have made their way to North Tampa and Clearwater. The new St. Pete location includes the local chain's newest interior design with an interactive chalkboard for guests to post health and fitness goals.

“St. Petersburg is a dynamic market in the Tampa Bay metro area with many people who are on the go and are looking for food to power them through their busy days,” Osterweil says. “Many residents of the area have been coming to our Tampa and Clearwater locations for some time and we wanted to reach out to this important cultural center in our community.”

Fitlife Foods offers health and weight loss programs to help kick start residents who are trying to drop inches and pounds, including the new Project U program and the 7, 14 and 21 Day Project (formerly the 21 Day Challenge).

“We really want people to be able to enjoy all of their favorite foods while getting fit in 2013!”

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: David Osterweil, Fitlife Foods

Pasco County Launches Business Incubator, Dade City

Pasco County entrepreneurs soon will be able to take advantage of the county's first business incubator.

On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Dade City Commissioners showed support for local entrepreneurs by approving $50,000 to launch the first business incubator in Pasco County; the incubator will be located in the Dade City Business Center on Citrus Villas Lane and managed by a team led by the Pasco Economic Development Council (EDC).

“The incubator project represents a fantastic opportunity for Dade City in job creation, promotion of our community as 'open for business' and supporting entrepreneurship,” says John Moors, executive director of the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to working with our partners in promoting this new growth while maintaining our unique, old Florida sense of community.”

The Dade City Business Center location will play a big role, helping the Pasco EDC to assist start-up companies or early stage businesses grow, add local jobs and receive necessary technical assistance; Saint Leo University has offered to partner with the EDC on this venture, offering that assistance to start-ups.

“The incubator completes a long-term objective for Saint Leo's Donald R. Tapia School of Business to deepen our support to the local business community and provide opportunities for our students and faculty to engage in creating new businesses,” says School of Business Dean Michael Nastanski.

The incubator coming into fruition has been a year in the making by the Pasco EDC.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: John Moors, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce; Michael Nastanski, Saint Leo University

Uhsome Media, Marketing Opens In Sarasota HuB

Local Tampa media and marketing agency Uhsome has announced an expansion, bringing the company's growth to the Sarasota area.

The brains behind CoWorkTampa, a Tampa-based coworking loft offering affordable memberships to local freelancers and entrepreneurs, Uhsome's new 300-square-foot office will be housed inside of HuB's newly opened space at 1680 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. The HuB space celebrated the grand opening of the Fruitville Road location in December 2012.

“Sarasota is an up and coming, wealthy area with a lot of baby boomers needing online assistance,” says Uhsome CEO Chris Arnoldi. “HuB is at the forefront of the technology scene and is definitely the spot to be. We like associating ourselves with people doing it the right way.”

Since 2009, HuB has been active in promoting big ideas in Sarasota and their renovation of a 10,000-square-foot building is continuing to embrace that concept by housing innovative tech companies, entrepreneurs and creative/tech startups. HuB founder Rich Swier Jr. worked on the renovation with Sarasota's HOYT Architects and Biter Enterprises.

“We do a lot business with people working out of the HuB already,” Arnoldi says. “We plan to be more efficient and accessible.”

Uhsome will begin operating out of their new HuB office on February 1st, offering the same suite of professional services including everything from web design, hosting, consulting and development to iPhone apps and mobile sites.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Chris Arnoldi, Uhsome

The Workout Scene: The Bar Method, Tampa

Tampa workout junkies, say hello to the Bar Method, a full-body exercise program using a ballet bar fitness technique while drawing from the principles of isometrics, dance conditioning, interval training and physical therapy.

Think: dance, pilates and yoga.

Tampa Bay resident and Bar Method enthusiast Jeanette DePuy celebrated the opening of Tampa's first Bar Method studio at MetWest International in Tampa’s Westshore Business District on January 12th. DePuy trained at the Bar Method's flagship studio in San Francisco with founder Burr Leonard, ultimately falling in love with the workout.

“I didn't love any of the things I was doing to be fit until I found this. The way that your body changes because of it is different than any other workout, targeting muscles differently and sculpting hard-to-reach areas,” DePuy says. “I knew I had to open my own studio.”

Calling the hour-long workout “fun and addicting,” DePuy wanted a central location for the studio, ultimately finding the perfect 2,800-square-feet studio in MetWest International, MetLife's 32-acre mixed-used development in Westshore.

“We opened with a full schedule, raring to go and already have a lot of activity from the surrounding office buildings,” she says. “The commuity class members who have tried the Bar Method are already hooked.”

Noticeable results from the workout, she says, include firm, elongated muscles; reduced body fat; high muscle definition in the chest; improved posture; long, narrow thighs; defined hamstrings; increased stamina and energy; strong, flat abdominals; and extended youthfulness.

“Overall, it's just a very intense workout that quickly and safely reshapes your body,” says DePuy, who already has plans to open an additional studio in New Tampa; third and fourth studios may make their way to South Tampa and Pinellas County.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Jeanette DePuy, The Bar Method
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