May 7, 2021

Axios Tampa Bay

It's finally Friday. Make it a freaky one.

🌼 Things are cooling down: Highs in the lower 80s today, a low of 65, and sunny. Get out there and enjoy it.

But first, your daily dose of news πŸ’Š.

Today's newsletter: 792 words, about 3 minutes.

1 big thing: Famous hotelier is crazy about Tampa

The garden at Residences at Tampa EDITION. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partners

Ian Schrager says Tampa is having a moment.

The man behind New York's Studio 54 and the boutique hotel boom of the 1980s admits he's only visited three or four times, but tells Axios that Tampa is on the edge of greatness.

  • "I believe it's Tampa's time now. It's been coming for a while now, and I think Tampa's a great city," he said.

Why it matters: He’s bringing his creative vision to the upscale Tampa EDITION hotel that’s part of the Water Street Tampa shebang, as well as to the 37 private residences on the upper floors, which start at $2 million apiece.

  • The hotel is set to open this year, with 172 guest rooms and suites.
  • The Tampa location is only the third EDITION Residences in the world.

State of play: Schrager is sold on Water Street Tampa, the huge Jeff Vinik-backed project that nearly doubles the footprint of downtown Tampa.

  • "It's such a big scale, it's gonna change the city," Schrager told Axios, "and it's kind of intoxicating for me to be involved with a project like that."

The Residences, set to open in 2023 and designed to focus on wellness, occupy floors above the hotel and feature wraparound terraces, indoor-outdoor living, soaring windows, and "a new kind of highly intuitive luxury," as the website for the Residences puts it.

  • "What we're doing down there with the apartments is very, very sophisticated," Schrager said.

The intrigue: He wants your heart beating faster when you walk in.

"I hope you feel the electricity in the air," he said. "You can feel that you're in someplace special. This is something that you've never seen before. It's not cookie-cutter. You can feel that every detail has been considered and is part of the whole."

A restaurant in the first-floor lobby of the Tampa EDITION. Photo courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
2. Tampa Bay Times isn't going back to daily delivery

Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

If you love newspapers like we do, here's some sad news: The Tampa Bay Times has no plans to revive its daily print newspaper.

  • You missed the news, too? The Times made the announcement on Jan. 6, the same day protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

What they're saying: "When we announced the pending closure of our printing plant in January, we indicated that we do not expect to return to printing the paper seven days a week," Times spokesperson Sherri Day tells Axios.

  • "We will continue to print on Wednesdays and Sundays and will consider adding additional days if business circumstances allow.”

Flashback: The paper formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times closed its printing plant on 34th Street N. in St. Pete in March, and laid off 150 workers, citing declining advertising sales and persistent weakness in the global economy. Remaining employees took a pay cut.

  • The paper is now printed at Gannett's plant in Lakeland.

The big picture: U.S. newspaper circulation fell in 2018 to its lowest level since 1940, the first year with available data.

3. Where you still need a mask in Tampa Bay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Since Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended COVID restrictions, individual entities will need to piece together their own protocols.

Why it matters: City and county mask ordinances are now over, but schools and businesses will have varying rules for mask usage and social distancing. That's going to get confusing fast.

Here's what we know:

  • Hillsborough County extended its state of emergency, which commissioners say keeps them in line for any future federal relief funding, Fox 13 reports. Businesses can still require masks but the governor's order means the county doesn't have a mask mandate.
  • Students and teachers in Polk, Pinellas and Sarasota counties will need to keep their masks on through the end of the school year.
  • Mask mandates for Manatee County schools will be re-evaluated when the school board meets on May 25, per the Bradenton Herald.
4. The Pulp: Is your name Clementine? Because you're a cutie

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ… Carole Baskin is starting her own cryptocurrency, or "purr-ency." (Tampa Bay Times)

🦌 A beautiful baby bongo was born at ZooTampa. (Fox 13)

πŸ§‘β€βš–οΈ After Gov. DeSantis signed an "election integrity" bill, lawsuits challenging it were filed immediately. (Fox 13)

🏰 A tiny castle in Fort Lauderdale can be yours for $1.75 million. (Creative Loafing)

The director of communications for Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has stepped down. (Florida Politics)

⛳️ Tiger Woods-backed golf courses are coming to Tampa and Sarasota. (Business Observer)

5. Six degrees of Tampa Bay πŸ₯“

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Dominik Bindl/WireImage via Getty Images

Ask and you shall receive. We had to see how the king of the six degrees connection, Kevin Bacon, can be tied to Tampa Bay.

Here it goes:

  1. Bacon is married to ...
  2. Kyra Sedgwick, who guest stars on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," starring ...
  3. Andy Samberg, whose most famous "SNL" skits featured ...
  4. Justin Timberlake, who was in the '90s boy band ...
  5. *NSYNC, which played the 2001 Super Bowl halftime show in ...
  6. Tampa!

πŸŽ‚ Another connection: Bacon and Selene share a birthday! Think of us on July 8.

πŸ“¬ Whose Tampa Bay connection do you want to see next? Try us. We're up for the challenge.

Now hiring: 5 new opportunities in Tampa Bay

That concludes Axios Tampa Bay job week. Help us better serve you in the future by providing feedback below!

  1. Chief development officer at Poynter Institute
  2. VP product management at Ceridian
  3. Corporate development associate at Women’s Care USA
  4. Marketing manager, Cigar City Brewing, at CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC
  5. Senior success manager, nonprofits, at Salesforce

Looking for a specific industry? Let us know.

Hiring? Post a job.

β˜•οΈ Ben is drinking Joshua Tree Coffee and ogling this '92 BMW R100GS 🏍.

🏺 Selene is watching "The Great Pottery Throwdown." And can't wait to hug her mom again πŸ’—.

Go have some fun this weekend. You deserve it.