3 December civic updates for the Tampa Bay area

Here’s what you need to know about Tampa affordable housing, tree grant programs, and a local businessperson panel.

Tampa Convention Center

Tampa’s skyline (seen here from the Riverwalk) continues to evolve as the city grows.

Photo via @growgavan

Table of Contents

Amidst the holiday sparkle and cheer, it can be a smidge difficult to stay up-to-date on the latest civic happenings. That’s where we come in.

Here’s what you missed on... just kidding, this isn’t “Glee.” Let’s break down the latest updates on Tampa + St. Pete civic news:

Are you wondering how local shops and businesses are faring in 2023?

Hillsborough County is delving into these issues at its Local Stories Live: “Surviving Retail in a Big Box World” event this Friday, Dec. 8. Meet at Hillsborough’s Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (2101 E. Palm Ave.) at 9 a.m. to hear from local entrepreneurs: Meghan Hogan-Tauber, founder of HoganMade; Brent Krauss, founder of Ella Bing; and Veneka Williams, owner of City Girl Florals. The panel will dive into the challenges they’ve faced this year (Think: inflation, competition) and solutions they’ve come up with. Register for the event or watch live online.

Affordable housing updates for Tampa

Yesterday, the City of Tampa unveiled the third phase of its Infill Housing Program — one of the city’s major affordable housing initiatives. To break it down: Developers and non-profits enter a random lottery to build on 18 city-owned lots, including some zoned for multi-family housing. The lottery winners get the property for free, but must sell to an income-eligible home buyer. The lots are located in East Tampa and Central Park. Stay tuned: the application for interested developers/non-profits will open online in the coming weeks.

Hoping to add more trees to your slice of the Burg?

St. Pete is working to boost its tree canopy. Right now, the Burg’s neighborhood/business associations + other organizations can apply for St. Pete’s Tree Mini-Grant program. The Burg gifts up to $10,000 to groups for projects that “beautify and enhance a neighborhood, business area, and/or the city-at-large,” according to the city. Apply online through Jan. 31, 2024, at 5 p.m.