Bucs primed for success this year in the Bay

Bucs primed for success this year in the Bay

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read September 2020 There were points this summer where it seemed impossible to fathom how the National Football League would be able to reorganize itself to work in a pandemic landscape. Fast forward to present day and the league has been able to return in a resounding fashion, with telecasts like Week 1’s New Orleans Saints versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attracting an average audience of 25.85 million viewers, which FOX credited as its most watched telecast since Super Bowl LIV in February 2020. And while this game may have ended in a loss for the Buccaneers, there is a lot to be excited about in Tampa Bay for this upcoming season on and off the field. 

March 2020 marked a momentous moment for longtime fans of the Bucs when the announcement was made that six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady would be taking his talents to Tampa Bay. Brady’s Buccaneers jersey quickly became the league’s highest selling football jersey prior to the start of the 2020 season. With Brady at the helm, it wasn’t long before multiple big name free agents fixed their sights on the Bucs franchise and were quickly added to the roster, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebacker Jason Pierre Paul, running back LeSean McCoy and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The addition of Tom Brady and increased talent level on the overall team has ultimately resulted in financial benefits as well. The Tampa Bay franchise, which in 2018 was valued at an estimated $2 billion, is now worth an estimated $2.3 billion.  

This reinvigorated roster has also reignited the fanbase for Tampa Bay’s football team who have not seen a postseason victory or success since their sole Super Bowl win in 2002. The team, which ranked 30th in fan attendance in 2019 with an average of 51,898, now faces a new challenge, but this time, it’s not due to lack of ticket sales. Although the return of football may have returned some sense of normalcy to people’s daily lives, there are still the constant reminders of the current pandemic that the world finds itself in. For football, one of those reminders is the limited capacity of fans allowed at stadiums across the league. The Bucs, who saw a surge in season tickets sales for this season, have now also had to come to terms with what these crowd restrictions will mean for the near-term future. This has resulted in the team making the decision to hold their first two home games with no fans in attendance, much to the dismay of Gov. Ron DeSantis who hoped these games would serve as an example of how Tampa Bay is prepared to host this season’s Super Bowl. 

“I really want to be able to show that Tampa is going to be a great place to host the Super Bowl,” DeSantis told the Tampa Bay Times. “Showing this community is ready to host a great Super Bowl, having some fans there would’ve been a good first step. It’s not where we need to be.” The Bucs are currently looking toward a tentative reintroduction of some fans to Raymond James Stadium in their game against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 18.

Nonetheless, residents of Tampa Bay can take comfort in knowing that the region they call home will also be home to this year’s Super Bowl. Tampa Bay has, seemingly overnight, become one of the football meccas in the nation. 

Tampa Bay’s ingenuity and innovation in face of adversity highlighted second annual launch conference

Tampa Bay’s ingenuity and innovation in face of adversity highlighted second annual launch conference

By: Max Crampton Thomas


August 21, 2020

Tampa Bay’s economic resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges and innovation stemming from the pandemic highlighted the launch of the second edition of Invest: Tampa Bay 2020.


Tampa Bay, FL – In this time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to showcase the strength and overall resilience of the local community and economy. On Thursday, integrated media platform Capital Analytics provided an opportunity to shed light on the challenges and opportunities in the region as it launched its 156-page analysis Invest: Tampa Bay 2020 with a virtual launch conference held via Zoom Webinar.

The 2020 edition of Invest: Tampa Bay highlights the region of Tampa Bay, including both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as well as a special focus chapter on the city of Clearwater. The in-depth and well-researched economic analysis also highlights business opportunities that exist for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators within the Tampa Bay region despite the harsh economic climate resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the opportunities spotlighted throughout the publication include Tampa Bay’s healthcare market that has made significant strides to establish this region as one of the preeminent medical hubs in Florida. The region’s real estate market is also covered in great detail as new developments continue to rise from the ground despite major roadblocks caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a true testament to the thoughtful and strategic planning by the sector’s leaders. The publication also dives into the banking and finance sector, which has remained strong while also aiding the local business community through this unprecedented time. 

The launch conference was the first that Capital Analytics has held in virtual forum, and by all it was a resounding success, reflecting the get-it-done character of the region. “When I think of our global readership and the Tampa Bay business community’s lean-in attitude over the past couple of months, it’s a testament to the ingenuity and collaborative spirit of the Tampa Bay community,” said Capital Analytics’ CEO Abby Melone in her opening remarks. “Rather than shelter in place and do nothing, we sheltered in place and did plenty to promote community and push our business forward despite the challenges. Businesses across the Tampa Bay region are being innovative and embracing technology as they pivot from a pre-pandemic to a post-pandemic world.”  The event featured three robust panel discussions and ended with a thoughtful closing keynote speech by Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch.

All three panels addressed the current economic climate as well as prevailing themes currently dominating the Tampa Bay region’s economy: finance and banking in the time of a pandemic, adaptation and transformation for the legal sector, and innovation within the business community stemming from the current crisis. Gregory Kadet of UBS Global Wealth Management U.S., Terry Igo of the Tampa Bay Trust Company, Scott Perry of AmeriLife Group and Travis Jennings of Finance Cape all participated in the panel, “Making the right financial choices amid economic uncertainty.” Rita Lowman of Pilot Bank moderated. The second panel, “Adaptation for legal professionals in the wake of the pandemic,” featured Marie Tomassi of Trenam Law, William Schifino of Gunster, Michael Lundy of Older, Lundy and Alvarez and Alan Higbee of Shutts and Bowen. The moderator was Kevin Johnson of Johnson Jackson. The final panel, “Crisis breeds innovation: What this means for the business community,” consisted of John Couris of Tampa General Hospital, John Johannessen of AdventHealth and Douglas Wright of Holland & Knight. The moderator for this panel was Christopher Bowen of RD Management. 

Over 450 high-level guests and officials from Tampa Bay’s key industries and economic institutions tuned into the event via Zoom Webinar. For those who missed the event or would live to revisit some of the highlights from the day, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le35fKJv4Lo&feature=youtu.be

“The value of Invest: Tampa Bay is that it brings us together to listen, to learn, to collaborate and to build a stronger, more resilient and prosperous Tampa Bay,” remarked Commissioner Welch in his closing keynote speech. 


About Capital Analytics & Invest: Tampa Bay

Capital Analytics is an integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest: Insights.

Invest: Tampa Bay is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Tampa Bay’s economy, featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Tampa Bay is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on the Tampa Bay region to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Tampa Bay as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive into the top economic sectors in the county, including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education, and arts, culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact: 

Max Crampton-Thomas, Content Manager, 305-523-9708 Ext: 233
Adaptation, innovation are the new normal for legal professionals

Adaptation, innovation are the new normal for legal professionals

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read August 2020 In the span of just a couple of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted, in some form or fashion, every sector of the economy in the United States. In fact, Dori Foster-Morales, current president for the Florida Bar, was recently quoted as saying, “Everyone’s lives have changed, and anyone who says it hasn’t just doesn’t get it. I look at it like we’re in a tunnel, and we have to figure out a way to get out of it.” 

The idea of adaptation is nothing new for the legal sector as over the last decade it has seen an uptick in its professionals embracing the benefits newer technologies and innovations can bring to their operations. With the onslaught of challenges caused by the pandemic, it has become a necessity for legal professionals to quickly embrace innovation and truly adapt to an uncertain landscape. 

One of the most significant changes for legal professionals, and most business sectors for that matter, was the swift adaptation that had to happen to a work from home environment. While some in the legal world may have viewed this as just a temporary measure during this time of pandemic, the reality is beginning to set in that this may not be just a temporary solution for some. In an article posted by Law.com, it discusses how the idea of remote work as it pertains to the legal profession may have seemed like a foreign concept even a year ago but now has become a viable and workable option for the future thanks to technology platforms like Zoom. Video conferencing platforms have quickly become the norm for legal teams to collaborate, communicate and in some cases even conduct depositions using this technology. Technologies like Docusign, which had already been in use by the legal world, have expanded their solutions to include options like online notarization. While this technology had been available prior to COVID-19, the forced adaptation caused by work from home measures has seen the legal sector begin a transformation that, prior to the pandemic, may have taken years and is now coming to fruition in mere months. 

Technological embrace has not been the only adaptation from the legal community, as this time has given firms the opportunity to evaluate their teams, understand their clients’ changing needs and ultimately refocus some of their practice groups to engage and prepare to handle issues stemming from the pandemic. In an interview with Abovethelaw.com, Mark W. Brennan, lead innovation partner at Hogan Lovells, spoke on this type of adaptation as well as the opportunity to continue to strengthen communication efforts between a firm and its clients. “Communication throughout this pandemic is absolutely critical — and so is the strength of your culture,” Brennan said. “We are keeping a steady flow of information to our clients and our people to explain how our response is evolving. These efforts include keeping our clients informed on the latest developments affecting their business, as well as keeping our people informed about our firm and ways to stay safe.”

In the Tampa Bay region, a variety of firms have taken heed of this opportunity for adaptation, with some already refocusing parts of their practice to prepare for what they are imagining could be an influx of demand for legal services as it pertains to bankruptcy, business restructurings, M&A activity and other challenges associated with the pandemic. 

To learn more about how the legal sector is adapting to this changing environment, register now for the Invest: Tampa Bay 2020 Virtual Launch Conference. The conference, which takes place on Aug. 20 at 11:30 a.m., will feature three robust panels, including a legal panel moderated by Kevin Johnson, managing partner of Johnson Jackson, with panelists Marie Tomassi, managing shareholder and president of Trenam Law; Michael Lundy, managing shareholder of Older, Lundy and Alvarez; Bill Schifino, managing partner of Gunster; and Alan Higbee, managing partner of Shutts & Bowen. 


To learn more, visit:
Making the right financial choices in economic uncertainty

Making the right financial choices in economic uncertainty

By: Max Crampton Thomas

2 min read July 2020 To say the least, the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of an unexpected wildfire to peoples’ health and financial stability. While the onus can’t be placed on the general public for not being prepared for something they didn’t expect, the past four months have proven that personal prosperity in the future will rely on preparing for the worst and expecting the unexpected. Coming on the heels of President Trump’s most recent address on the COVID-19 pandemic where he appeared to change tack and was quoted as saying, “It will get worse before it gets better,” it has never been more vital for individuals to make sound financial decisions as they are now faced with an economically uncertain future. Invest: explores some of the best practices for safe-guarding personal finances in the current economic climate.


Establish a relationship with your banking institution

There was a time when having an established relationship with your bank and a banker was a common practice, whether it was personal or business-related. Fast forward to 2020 and what was once commonplace has become more of a rarity, especially as it pertains to people’s personal finances. This in large part due to the ease of fintech and mobile banking technologies that have eliminated the need to visit a brick and mortar banking branch. Now with certain aspects of the CARES Act reaching their deadlines with no extension currently in place, like the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments that are scheduled to run out this week, it would be advisable to visit your banking institution and continue to foster that relationship. If you don’t have a bank for your personal finances, now is as good a time as any to explore the variety of banking options available in the Tampa Bay region and find one that will best suit your personal financial needs. 

Create a budget and stick to it 

According to Forbes, “about half of Americans reported they had three months of expenses in savings for emergencies” while almost “40% said they would struggle to cover a $400 expense in cash.” In times of economic growth and prosperity, it is always advisable to establish a budget that allows you to tuck away some money in the case of unforeseen circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant unexpected circumstance in recent years. For those who did not already have an established budget prior to the pandemic, the last four months may have been quite difficult to push through. With no end date on the horizon for this crisis, it is now crucial to establish a livable budget with an emphasis on intentional spending and a more frugal lifestyle. 

Find ways to cut back unneeded expenses

Before COVID-19, Tampa Bay was in line for another record-breaking year in terms of economic growth, which set a positive tone that permeated throughout the local community and people’s spending habits. Now faced with a year of economic pullback, it is time to reassess how you are spending your money and find the areas where you can cut back. An article by Forbes discusses understanding your “spending triggers” and addressing them head on. This can be in the form of recognizing that you don’t need to spend money on the daily coffee from your local coffee shop and instead brew your own at home, or stopping a habit of needless spending on e-commerce hubs stemming from boredom. One of the easiest expenses to cut back on is dining out and takeout. The U.S. Bureau of Labor reported that in 2018, consumers spent an annual average of $3,459 on these options. With a large majority of businesses still offering work from home to their employees, it is the perfect time to sharpen those culinary skills. 

Continue to reinvest in yourself

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate of 10.4% for the state of Florida in June 2020. This number can be directly attributed to the fallout from the economic challenges that the pandemic has presented to all business sectors. While there is no way to 100% recession-proof yourself as it pertains to job security, and ultimately financial security, you can continue to make yourself as valuable an asset as possible by strengthening your skill sets and acquiring new ones. This may be in the form of continuing education, picking up a new skill set in your free time or even just pushing yourself the extra mile at your job. There is no way to be immune from layoffs and furloughs, but reinvesting in yourself and your work can make that decision a lot harder for a company if it ever comes time. 

These practices toward making sound financial decisions don’t just apply to individuals, as most companies have also applied these ideas to their operations in order to acclimate to the current economic conditions. For example, a variety of businesses in the region have leveraged their relationships with their banking institutions to help them with PPP loan applications and acquiring any additional funding that is available to them. Businesses have reorganized their budgets and found ways to cut back unneeded expenses, which unfortunately has sometimes come in the form of laying off portions of their workforce. Finally, almost every business has had to reinvest in their operations and in some ways reinvent themselves to continue on through these unprecedented times. 

To learn more about making the right financial choices in this economic uncertainty as it pertains to your business or personal well-being, register now for the Invest: Tampa Bay 2020 Virtual Launch Conference! The conference, which takes place on Aug. 20 at 11:30 a.m., will feature three robust panels including a banking and finance panel moderated by Rita Lowman, president of Pilot Bank, with panelists Gregory Kadet, managing director of UBS Wealth Management; Terry Igo, CEO of Tampa Bay Trust Company; Scott Perry, chairman and CEO of AmeriLife Group; and Travis Jennings, CEO of Finance Cape. 

If ever there was a time to seriously look at your finances and improve your financial standing, it’s now. Get started by registering to access these valuable insights.

Federal, state govts rally to help homeless during COVID-19 outbreak

Federal, state govts rally to help homeless during COVID-19 outbreak

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read  — Since March, shelter-in-place measures have become the norm across the nation, shuttering nonessential businesses, schools and public gathering spaces. While the majority of people transitioned to a new way of life during the quarantine, including remote work and distance learning, the U.S homeless population risks COVID-19 infection as they lack access to testing and basic hygiene facilities, among other measures to combat infectious diseases. Additionally, for the homeless population, many are older adults or have underlying medical conditions, increasing the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. As such, states, municipalities, local health departments, housing authorities, among other institutions, have been working to meet the food, shelter, hygiene and testing needs of the homeless population.   


In South Florida, the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, in collaboration with various state and federal agencies, has been helping to protect sheltered and unsheltered homeless households and its staff in the face of the COVID-19 threat. “The Homeless Trust is proactive in engaging our housing and support service providers to offer guidance, assess needs and facilitate vital connections to local, state and federal resources,” said Trust Chairman Ronald L. Book in a press release. “Our preparations have to consider the fact that much of our population does not have a ‘home’ with which to self-quarantine; therefore, we have broader issues to consider. We will continue to work to ensure homeless households have access to shelter, care and food while doing all we can to mitigate the virus’ spread.”

As part of its outreach efforts, the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is distributing hygiene, safety and food kits to unsheltered homeless persons throughout the county along with educational information. Outreach teams are taking temperatures of unsheltered homeless persons to pre-identify those with symptoms, among other measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In Pinellas County, the city of Clearwater has taken similar steps to help the homeless population of the region. As part of its mission, the city’s economic development department is focused on economic growth and the vitality of the community, which includes the homeless population. As such, the department is encouraging restaurants that have had to close or limit their operations temporarily to donate food to food banks, which then distribute the food to the most vulnerable segments of the community, Economic Development and Housing Director Denise Sanderson told Invest: Insights in an interview. “We have not seen a big increase in street level homelessness,” she said. “We have seen an increase in the presence of our homeless community. Primarily because we have had to close down our recreation centers and libraries.” As those facilities closed, the department pivoted to placing porta-potties and mobile shower units throughout the city to help the homeless community stay clean during this time. “To date, we have not had any cases, at least known to us, where COVID-19 has affected the homeless population.” Sanderson said. 

In Orlando, the shelters are preparing for an influx of homeless people. Shelters are down beds because social distancing precautions require separation of beds, Spectrum News reported. Shelters are concerned with bringing in people who may have the virus. “Right now we have a campus that is fairly safe. How do we bring people on without introducing that,” John Hearn, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, told the news outlet. Hearn’s shelter has been screening everyone before they enter the campus. The shelter set up isolation areas for people showing symptoms. This move, along with social distancing measures, cost the shelter close to 50 beds, Spectrum News reported. His shelter has increased the distribution of meals to three times a day and still has open beds available, according to the news outlet. 

At the federal level, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion funding package aimed at protecting the population, industries and businesses from the impact of the coronavirus, set aside more than $12 billion to help the homeless population and those who serve them. Community Solutions, a nonprofit organization focused on ending homelessness, detailed the portion of the CARES act aimed at helping those experiencing homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development would divvy up the funds for Emergency Solutions Grants to assist homeless shelters and outreach workers who keep people who are homeless safer from coronavirus, different rent assistance programs, and other assistance programs aimed at the elderly, Native Americans, and people with AIDS, among other initiatives, according to Community Solutions. Federal, state and local agencies must work together to optimize resources and help for the homeless population, the nonprofit wrote on its website. “While we are pleased that our federal lawmakers provided this needed fiscal relief, we need to ensure that people experiencing homelessness, and those who serve them, continue to be supported as state and local governments work to administer funds and in any forthcoming stimulus package, Community Solutions said. “Following the injection of this stimulus funding, state and local governments must focus on allocating this new funding to protect people experiencing homelessness and homeless response staff, and limit inflow into health care and hospital systems. This includes ensuring people experiencing homelessness — and the people helping them — have immediate access to housing, health and safety training, personal protective equipment, facilities for hand-washing, medical treatment, testing options and ultimately, safe places to quarantine.”


To learn more about our interviewees, visit:





Spotlight On: Thomas Jewsbury, Executive Director, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport

Spotlight On: Thomas Jewsbury, Executive Director, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read April 2020 — Prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic that is challenging all sectors of the local economy, the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport was coming off a record growth year in 2019. Executive Director Thomas Jewbury spoke to Invest: about looking at a slew of new projects to increase its capacity while also looking to attract more traffic via new airlines to the Tampa Bay region.


What construction projects are ongoing at the airport and what impact are they expected to have when completed?


In 2020, we’ll finish our parking renovation project. It will expand long-term parking to accommodate more passengers. We are also focusing attention on the airfield. We have a $20-million project to rehabilitate the pavement surface of our primary runway. We expect to finish that project by the end of the year. We are also doing improvements to the terminal’s apron, replacing some of the asphalt with concrete, and converting an old runway into a taxiway. Those are projects that are underway.

We are also set to complete our airport master plan this year, defining our capital improvement program for the next five, 10 and 20 years. A big focus of that master plan is the future development of the terminal building. The next phase of terminal development will look at ways to increase efficiencies by consolidating the TSA’s passenger screening checkpoints and possibly the ticketing area.

We have a 130-acre undeveloped site that used to be a golf course. We are looking to develop that site for both aeronautical and non-aeronautical use. Before we can break ground, we had to conduct an environmental assessment. We just received approval from the FAA and received a finding of no significant impact. That sets the stage for us to improve our infrastructure. To develop the aeronautical parcels, we need to build new taxiways, which is included in our capital plan.

Among finished projects, we did an upgrade to our security system, and built part of a $4.5 million maintenance facility for our own airport maintenance workers. The facility is located on the airfield, it gives workers direct access and makes our operation more efficient. 

In addition to what the airport is doing, Allegiant Air invested $4 million to build a new maintenance/operations facility. They lease their space from the airport.


What economic impact does the airport have on the region?

Over a year ago, we concluded an economic impact study. At that time, we were doing just over 2 million passengers a year. It showed an economic impact on the community of over $1 billion annually. We’ve had several recent meetings with various airlines to try to attract new service. In addition to that, we are working with Allegiant to expand to additional cities, add more capacity and also try to incorporate international service. That is always an ongoing effort.


How does the airport contribute to sustainability in the Clearwater and Tampa Bay Region?

Our master plan has a focus on sustainability. It was important to us that we also championed another master plan that’s on the way, called the Gateway Master Plan. It looks at this area of Pinellas County and how the future infrastructure will be developed, including how other transportation modes will interact with the airport. It also identifies potential areas of the airport that could be converted for other transportation modes. The Gateway Master Plan is being drafted by Forward Pinellas.


What challenges is the transportation industry facing in Florida?

Surface transportation is one of the biggest hurdles. The Florida Department of Transportation is constructing the Gateway Express that will result in an elevated toll road to connect to Interstate 275. It will run in front of our airport. This will provide greater connectivity. 


To learn more about our interviewee, visit: 


Commercial Real Estate to Remain Steady in 2020

Commercial Real Estate to Remain Steady in 2020

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read February 2020 If there were ever a time or place to consider investing in commercial real estate, now would be that time and the Tampa Bay region would be that place. 2019 proved to be another banner year for the real estate sector and with interest rates remaining low, consistent inmigration into Florida and the Tampa Bay region, rising rental rates and ongoing outside investment into the area, all indicators point to 2020 being just as strong if not better for the commercial real estate sector. 



2 min read February 2020 If there were ever a time or place to consider investing in commercial real estate, now would be that time and the Tampa Bay region would be that place. 2019 proved to be another banner year for the real estate sector and with interest rates remaining low, consistent inmigration into Florida and the Tampa Bay region, rising rental rates and ongoing outside investment into the area, all indicators point to 2020 being just as strong if not better for the commercial real estate sector. 

“Around $17 billion has migrated to Florida, the No. 1 destination for capital in the country followed by Texas, at $2 billion. People are leaving states that are not tax friendly and coming to Florida, which is very tax friendly. Because the stock market can go up or down, hard assets are attractive. The returns investors can get in commercial real estate are attractive. People are looking at commercial real estate as a means for retirement, passive income,” Christopher Travis, sales manager for the Tampa office of Marcus & Millichap, remarked to Invest:.  

Perhaps the clearest indication of the sector’s continued success has been the large-scale mixed-use projects that are happening throughout the region. Larry Richey, the managing principal and Florida market leader for Cushman & Wakefield, spoke about what these developments mean for the sector. 

“The most talked about projects happening in Tampa Bay at the moment are in the office and mixed-use sectors. In the Hillsborough County market, we have four mixed-use projects that are all very active. Those four new projects are Water Street Tampa in Downtown, Heights Union just on the northern fringe of Downtown, the Midtown project that is being developed at the intersection of I-275 and Dale Mabry and fourth is the MetWest project in the Westshore District on Boy Scout Boulevard,” Richey told Invest:. “We are seeing the highest office rents in the history of the Tampa Bay area right now, and it is because we have the strongest demand for office space that we have ever had. This is good news because it means new development and jobs in the commercial real estate sector. It also means that buildings that were always below what they should have been charging are now charging rents that are justifiable based on the investment that people have put into these properties.” 

These projects, and ultimately the continued success of commercial real estate in Tampa Bay, are the product of taking note and early adaptation to emerging and developing trends within the industry and local economy. While basically all subsectors of commercial real estate are prospering, there are some that industry professionals are keen to keep a particularly close eye on. What may come as a surprise to some is that one of these prosperous submarkets is retail. 

“The retail market continues to be very strong here.  Demand continues to exceed supply in many of the strongest retail markets throughout Tampa Bay.  This continues to drive up rental rates and has limited cap rate decompression for stabilized retail assets,” Scott Dobbins, the founder and principal of Hybridge Commercial Real Estate, said. 

Travis agreed that retail remains one of the stronger segments in commercial real estate, touching on the fact that the e-commerce trend is not as bad as some may think. “Retail has remained strong during the real estate market recovery. Everybody was scared about e-commerce, but it only makes up about 14% of the overall market. Retail is going to be just fine, especially retailers like dollar stores, gas stations, and fast food.” 

While all indications point to another strong year for the commercial real estate market, it will not be without its challenges. Besides 2020 being an election year that could possibly send the national economy into flux, Tampa Bay must address unaffordability in the housing sector and ongoing challenges with transportation in the region. 

Nonetheless, commercial real estate professionals continue to have a positive outlook for the Tampa Bay Region. 

It has always been in the core submarkets, like Westshore and the Central Business District (CBD). Historically, they’ve been the focus of development and I think that will continue. We are seeing new developments in areas like the Heights and Water Street Tampa. Time will tell how these developments impact the marketplace. I think they are both going to be extremely successful, but they are on the outskirts of the Tampa CBD. Perhaps we will see the core of the Tampa CBD start to shift,” Gary Godsey the Managing Director for JLL, said to Invest in regards to the next year for commercial real estate. “Additionally if you just look at the rooftops in Pasco County and in South County, it makes sense for these areas to be considered for future commercial real estate development, despite the lack of transportation. I think we will see developers get creative and maybe look at areas like this. If you look at the I-4 corridor, that is going to continue to be a main driver in the industrial sector.”

To learn more, visit:







No Lull for Football Fans in Tampa Bay

No Lull for Football Fans in Tampa Bay

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read January 2020 If the last few weeks in the Tampa Bay region have felt like a nonstop marathon of events and gatherings, that’s because it has been. While the region has been celebrating the multiple holidays and enjoying the dozens of holiday happenings around the area, there have also been some significant sporting milestones, specifically in the world of football. As the season closes for the NFL in Tampa Bay, another one begins for the new XFL and the beginning of 2020 also marked another successful bowl game in the Bay. 


The end of the NFL 2019 regular season was lamented by a 28 to 22 Buccaneers loss to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. While it was not the season Bucs fans were hoping for, it did leave some room for hope in the next season as well as some shining moments that will be enshrined in Buccaneers history. This season saw the complete dominance of what could possibly be the best wide receiver duo in the NFL, Buccaneers Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin. Between them they had almost 2,500 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns and they were both chosen to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl. 

Then there is the curious case of the Buccaneers starting quarterback Jameis Winston, who was just the eighth quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 passing yards in a season, becoming the passing yards leader for the 2019 season. This in itself should be a huge advantage on the resume of the quarterback, who was playing for a new contract this season, but that same resume for this year is marred with a new NFL record – Winston is the first quarterback to throw for 30 passing touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a single season. So while head coach Bruce Arians has a lot of positives on the offensive side heading into his first offseason with the Bucs, there are some significant decisions to be made this offseason in regards to the future face of the franchise. 

Jan. 1 not only marked the beginning of the new decade, it was also the day to catch the annual Outback Bowl held at Raymond James Stadium. The bowl game, which has been played in Tampa Bay since 1986, is a staple in the community and receives support from some of the largest local institutions like Pilot Bank and Visit Tampa Bay. The game itself saw the #18 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the #12 ranked Auburn Tigers in what was an exciting game through all four quarters. While both teams jumped out to strong starts in the first quarter, Minnesota capitalized on the momentum by scoring 14 in the 2nd quarter and ultimately Auburn was never able to make a push to get ahead. With Auburn trailing for the rest of the game, the final score resulted in a 31 to 24 victory for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. 

With the end of the Bucs season and the passing of another Outback Bowl, the Tampa Bay region would normally go into a football lull, but thanks to the introduction of a new XFL team, the Tampa Bay Vipers, there will be no shortage of football to enjoy. Invest: recently spoke with the president of the Tampa Bay Vipers, Josh Bullock, about the process of bringing this team to the region and why Tampa Bay is perfectly suited for another football franchise. “The process of bringing this team to Tampa Bay has been exciting, intense and rewarding. Thankfully, we have great leadership, both in the region and throughout the league, starting with the chairman of the XFL, who gave us the time and resources to build this league the right way,” Bullock stated. “We anticipate playing a fast, fun style of professional football at Raymond James Stadium for Tampa Bay fans. I believe Tampa Bay is perfectly suited for this XFL team because of the great sports fans we have throughout our community. There are many entertainment options available and our community will continue to gravitate to products that are enjoyable, engaging and offered at an affordable price. That is exactly what the XFL is going to provide.”

Football fans won’t have to wait long to start enjoying everything the XFL promises to provide as the first game is slated for Sunday, Feb. 9, against the New York Guardians. The team’s home opener at Raymond James Stadium is scheduled for Saturday, Feb 22, versus the Houston Roughnecks. 

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The Best Is Yet to Come in the Bay

The Best Is Yet to Come in the Bay

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read January 2020 2019 is officially in the books and was another monumental year for the Tampa Bay region. All sectors of the local economy were firing on all cylinders this past year, from the always popular tourism market to growing sectors like technology and healthcare. The continuing economic boom was complimented by a slew of memorable events that truly showcased the growth of the Tampa Bay region. As we now turn our focus toward 2020, it can be hard to imagine topping the success of the past year’s events but that is exactly what looks to be in store for residents and visitors in Tampa Bay. This comes as no surprise to leaders in the community like Santiago Corrada, the president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, who told Invest: that, “This region is starting to become everybody’s must-visit destination, which is awesome.”


Starting the year off is the historic 2020 Gasparilla Pirate Festival. This annual event has been held in the Tampa Bay region for over 100 years, and has grown into an eight-week extravaganza that is bustling with activities for families and adults alike. It should be noted that the event kicks off on Jan. 25 with the nation’s third-largest parade, and also features memorable events throughout the eight-week run like the Gasparilla Distance Classic on Feb. 22 and 23 in which people can participate in various types of running events. There is also the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts and Gasparilla Music Festival, which is being headlined by national acts like Portugal. The Man. The event concludes with the Gasparilla International Film Festival. 

While all of the festivities that make up Gasparilla Pirate Festival lay the foundation for a great year of events, 2020 is also shaping up to be a historic year for the Tampa Bay region as it prepares to host it’s fifth Super Bowl and it’s first Wrestlemania. Super Bowl LV will mark the third time the event has been held at Raymond James Stadium, with the last one being played there in 2009. While the game itself won’t happen until Feb. 7, 2021, the region is already buzzing with hype and there will no doubt be multiple must-attend events in 2020 leading up to the big game. On the chance that the Buccaneers are able to have a big turnaround season in 2020, their home games will undoubtedly also become can’t-miss events. 

Perhaps the biggest Tampa Bay-based event actually happening in 2020 is Wrestlemania 36, which will also take place at Raymond James Stadium on April 5. Wrestlemania has been ranked by Forbes as the sixth-most valuable sports brand in the world, so the fact it is taking place in Tampa Bay is no small accomplishment. What is expected to be a sellout event at Raymond James Stadium is a testament to just how far the region has come from both an economic and tourism standpoint.   

Also on the list of incredible events happening within the region for 2020 is Florida’s largest annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, which takes place in St. Petersburg and is gearing up for what will most likely be another record-shattering attendance year. St. Pete Pride 2020 takes place this year from June 26-28 and is expected to attract over 250,000 people celebrating the beauty of diversity and inclusion, a true testament to the inclusive environment of the Tampa Bay community. 

2020 promises to be a lot of things for the Tampa Bay region: a year of more growth, more opportunity, more collaboration and definitely more unforgettable events. 

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