Survey asks: Who is a downtowner?
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04/30/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

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This morning the Tampa Downtown Partnership unveiled the results of their surveys of people who live or work downtown. They call it the first-ever downtown study to determine who is a Downtowner?

According to its website, the mission of the Tampa Downtown Partnership “is to be the steward of Downtown Tampa, while cultivating effective public/private partnerships to facilitate catalytic physical and economic development.”

HCP & Associates conducted two surveys that relied on people responding on the internet. One was of people who live and the other was of people who work within walking distance of downtown. In addition to demographic information, the surveys asked about the things residents would most like to see added to downtown, according to Pat Hill, a partner with HCP & Associates.

The 212 downtown residents who responded to survey felt that some of their expectations about downtown living were being met but in some ways their experience was falling short of what they expected, Hill said.

About 1,000 people who work downtown responded to the survey. Hill said he was surprised at the number of them who said they are interested in moving downtown. Combining the results of the two surveys, Hill said, shows there will be more opportunities for people to live and work in downtown Tampa in the future.

Ellen Brown is the co-owner of the Old Tampa Book Company in downtown. Brown said more money will stay in the community if local independent businesses are encouraged downtown. She asked Pat Hill whether these types of retail outlets should be encouraged over chain stores in downtown. He responded there should be a balance of both.

Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena said she hopes there will be incentives for both independent and chain retail stores to come to downtown.

"I was excited to see that people enjoy the walkability of downtown that more folks want to live here. But I concur with everyone -- we need more retail. Personally I think women’s shoes would be a great addition.”

HCP & Associates’ Pat Hill said that almost 43 percent of downtown residents have become actively involved in organizations.

Photo credit: Seán Kinane/WMNF

Learn more:

Tampa Downtown Partnership

HCP & Associates

Old Tampa Book Co.

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