InVision Tampa Works Toward Creating New Downtown Tampa Master Plan

InVision Tampa is working to create a new master plan for downtown and surrounding neighorhoods for the next 20 years.

The project received a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2010 to develop a new plan for downtown, the Nebraska Transit Corridor and surrounding neighborhoods. After years of organization, the project kicked off in the spring with the hiring of AECOM as consultant on the project.

“For the next year or so, we'll be engaged in the downtown planning effort,” says City of Tampa Urban Planning Coordinator Randy Goers. “It's a good time for us to look to the future, establish a solid plan and prepare for the next wave of growth during this current slowdown in the economy.”

InVision Tampa's goal is to connect with community residents and business owners, collecting suggestions on how to improve the city and incorporating that feedback into a master plan.

Suggestions already made: Add grocery stores to the downtown area, Channel District and Ybor City; connect Tampa neighborhoods through open spaces, parks and pedestrian pathways; adopt a comprehensive transit system; create more activities along the riverfront; encourage mixed-use and housing developments; and offer free WiFi throughout downtown Tampa.

“The plan should help address and make downtown Tampa the people's downtown for the next 20 years, responding to the ideas and needs of the community,” Goers says. “It really depends on the priorities of the community and what they think the role of downtown should be whether that be the center of the community, activity area or place to live.”

Tampa was one of more than 100 U.S. communities to receive a grant to engage in a variety of different types of urban planning to update regulations and implement plans. InVision Tampa expects a preliminary draft of the new master plan within the next three months while the final version of the plan is slated for October 2012.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Randy Goers, City of Tampa