Downtown’s time has come, Buckhorn says - FOX 13 News

Downtown’s time has come, Buckhorn says

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The time for Tampa's downtown area has come – at least that's what Mayor Bob Buckhorn thinks.

There's plenty to see and do, so the city is wondering why more aren't seeing it and doing it.

On Wednesday, a research firm released a comprehensive survey of life in the downtown area, and how Tampa can improve.

The study looked into what people thought about three aspects: Housing, food and beverage and things to do after work.

According to the research, Tampa has a "maturing urban market" where employees like to work and increasingly want to live, as well as a residential market that is satisfactory. The study also says downtown is "poised for significant growth."

"The buzz around downtown is palpable," Buckhorn told FOX 13.

The study also pointed to interesting facts about the area. The most visited spot: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. About 96 percent of residents say they've been there, while 84 percent of workers say they have.

About half of the people who work downtown say they would not want to live there, but that number is up from similar studies done in 2010 and 2008.

Meanwhile, downtown folks listed some of the things they wished the area had. The top three: A grocery store, enhanced mass transit and restaurants with extended hours. For workers, they said they wished downtown had more restaurants, inexpensive parking options and more retail shops.

When asked about a grocery store, Buckhorn said he thinks there's one coming in the near future.

"A couple of chains have been kicking the tires down there," he said. "The difference is now there's a critical mass there. Now the beds are there that make the business decision an easy one."

What do you think about the downtown area? Where can it grow? Weigh in on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FOX13TampaBay.

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