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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:37 PM   #101
TamHavPolis
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Quote:
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To me the Riverwalk is much like the convention center - a large public investment that over the long haul provides exponential returns. Not all public investment does that and that's why many are skeptical, but like the CC hotels and other CC businesses that surround it, the synergy is producing a booming convention business and will support more private business. Although RW will not conduct business in and of itself, it's existence will increase the quality of residential life to generate additional downtown business and may become part of the synergy; not to mention the positive public perception.
I hope you're right, but no one abandons, neglects and underuses its parks like Tampa. Take, for instance, the park next to the beer can. It was an interesting park. Neat location. But for years under Greco rule, the park just sat there, rotting. Then the city came in and cut down all the trees.

As parks go, Tampa doesn't have much, and doesn't seem to appreciate what it has. I've seen two notable exceptions - Bayshore (literally "Bayshore Linear Park"), which after years of disrepair was patched up and improved in the 90s, provides some nice scenery and a great place to go jogging. It'd be nice if there were more trees, but...

And Kate Jackson Park on Rome and Morrison. I used to go there as a kid and they always had a decent playground. Now they've got a nice fountain, basketball courts, a renovated rec center...

There may be other decent parks in town, but my 'hood is Hyde Park/Palma Ceia. A lot of the suburban parks I've seen are shoddy, overrated lawns, and some larger parks are in neighborhoods where I don't typically go.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:52 PM   #102
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And as a note, I think the photo above of MacDill "Park" illustrates the way I view the typical park in Tampa. The city has a blank lot that developers do nothing with, so they level the lot, throw down some well-manicured St. Augustine grass, a lot of concrete, a flag pole and marble sign or two, and a few sparse ornamental trees, and call it a park. And no one uses it, ever, except for maybe somebody who needs a place to sleep.

The fact of the matter is, Tampa is sunny and hot. You would think that planting shade trees would be a good idea.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:58 PM   #103
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The fact of the matter is, Tampa is sunny and hot. You would think that planting shade trees would be a good idea.
Well, all along the edge of the park there appears to be shade trees planted. They're just not grown to usefullness yet. Having some open grass areas are nice. I will agree with you that downtown needs another heavely forested park, preferrably on the Riverwalk. The Curtis hixon design is more open as well, as is Ft. Brooke though it does have some shaded parts.

Lykes Park, for example has a nice amount of shade.

Also, a dog park is needed.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 07:28 PM   #104
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Well, all along the edge of the park there appears to be shade trees planted. They're just not grown to usefullness yet. Having some open grass areas are nice. I will agree with you that downtown needs another heavely forested park, preferrably on the Riverwalk. The Curtis hixon design is more open as well, as is Ft. Brooke though it does have some shaded parts.

Lykes Park, for example has a nice amount of shade.

Also, a dog park is needed.
I hear you. Hey, I would love a park where I could go walk my dog, or play chess, or just sit and read in the shade. All the parks with significant shade I've seen are primarily playgrounds for the younguns, and I don't feel quite right as the lone bachelor at those parks, even if I'm minding my own business. I get stares from soccer moms as if being a single guy in the park means I must be up to no good.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 09:34 PM   #105
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Here's a pic of the progress for the River Walk underneath the Platt street bridge (right across from Publix). This will be nice as that isn't the safest street to cross, people come flying by with little visibility because of the bridge bump.

However, right up from this is the Trump site which is currently completely closed. So it won't be immediately useful. That's definitely the key because with that it's not much until it's hooked into MacDill and then TMA.

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Old February 3rd, 2008, 09:37 PM   #106
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Nothing we didn't already know in that article. Wasn't most of the Super Bowl stuff around the stadium last time anyway?

THP, there's a dog park along Marti, right next to the Crosstown. And if you haven't been, I'd recommend Riverfront. Its actually quite nice, and there are lots of benches in the shade.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by TamHavPolis View Post
I hear you. Hey, I would love a park where I could go walk my dog, or play chess, or just sit and read in the shade. All the parks with significant shade I've seen are primarily playgrounds for the younguns, and I don't feel quite right as the lone bachelor at those parks, even if I'm minding my own business. I get stares from soccer moms as if being a single guy in the park means I must be up to no good.
Damn - that's rough! though I completely understand what you mean, Tam. How unfortunate it is, I'd say...

just don't be passin' out candy, now, hear!?!? and keep the dog on a leash...
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #108
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Damn - that's rough! though I completely understand what you mean, Tam. How unfortunate it is, I'd say...

just don't be passin' out candy, now, hear!?!? and keep the dog on a leash...
Hey, the only thing I'm paying attention to are said soccer moms. Aw yeah...



Eh, at least this city isn't as "family-friendly" as Orlando. EVERYONE was married there, and it almost seemed assumed that a single 28-year-old guy was either a sociopath or didn't like women.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #109
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Eh, at least this city isn't as "family-friendly" as Orlando. EVERYONE was married there, and it almost seemed assumed that a single 28-year-old guy was either a sociopath or didn't like women.
Aha, the Disney effect strikes again!!! Man there must be something wrong w/ us 28 year old single people!
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #110
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Anyone know where I can find renderings of the redeveloped Curtis Hixon Park? What will be the big difference between the existing park and the new plans?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #111
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Hi Tommy, nice to see you lurking around here!
http://www.tampagov.net/dept_contrac...ects/index.asp
The main difference will be the layout of the new museums along the site.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 11:15 PM   #112
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Thanks, AKB. Just what I was looking for.

To all of you - please forgive my ignorance, but what's wrong with the existing park? Yeah - the lights are not working, and it could use more shade trees, but that's about it. The park is only 13 years old!

In your opinion, does it really need $15,000,000 of upgrades?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #113
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I think the new park will look great, but you do have some valid points....I do agree that the $15m could be better spent in the area, like on transit for the arts district, or just amenities and general sprucing up of the area.

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Old February 16th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #114
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I think its money well spent. We don't really have a park that is TAMPA you know?
The downtown parks are ofcourse Tampa but they're tiny.
How about Joe Robbel's Park? That Park is amazing! But look at where its at.
I think Curtis Hixon is gonna be a bad ass park when its done.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 05:11 AM   #115
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In your opinion, does it really need $15,000,000 of upgrades?
Allow me to interject...

$15mil is a pittance for the centerpiece park of our downtown. The city actually could have gone full bore and done even more to that parcel. Like put those two museums some place else, and gotten rid of the garage entirely for Rivergate, and built it some place else, like across Ashley (or vertically, hugged up against the tower, with a ground floor restaurant overlooking the rIver and UT)... The park could have been like 3x bigger, and actually been worth a damn.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #116
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Yeah Jason but that requires creativity and oh nevermind......
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:41 PM   #117
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^It doesn't require creativity. Just leadership.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #118
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Unfortunately most of us in this forum have big city tastes but Tampa has a medium city budget. Also, we tend to want things all at once. Remember we (me too since I can't get rid of my house down there yet) are still making the bond payments on:
Ice Palace, Convention Ctr, TBPAC, Centro Ybor, TBHist. Mus., approx 2 miles of streetcar, and associated other projects that were financed over the long haul. Throw in storm water projects (that were long since overdue) and you have budgetary problems.

We could be more creativity with what we have to work with. Hiring local architectural/design firms might help. Nothing breaks a budget like some Chicago architectural firm that doesn't understand the Tampa climate and personalities of the locals. I know that I can't design for San Fran or Seattle, I know that I can for anywhere in Florida, Atlanta and DC (all places I have actually spent a significant amount of time).
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Old February 19th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #119
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Unfortunately most of us in this forum have big city tastes but Tampa has a medium city budget.
Yes, I have a big city taste but I don't expect Tampa to make parks and other amenities comapred to big cities. It's more proportional then that. I, however, do expect Tampa as a growing, medium sized city to at least be able to work with what it does have, and have the leadership and planning abilities to make a nice medium sized city in relation to similar cities.

That can also go for the metro as a whole, not neccesarily just the city of Tampa.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 02:55 PM   #120
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Curtis Hixon Park Meet The Achitect

This arrived via the Downtown Partnership this morning.

I will not be able to attend, but for the folks who have a strong interest in the direction the park is taking, and the choices made, this would be a great opportunity to meet with the person who's pen is helping shaping Tampa ( under the firm direction of the city!).

Tampa Downtown Partnership invites you to coffee with Mr. Thomas Balsley
*
Mr. Balsley is the architect of the New Curtis Hixon Park and we are very pleased that he has been able to make some time available to show and further describe the plans for the $15 Million renovation of this significant public space.


Where:*Maestro’s Restaurant at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place)
When:* Monday, February 26th at 8:30am to 9:30am
Parking:* Parking as available on the arrival plaza
This is a FREE event.* All who are interested are encouraged to come to this event.* Please share this message with anyone you believe would benefit from this opportunity to learn more about the new Curtis Hixon Park.
*

-
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