A Celebration of Great
Planning & Design!

The Planning Commission is proud to announce the winners of our 32nd Annual Planning & Design Awards presented by Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. The event was held on October 30 at the beautiful A La Carte Event Pavilion. As the American Planning Association celebrated Community Planning Month Brendan McLaughlin and  Great Places in America in October, we are proud to honor the very best in planning and design in our own region.


Awards of Merit, Excellence, and Outstanding Contribution to our Community as selected by a panel of expert judges from outside of Hillsborough County were presented by ABC Action News Anchor, Brendan McLaughlin.


Congratulations to our winners! 

Thank you to our judges!
Awards of Outstanding
Contribution to our Community

Green ARTery rendering
Categories | Participation, Environmental & Entertainment
Green ARTery Trail Plan

- Green ARTery, Inc. 
- Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Tindale-Oliver & Associates, Inc. 

The Green ARTery Perimeter Trail is a community-initiated attempt to bring neighborhoods together to provide a safe and comfortable transportation option to connect many of the city's notable neighborhoods and parks for families, walkers, joggers, and cyclists of all levels of experience. Funded by the Hillsborough MPO, a refined Perimeter Trail concept built up the original concept developed by the GreenARTery organization. The professional design team supported multiple public events organized by citizen volunteers from the Green ARTery organization. Now, the citizens are excited to move forward with a plan that customizes the design for each segment of the trail, including roadside multi-use pathways, off-road trails through parks and other public rights-of-way, and neighborhoods routes along low traffic neighborhood streets.


The judges felt the Green ARTery Trail Plan exceeded all judging criteria. They loved that this project was grass-roots planning at its best, and when fully implemented, will have a significant long-reaching impact on multiple neighborhoods connecting the broader community and clearly enhancing the quality of life in the City of Tampa.  

Water Works Park kids at play
Categories | Environmental & Entertainment
Water Works Park

- City of Tampa Parks & Recreation
- Biltmore Construction Co., Inc. 
- Rowe Architects Incorporated 
- Tagliarini Architectural Group
- Phil Graham Landscape Architecture, Incorporated
Water Works Park - The Ash Group, Incorporated
- VoltAir Consulting Engineers LLC
- Master Consulting Engineers, Incorporated
- Weller Pools, LLC
- Ecosphere Restoration, Incorporated
- Southwest Florida Water Management District  


Water Works Park is notable in location, history and purpose, with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities rarely seen within a single city park. A truly multifunctional public space, the park contains:

  • a playground for both wet and dry play
  • an events lawn with a band shell and stage
  • a dog park
  • a period gazebo
  • a healing garden
  • the newly restored Ulele Spring
  • and the new Ulele Restaurant in the fully restored Water Works Building

... All set on four and a half acres along a particularly picturesque section of the Hillsborough River at the end of the Tampa Riverwalk, just north of the core of Downtown. This park does not disappoint on any level. There's something for everyone.   


The judges were green with envy on this one. They thought this park had everything going on in every small space, not only from an entertainment perspective, but from a historical and environmental perspective.

Awards of Excellence

Epicurean rooftop lounge
Category | Investment
Courtney Campbell Multiuse Trail Bridge

- Ayres Associates
- American Bridge
- Florida Department of Transportation, District 7

The 3,258-foot-long bicycle and pedestrian bridge runs adjacent to the busy Causeway, providing a vital link in the local trail system, and breathtaking views of the area from strategically placed lookout points. At more than 45 feet above water, the bridge has the unique distinction of being the only high-level pedestrian bridge in Florida.


The judges were blown away by this substantial investment in safe walking and bicycling, offering transportation choices while celebrating a healthy lifestyle and our local natural assets along the Courtney Campbell Scenic Highway.

Category | Redevelopment

- Urban Studios Architects / BDG Architects
- Mainsail Lodging & Development
- Bern's Steakhouse
- Gettys
- Check Development 

The Epicurean Hotel is an urban infill project creating a new concept for a culinary themed hospitality experience, integrating seamlessly into Tampa's historic South Howard Avenue neighborhood.


The judges found the Epicurean to be quite appetizing, giving it an Award of Excellence for adding flavor to the neighborhood by turning a brownfield parking lot into an attraction by simmering together all the right ingredients... site selection, concept, scale, and employment opportunities.


Trio @ Encore!
Your City. Our Future. A community driven plan.
Categories | Housing & Investment
TRIO @ Encore!

- Tampa Housing Authority 
- Banc of America Community 
  Development Corporation 
- CORE Construction 
- Baker Barrios Architects 
The Trio at Encore is the first multifamily rental housing to be built as part of the comprehensive redevelopment of the former Central Park Village public housing. Consisting of 141 mixed income, mixed-use multifamily units ranging from one to four bedrooms, the 3-building development of green construction achieves a LEED Silver Certification.
Developed through an impressive public-private partnership, the Trio hit all the right notes with the judges who were jazzed about this affordable, work-force housing. Coupled with the retail and community spaces, the Trio contributes to the urban renaissance of Downtown Tampa and provides an ENCORE for culturally significant area.
Category | Participation
Your City. Our Future.
A community driven plan.

- City of Temple Terrace

in July, the City of Temple Terrace adopted a comprehensive strategic plan. Our City. Our Future. Is a plan driven by the community, facilitated by existing city staff. Twenty-three different stakeholder feedback sessions were held, tripling previous planning initiative participation. 


The judges thought this delivered all the goods in terms of

meaningful public participation and were particularly impressed how funding was prioritized so the community's wishes can be implemented. There's no doubt that creation and implementation of this plan will ensure the City of Temple Terrace will become an even more amazing place to live, work, play, and learn.  

Awards of Merit
Aloft Hotel
Design Styles Architecture Corporate Offce
Categories | Redevelopment & Investment
Aloft Tampa Downtown

- Liberty Group
- Wichman Construction
- Baker Barrios Architects

Our judges believe the coolness factor of this re-purposed office space will attract an important demographic to the heart of Downtown Tampa. It contributes to the sense of place along the Riverwalk and anchors the gateway of Kennedy Boulevard, impressive on a site that was very constrained. So, we thank you for your investment in and resourceful design of a very important street corner.  

Categories | Redevelopment
& Investment
City of Tampa CRA Fa�ade Grant Improvement Program

- City of Tampa Economic & Urban Development 
- Community Redevelopment Areas of Drew Park, East Tampa & Ybor City

Our judges recognize that the funding and scale of this program is making a big difference. They love how user-friendly and contagious it is, truly a multiplier effect and a winning scenario for all. Transforming cities happens one building, one block, and one neighborhood at a time. The Fa�ade Improvement Grant Program is helping to resurrect East Tampa, Ybor City & Drew Park as vibrant, attractive urban assets. 

Land Development Coe Amendment
Plant City Train Viewing Platform
Category | Planning & Entertainment
Land Development Code Amendment for Community Gathering Spaces

-Hillsborough County Development Services Department

The judges applauded this amendment for better meeting the community's needs and engaging stakeholders. This code amendment actually shapes community gathering spaces and strengthens their connection between the surrounding homes and amenities as gathering spaces for neighbors to socialize.

Adopted in February 2014, the code dedicates less land than previously required. But the new code provides for more quality rather than quantity space. Sidewalks and crosswalks must safely connect the residents within a five minute walk to places to relax, play, or even garden.  
Categories | Historic & Investment
Plant City Railroad Viewing Platform and Tower & Robert W Willaford Railroad Museum

- Michael Sparkman
- Bill McDaniel  
- Rick and Di Lott
- Robert W Walliford
- Jerry Lofstrom

- City of Plant City
- CSX Transportation
- Plant City Citizens & Community Leaders

Our judges loved the way this project is right on track with the city's heritage. NO tax dollars were used in the construction of this community treasures rooted in the authenticity of Plant City. Extensive community involvement plus donations of time and money created exemplary public-private partnerships to achieve this labor of love. All aboard! 

Chairman's Award
Planning Commission Chair Derek Doughty presented the Chairman's Award going to  Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the City of Tampa.

The City of Tampa continues to shine as brightly as the lights that light up the City's bridges and skyline at night. Leading the way to changing Tampa's DNA is Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
It's wonderful to see news almost every day about all of the innovative things in the works to create exciting economic prospects, stronger neighborhoods, and safer streets in the heart of our region. Some highlights from the recent past:


  • Creation of an economic competiveness committee to make it easier to do business in Tampa.
  • Leading the development of the Florida APA Award winning InVision Tampa Center City Plan, proactively engaging the citizens in a plan that will guide future growth in the downtown core and adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Negotiating development of the Old Tampa Federal Courthouse site, now Le Meridian Hotel.
  • With six mayors in the making, the Riverwalk will be completed in 2015 during Mayor Buckhorn's tenure.
  • The West River Master Plan was a collaboration among the City of Tampa, Tampa Housing Authority and the local stakeholders.
  • And, the public-private partnership that developed the Ulele Restaurant, Ulele Springs, and the recipient of one of our Outstanding Contribution to the Community Awards, Water Works Park.

"We could go on and on," said Chair Doughty. "It is my pleasure to give the Chairman's Award to Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the City of Tampa for:


  • Commitment to Creating a Vibrant Downtown
  • Implementing Projects that Encourage Redevelopment, and for your
  • Support of Future Economic Growth for Our City and Region

We thank you, Mayor Buckhorn and congratulations!"

Executive Director's Award
Planning Commission Executive Director Ray Chiaramonte recognized John Turner and Turner Expositions with the Executive Director's Award. In January, we began a partnership with John Turner and Turner Expositions. A generous supporter of many community organizations including Wheels of Success, Habitat for Humanity, many veterans organizations, and Brandon Ballet, John has been deeply invested in the Tampa Bay community since 1984.


John Turner has been producing record-breaking home shows for about 30 years. And with his support, we've been able to turn our public engagement about planning for growth and improving our quality of life into a multi-dimensional experience. This public-private partnership has allowed us to visibly demonstrate that planning is an investment that will increase the value of the community they call home with unique opportunities, like:  

  • FREE tickets for Imagine 2040 : Part 2 survey participants
  • Access to live media stories
  • Interactive displays
  • Town Hall meetings
  • Live surveying
  • Imagine 2040 : Part 2 kickoff at Tampa Bay Grand Prix
  • All in front of an audience of tens of thousands of people at each Florida's Largest Home Show... people who are there because they want to improve their quality of life.

"So, it is my extreme present this award to John Turner

& Turner Expositions for:

  • Being Forward Thinking,
  • Investing in our Unique Public-Private Partnership,
  • Generosity Giving Back to the Local Community
  • And, Ongoing Commitment to Improving the Quality of Life in the Tampa Bay Region
Thank you, John Turner!"

Special Recognition & Goodnight

At the end of the evening, Planning Commission Assistant Executive Director Melissa Zornitta invited Executive Director Ray Chiaramonte back to the stage to present the Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award he was presented at the Annual Conference of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association in front of our local planning community, friends, and family.

Upon receiving the award, Ray surprised everyone and gave it away... To his wife, Debbie Chiaramonte. "I could not have achieved all of the things I've accomplished without the support of my wife," said Ray.

Closing out the 32nd Annual Planning & Design Awards presented by Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, Ray sang "Feeling Good" featuring Michael Buble's vocals choreographed to images highlighting some of what we love about our community.

And everyone left, feeling good about the future of our region... Thank you again to everyone who participated in this year's awards program.  See you next year!
Issue 19 | November 2014
Special Celebration of
Planning edition
In this issue

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Presenting Sponsors!

2014 Sponsors
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