What makes Tampa a smart city? Tampa invests in new technology.
As the third largest city in Florida, Tampa has experienced solid growth in the past year. It was fueled by a fast-growing economy that’s brought thousands of new jobs to the Bay area.
It’s no surprise that Tampa’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.3 percent; because Tampa invests in new technology they are able to create more jobs. That’s below the state and national average. In fields like health care and construction, the Tampa Bay area continues to create jobs. And the city is attracting more newcomers in search of employment opportunities.
Tampa is starting to do well in another area: meeting the long-term goal of becoming a major national “Smart City.” As urban leaders are quick to note, becoming an attractive location for high technology jobs is a top goal today.
In recent years, Tampa has been gaining a wider reputation as a Smart City that wisely invests in high technology. Recently, leaders from major technology industries gathered in Tampa for “Building Cities of the Future,” an Urbantech Summit.
One of the topics was the fact that Tampa has an increasing amount of IoT, or return on investment for technology. It’s a smart strategy to help the city develop more high-paying, high-skill positions. And this could provide a major boost to the Tampa Bay economy; it can help diversify it. And it can attract more high-caliber professionals to the city.
Becoming a City of the Future
As noted during “Building Cities of the Future,” Tampa is definitely on its way to becoming a smarter city and this assists a growing number of high technology businesses. This is beneficial because that includes a rising number of startup entrepreneurs. They want to see municipalities increase the adoption rates of technology as the digital revolution evolves. And as Tampa invests in new technology, they are definitely in contention.
A Smart City is defined as a municipality that takes an integrated approach to delivering services more effectively through technology; they use the most updated technologies to increase the effectiveness of their city. This movement has sometimes been jokingly referred to as a “Jetsons” world. That’s a reference to the 1960’s television cartoon about a family living in a high-tech future world.
But it’s no longer a joke, since more and more services can be delivered through 5G wireless technology.
Some cities are playing catch-up in this area. However, Tampa city leaders outlined a Smart City Vision plan several years ago.
The Smart Tampa vision was to launch innovative concepts involving advanced technologies, data, and applications. These could be used to benefit city residents, business leaders and visitors in a variety of ways.
• improving public safety
• increasing mobility
• boosting productivity
• and protecting the environment.
The city accepted federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge to launch these plans.
As the city leaders noted when initiating Smart Tampa, the city has a diverse population. It includes veterans, seniors, millennials, and people of very different income levels. So this program was specifically designed to show that innovations can provide solutions to a wide range of population groups.
Impacting the Workforce
Tampa has been successful in recent years in attracting big development deals, particularly when it comes to redevelopment projects in the downtown area. A major project that was launched last year was Water Street Tampa. It’s a mixed-use development by Strategic Property Partners. They’re a real estate development joint venture between Cascade Investment, LLC and Jeff Vinik, the current owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
What Water Street Tampa will offer
The project involves more than 9 million square feet of office, retail, residential, entertainment and educational uses. This is a $3 billion investment in a former industrial area in downtown Tampa. SPP controls more than 50 acres along the downtown Tampa Waterfront. This is also a project that will involve, as Tampa invests in new technology, the newest technologies needed to compete as a smart city.
The project is about more than just the construction of the buildings. The long-term vision for what will become one of the largest mixed-use downtown redevelopment projects in the nation also incorporates principles involved with:
* and, most importantly, connectivity.
This project holds the potential to transform downtown Tampa and elevate the city heading into the future. SPP has been working with technology partners to install miles of new technology infrastructure and eventually make this one of the most connected areas imaginable.
For example, Dreamit, a leading global startup accelerator, launched an ‘UrbanTech’ vertical in Tampa in September. It was a partnership with Vinik designed to expose entrepreneurs to community real estate, design, and construction stakeholders in the Tampa Bay area.
SPP is also working on free high-speed wifi throughout the public areas of Water Street Tampa, a centralized online/mobile platform for concierge-like services for office workers, residents and visitors alike, and new fiber and conduit that will boost the options for the future technology infrastructure in this area.
This is all part of a project that is adding a million square feet of retail and active ground-floor uses in downtown. No question those shops are going to want to be well connected to their customers.
High Tech and Housing
These changes have major implications for the housing market as well. All throughout 2017, Tampa Bay’s housing market has been very strong, with buyer demand for homes continuing to rise, along with prices. Sales actually slowed down over the summer months, but that wasn’t because of a drop in interest among buyers. In fact, it was the opposite. There wasn’t enough inventory of homes for sale on the market to meet buyer demand, which is why sales fell even as prices rose.
Becoming a successful Smart City will help Tampa attract more high tech – and high paying – jobs, which will bring more professionals to the city. So as Tampa invests in new technology a lot more prospective buyers will be looking for housing in the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa Invests in New Technology
If you’re relocating to the Tampa Bay area, or you already live here and in search of your next home, keep in mind you’re facing a lot of competition in this strong housing market. But it would be a mistake to postpone your search. Prices are heading up, and likely to keep doing so for a while. The time to buy is now, not when prices are even higher.
Reach out today to a respected builder like Domain Homes, which defines itself as Tampa’s urban renaissance new home builder. Domain Homes procures home sites in Tampa Bay’s most desirable neighborhoods, close to top rated school districts, cultural amenities, and downtown Tampa.
Domain Homes finds older, aging homes in neighborhoods like South Tampa, West Tampa, North Hyde Park, the Heights, and St. Petersburg, and replaces them with brand new homes that are move-in ready.