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Smoking a cigar in Ybor City still goes with the territory

Even as creatives, techies, design firms and defense contractors increasingly call Ybor City home, the national narrative around the historic Tampa neighborhood largely spins around cigars and cigar making.

Welcome to a visitor's take on what it's like to spend a few days on Seventh Avenue and nearby.

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Reserve safe spaces for bicycles as transportation planning moves forward

Hillsborough County leaders looking to design the future of transportation must dedicate space and funding for bicycles as an increasingly popular option for travel, both for work and pleasure.

Planners are already tackling a Vision Zero process, which encourages spending on roads to sync up with creating safer streets for all means of transportation including pedestrians.

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NYT spends 36 hours in St. Pete Beach

The New York Times spends 36 hours in St. Pete Beach to luxuriate in the white sandy beaches and laid-back ambiance that goes with experiencing the Gulf coast in Pinellas County.

Food, drink and the great outdoors provide the narrative.

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Next City: 5 tips for mayors looking to build better public transit

Even if federal funding is reduced or goes away for public transit, mayors and local officials can do lots to ensure public support, recommends TransitCenter, an NYC-based foundation dedicated to improving transit.

The foundation offers 5 tips for taking local action.

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Growing marijuana could be new green in Florida

When Florida voters supported a referendum in favor of greater access to medical marijuana last fall, they may not have recognized the potential economic gains ahead for rural agriculture and land re-use.

Smart lawyers, farmers and land speculators are among those now scrambling to cash in on creating supply for anticipated demand for medical marijuana.

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Mayors of Clearwater, St. Pete, Tampa eye future collaborations

The mayors of the Tampa Bay Area's largest cities -- George Cretekos of Clearwater, Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg and Bob Buckhorn of Tampa -- say they plan to build on natural alliances and trusted relationships to help forge economic success.

All three mayors faced a surly but welcoming audience at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club's annual meet the mayors lunch in Pinellas County.

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Florida climbs in state rankings of well-being, says Gallup

If perception is reality, the Florida lifestyle is a ladder climber when it comes to a general state of well-being among residents, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The Gallup polling organization annually measures each state for well-being, composed of a broad gauge of five factors: life purpose, social engagement, financial security, sense of community and physical health.

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Mayor Buckhorn, Jeff Vinik on shaping future of downtown Tampa

Developer Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn sit down for a conversation about what's new and what's next in downtown.

The Hillsborough River at the center of the city is key to creating a city that attracts future investments and talent from all over the globe.

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Tampa Bay WaVE opens 2nd office in Channel District

Tampa Bay WaVE, an incubator for startups in downtown Tampa, is opening a second office in the Channel District close to Port Tampa Bay.

The new office will open in Channelside Bay Plaza in space once occupied by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

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Taking a break from screen time: Local urban placemaking expert chills over board games

Placemaking consultant Peter Kageyama of St. Petersburg has discovered how to unwind from his busy travel schedule and frequent screen time. He turns to board games for intellectual stimulation and the socialization that face-to-face competition brings.

The author and adviser to St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman says he's found his tribe in board gaming.

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In search of real Florida: Author takes backroads through paradise

Tampa Author Cathy Salustri lures readers off the interstates that crisscross the state to help them discover the "real'' Florida in small towns and cities along the way.

Her 5,000-mile journey tracked the routes taken by a collective of writers in the 1930s, which included Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston.

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Zillow predicts 5 Tampa Bay Area neighborhoods to lead 2017 climb in home values

Home values in five Tampa Bay Area neighborhoods are expected to soar in value, according to the latest projects by real estate website Zillow.

Zillow says two of the hottest neighborhoods are in Tampa: Fair Oaks in South Tampa and Temple Crest in Central Tampa. The other three are in St. Petersburg: Westminster Heights, Oakwood Gardens and Lake Euclid.

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Who's behind big apartment/condo projects in downtown Tampa, St. Pete?

South Florida developers, most from Miami, are betting on the future of downtowns in the Tampa Bay Area.

Many of the investments in high-rise apartment and condo buildings now going up or on the drawing board represent investments by big builders looking toward Tampa and St. Petersburg for new territory.

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Major investments in West Tampa breathe new life into one of Tampa's oldest neighborhoods

The replacement of a major public housing project with a planned community, the renovation of a public park on the west bank of the Hillsborough River plus the opening of a new Jewish Community Center on Armenia Avenue are turning eyes in the development world as West Tampa seems primed to become the city's next emerging neighborhood.

What keeps West Tampa special is the community's authenticity in architectural and cultural roots.

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Waterfronts capture new focus of Tampa Bay Area visionaries, developers

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Urban Land Institute hosted a panel discussion on why Florida cities are re-imagining their waterfronts as cool places to live, work and play. 

Urban designers advising the cities of Clearwater, Tampa and St. Pete talk about why the next urban development frontier is on the water.

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