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What's next for Waterworks Park? Boat docks, kayak launch

The city of Tampa gets final approval from the U.S, Corps of Engineers to build boat docks and a kayak launch on the Hillsborough River next to Waterworks Park just north of downtown.

As a result, boaters will soon have better access to Ulele restaurant, the park and other nearby destinations.

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What a difference the Florida Aquarium makes in downtown Tampa

Community thought leaders who had the foresight to build the Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa 20 years ago helped transform the city's future.

Tom Hall, a key player in getting the Aquarium built, speaks about what a difference that decision made.

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Check out what urban designers see coming to downtown Tampa

David Dixon and Jeff Speck, the two urban planners hired by Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners to redesign the waterfront neighborhood surrounding Amalie Arena, talk about what they envision and why it matters as cities compete in the global marketplace for talent and innovation.

Vinik and SPP are investing more than $1 billion in the project.

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McDonald's tests automated order system in Florida

Want mushrooms on your Big Mac? Or mustard only? How about jalapenos? McDonald's customers in suburban Wesley Chapel, north of Tampa, are getting a chance to use a touchscreen computer to customize their own food orders, including an array of toppings not offered under traditional golden arches.

The automated system is used widely in European cities and is being tested in limited U.S. markets to see if it increases efficiency and customer satisfaction.

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Columnist outlines 10 critical goals for Tampa Bay region

The future prosperity of the Tampa Bay region depends on key decisions being made on 10 critical issues in need of solutions, according to a list compiled by Tampa Bay Times Columnist Robert Trigaux.

At the top of the list: transportation.

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South Hillsborough County restores valuable shoreline

A dredging and beach renourishment project funded primarily by corporate and private donations will soon make it easier to travel by water into and out of Apollo Beach in South Hillsborough County. 

The project, largely paid by donations from Mosaic, TECO Energy, civic groups and private citizens, should increase the value of property and make the neighborhood more attractive to boaters.

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Tampa-Hillsborough pursues grant to try driverless cars on local roads

The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority is going after federal funding to enable greater use of driverless cars on local roads.

The funding could make it possible for the Tampa Bay area to lead the nation in piloting the best options for the latest in high tech transportation.

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New section of Tampa Riverwalk opens in March

The Tampa Riverwalk continues to grow with the latest section opening at the end of March just in time for construction to move forward on another section.

When complete, the Riverwalk will curl around the downtown waterfront uninterrupted from the Tampa Port on the east to the Tampa Convention Center on the south up to Rick's on the River along the west. 

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For Good: Add $10M to USF in big year for Tampa Bay philanthropy

Chalk up another $10 million to the University of South Florida, this time in the form of a gift from alum Jordan Zimmerman who credits his alma mater for preparing him for the success that Zimmerman Advertising enjoys.

Zimmerman's donation is the latest of at least 5 other recent multimillion dollar gifts to USF.

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St. Pete residents pick favorite design for Pier redo

St. Petersburg residents picked their favorite designs for the anticipated renovation of the St. Petersburg Pier.  

The top choice: Destination St. Pete. DSP keeps the basic structure of the inverted pyramid and adds restaurant space.

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Tampa airport renovation attracts local restaurants, foodies

Local restaurants are stepping up to open new digs inside the renovated Tampa International Airport. The airport's expansion will make room for new options in dining and everyone wants a seat at the table. 

Expect the airport to become even more of a destination for foodies come 2017.

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Developer Jeff Vinik aims to attract top corporate headquarters to downtown Tampa

Attracting additional corporate headquarters to downtown Tampa is at the top of Developer Jeff Vinik's priorities as he takes his message to a national audience on CNBC.

Vinik, the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, seeks far-sighted investors who recognize the city's potential.

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New med school in downtown Tampa? Final answer to come from Gov. Scott, Florida lawmakers

Plans to move USF's medical school from its north Tampa location on the main campus to downtown for a more urban environment sure to attract faculty, staff and students won approval from the Florida University System's board of governors. 

Next stop Tallahassee, where the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott will get the final say.

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2 new makers markets open in emerging Tampa neighborhoods

New markets featuring goods and services created by local makers open in the Seminole Heights and Ybor City neighborhoods in Tampa.

The markets represent another alternative shopping experience supportiing the popular buy local movement.

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Apprenticeships in trades becoming hot ticket to success

As Boomers get ready to retire and exit the job force, private developers and local governments are finding it difficult to find younger replacements, particularly when it comes to labor in the skilled trades.

As a result, local union leaders are creating more and more apprenticeship opportunities for young people interested in becoming electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other skilled laborers.

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