Investor Spotlight: Tampa Downtown Partnership
August 22, 2017
The Tampa Downtown Partnership fosters Tampa’s vibrant and diverse multi-use downtown neighborhoods and plays a key role in creating a 24hour urban center where people can learn, live, work and play. As a membership organization, it is driven to serve the downtown business community and is empowered by what each member brings to the organization. The Tampa Downtown Partnership works to improve the collective downtown community, be an active conduit of information and resources, promote a shared vision for Tampa’s downtown, and create and implement the plans that support that vision.
Christine Burdick was chosen as the CEO and president of the Tampa Downtown Partnership in April 2002. She previously worked for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, helping to revitalize the city’s downtown, and in Miami Beach, directing the regeneration of Lincoln Road. She brings more than 30 years of experience in retailing and urban development to foster the sense of community in Tampa’s downtown and work on exciting new projects to enhance the district.
1. Tampa and Hillsborough County continue to rise as a top business destination for relocations and expansions. When you are traveling to or visiting other markets, what do you tell the people you meet about our community?
I moved here 15 years ago from Chicago, and I’ve seen the community evolve over the years. I’m most proud of our display of confidence and our authenticity. We’ve stopped comparing ourselves to every other city, and we proudly claim, “We’re Tampa.” We walk taller, we hit our stride – and we are having fun. We have made this city better for business without losing the small-town attributes that make this market so attractive. All the while, we continue to evolve and remain open to new ideas and talent.
2. How does your company impact the business culture of Tampa and Hillsborough County?
We work hard every day to provide a thriving environment for business and pleasure. There was a time when the downtown area was only home to offices and restaurants that were only open for those working 9 to 5. Now, we’re growing as an area to live, work, and play – downtown Tampa offers it all.
3. Talent recruitment has become a huge strategic initiative of the EDC over the past few years. How are you selling out-of-state talent on Tampa and Hillsborough County? Why is local talent inclined to stay here?
Communities sell themselves – a city is either a cool place, or it’s not. Tampa is, and people see that as soon as they arrive here. Our community makes visitors and new residents feel welcome and comfortable, and often, they have immediate access to connections and opportunities. Tampa has a genuine warmth that isn’t found in many big cities.
4. Where do you derive the most benefit for yourself and your company as an EDC Investor?
If we don’t have the answer to a question, the EDC is a go-to resource for us. There is always a staff member willing to help, track down information, or attend a meeting with us. We have a mutually beneficial relationship when it comes to sharing information and connections, as well as growing the community.
5. The EDC offers a variety of services to the local business community, as well as businesses looking to relocate or expand their operations into Hillsborough County. In your opinion, what is the most valuable service provided by the EDC?
The entire EDC organization has great knowledge about Tampa and Hillsborough County, as well as economic development in general. They know what needs to be done to keep our community’s reputation as a top business destination.