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Tampa Convention Center To Undergo $15M Upgrade

Visitors to the Tampa Convention Center will soon enjoy new escalators, bathrooms, doors, boat docks and a security system following a vote by the City Council.

The Convention Center, which opened in 1990, sits on the downtown waterfront across from Harbour Island and next to the Marriott Waterside and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

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Times Reimagines Port Facilities For Tampa Bay

A future filled with mega ships and sediment in Tampa Bay's main shipping channels prompted the Tampa Bay Times to seek reader input in reimagining solutions for inevitable accessiblity problems for the region's cruise ship and cargo industries.

Ideas proposed include building a tunnel to replace the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, floating a dry dock to offload passengers and cargo onto smaller ships, building an island where transfers could occur and designing a new megaport on coastal property shared by the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee.

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USF Researchers Get Credit For Saving Frogs, Amphibians

Researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa may have discovered how frogs and other amphibians can fend off a deadly fungus that is decimating their populations around the globe.

The discovery goes to the ability to build up resistance, curtailing the spread of the fungus.

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Live Theatre Festival Debuts In Tampa In August

The Straz Center in Downtown Tampa will host the first Tampa Bay Theatre Festival, complete with more than a dozen original plays, in August.

The festival's founder is Lakeland native Rory Lawrence, an actor and playwright with big city ambition. Expect a crowd!

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Tampa Bay Mourns Loss Of Startup Weekend Co-Founder

The sudden and untimely death of serial Entrepreneur Susie Steiner on Friday, July 11, stunned the Tampa Bay region's close-knit startup community.

Friends and followers expressed heartfelt condolences. One moving tribute came from Blogger Gil Gonzalez.

Read the complete blog post.

Vision For Expanding Urban Tampa Along Hillsborough River Gets Boost

As part of the ongoing effort to reimagine and jumpstart development along the west bank of the Hillsborough River near downtown, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the City Council have agreed to move a staging area for city trucks onto more suitable land in East Tampa.

Freeing up about 11 acres near Blake High School and Tampa Prep will enable development of the property into a residential community supportive of the nationwide trend in urban living.

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Lightning Owner Wins Bid To Develop Channelside

Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik is moving closer to getting a chance to rebuild the largely abandoned Channelside development near the Times Forum, where the hockey team plays its home games.

Vinik's company, CBP Development, was the top bidder at $7.1 million for the property, which is situated next to the Tampa Port's cruiseship terminals. 

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Vote Yay Or Nay On Greenlight Pinellas?

Pinellas voters should weigh their experiences and vision for the future, then trust their gut when it comes to voting for or against the Greenlight Pinellas ballot initiative in November, says Tampa Bay Times Columnist John Romano.

The largely suburban community has the population density required for a successful transit system but voters must decide whether a tax increase is a worthy investment in the future.

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Tampa Bay Enjoys High Growth Mode

The Tampa Bay region ranks favorably in comparison to other U.S. cities when it comes to economic growth going into the last half of the decade.

That's the assessment of a new report released at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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Quest Diagnostics To Add 350 Jobs In Tampa Bay

Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa continue their quest to become a global destination for health-related jobs with plans by Quest Diagnostics to open a logistics center in North Tampa to process and ship lab test results.

Quest says it will add 350 higher paying jobs requiring higher education or special skills in Tampa in the next year.

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Business Growth In Downtown Tampa Means Jobs

New housing and economic growth in Downtown Tampa is bringing a surge in job creation. New apartment buildings, hotels and restaurants are responding to demand for living as well as working in the urban core of cities.

The growth in urban opportunities is part of a national trend engaging highly educated people -- primarily young professionals and empty nesters -- who want to move into smaller spaces and newer places in walkable neighborhoods.

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Tampa Plants Wildflowers In Parks, On Street Corners

Everything may not be coming up roses in Tampa just yet, but look around and soon you'll be seeing more Black-eyed Susans, flower tickseeds, lanceleaf coreopsis, bushclover and mistflower adding a little color to the urban scene.

The city is scattering flower seeds in parks and other public places as another way to enhance the living experience.

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Orlando's Startup Culture Grows Up Fast

Opportunities abound for startups in the Tampa Bay region and Orlando to combine their creative juices into a cocktail for success. Both could learn from each other, given the geographic proximity and necessity to compete in the global marketplace.

A new promotional video suggests some of the lessons to be learned.

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Le Meridien Hotel Opens In Downtown Tampa

Make your reservations now! The Le Meridien Hotel in the renovated Class Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa is now open for business as Tampa's latest boutique hotel.

It joins Aloft and the Floridan as the coolest renovated places to stay in the city.

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Duke Energy Awards USFSP Grant For Solar Power

USFSP will soon install a major solar power grid atop buildings on campus thanks to a $500,000 grant from Duke Energy.

The grant is part of Duke's Sunsense program, which has previously awarded similar assistance to USF in Tampa, the University of Central Florida and St. Petersburg College.

Read the complete story.
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