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moxwax

New Tampa Museum of Art

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Here is the website for the remodeling of the Tampa Museum of Art:

http://www.tampagov.net/dept_museum/New_Museum/index.asp

The site has several pictures of how both the inside and outside will look and how it interacts with downtown and the river.

The new museum features a top floor sculpture garden, a cantilevered protective canopy over Ashley drive, and a public park by the water side.

I think it looks fantastic, and will be a great and different addition to downtown. I can't wait til this building is finished!

thoughts?

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No offense, but I think it looks like a combination of a bus terminal and the passenger drop off section of an airport terminal.  The celebrity architects strike again.

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Haha. Nice description. I totally agree though. Ironically, the exterior looks like modern art. Not much frills or thrills, just the architect's thought du jour. On a positive side, the interior looks really great. Go to his website (see original post) and check out the Tampa Museum movie. Nice 10M and gives you a first-person point of view as if you are actually walking into and around the museum.

Marc

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So are they going to finally going to break ground on the museum?  The last time I heard the mayor was holding up progress.

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I'm going to find that out. Outside work, I am also an active member of Emerge Tampa - Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and we just hosted an event at the Tampa Museum of Art entitled "What is Up with Housing Downtown" which focused on attainable housing options for young professionals in Tampa. This was sponsored by Skypoint Condos and 3 other companies. I was not able to attend the event but curious on finding out when they are going to break ground also.

Marc

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Although you weren't able to attend the meeting, did any other members fill you in on what was discussed? If so, what did they suggest for making urban living affordable for young professionals?

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Although you weren't able to attend the meeting, did any other members fill you in on what was discussed?  If so, what did they suggest for making urban living affordable for young professionals?

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Great question. I am actually in a group of folks who are putting a First-Time HomeBuying Seminar for the Chamber of Commerce which is coming up soon. Date is still TBD. We are getting a group of people (Agents, Lenders, Appraisals, Inspections, etc...) to discuss from A to Z on the whole process.

Marc

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Mayor needs to pick up reins on museum project

By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Columnist

Published March 17, 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lead, follow or get out of the way.

When it comes to the Tampa Museum of Art, those are the three choices for Mayor Pam Iorio.

All along, Iorio has had a list of requirements for committing $30-million of city money to finance the new museum, now estimated at $76-million. She wants to be fiscally conservative and it is refreshing to see Tampa's mayor ensure that a big project wouldn't end up costing taxpayers more down the road.

But every time some of the requirements or deadlines have been met, Iorio or her staff has reiterated or raised other "concerns." City Council members also have interjected doubts. After awhile, you wonder: Is the mayor being prudent, or is she trying to sink the project?

Frankly, I was tired of wondering so I asked Iorio on Wednesday.

She insists her support has been consistent, especially when you consider the city has pledged $2-million a year toward operating costs. That's more than the combined total the city gives to the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo and Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center for operating expenses.

Iorio won't commit any more of the city's money but does believe the museum board deserves "every chance" to close the deal before next week's March 24 deadline to secure financing.

Bonnie Wise, the city finance director, will go before the Council today to review the city's commitment letter and talk about more "concerns." I would rather see Iorio step up and assume the reins. She needs to either take charge of the existing effort or start the process of crafting a smaller, more affordable museum.

But Iorio said she will wait until the deadline before taking any action. If the terms of the financing plan aren't met, she will look for the museum board to concede defeat.

After four years, I guess we could wait another seven days.

If the board doesn't acknowledge the deal is dead, it will be time for Iorio to write off the $6.7-million already spent on architectural plans as an expensive lesson. It will be time to end the speculation.

It will be time to lead.

People will complain that Iorio killed the deal. And even if the board gives up, some detractors will say the blood is on Iorio's hands. So, get some soap and deal with it.

Am I asking a lot? Sure. Scuttling the deal is going to rankle a lot of people. There is no guarantee those who committed dollars to the current design, with its radical canopy over Ashley Drive, will renew their excitement for something smaller in scale.

Downtown developers such as Donald Trump, who have given money to the museum, may be disappointed. And many of those who funded the museum project also fund political campaigns.

What the mayor may lose in votes and support, however, she can make up in the respect people will give her for making the tough call. Those who weren't wild about the design or thrilled with another potential boondoggle should be ready to raise a new roof in support of Iorio. A healing process will be needed to win back those who believe in the current design, but better for that process to start now.

Iorio has a strong chance of getting re-elected in 2007, but those chances will be bolstered if the new, new museum is close to getting off the ground. It's one of the key pieces in revitalizing downtown and helping the numerous condominium projects come to fruition. If she can point to some tangible progress when she begins campaigning in late 2006, it will be easier to believe ending the current effort was the right decision.

That means if Iorio opts for a new plan, significant progress will have to be made in the next 18 to 24 months. That's scant time for a state-of-the-art museum, but if the project is still mired in committee discussions, Iorio will give ammunition to critics who are already talking about backing the potential mayoral campaign of John Sykes.

If Iorio supports the current project, she risks losing financial capital. If she goes back to the drawing board, she risks losing political capital.

But at some point, if you aren't willing to take any risks, you aren't really leading.

That's all I'm saying.

Ernest Hooper can be reached at 813 226-3406 or [email protected]

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