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Talk of the bay

Downtown Tampa population may double this year - to 1,200

Published January 9, 2006

Word is, the number of residents living in downtown Tampa may double this year. That's a heady statement until you look at the numbers.

Tampa Downtown Partnership president Christine Burdick last week said her organization estimates that 600 people live in the city's downtown core. By the end of 2006, as more residential building becomes available, that number "should skyrocket" to 1,200 people, she said.

That's not exactly a metropolis in the making. Closer to a large village. Talk to workers in Tampa's downtown towers and they say the city core remains awfully quiet when they leave their offices in the evening. One worker's wish: a good downtown restaurant that's open at night. The French restaurant Mise En Place is over the bridge near the University of Tampa, but that's too far to walk.

Burdick sees real change ahead for downtown Tampa in '06, if everybody pitches in.

"I want everyone to make it one of their New Year's resolutions to get involved in what is taking place in downtown Tampa," she said in an online New Year's appeal on the partnership's Web site. "This truly is everyone's downtown."

If the double-every-year formula holds, downtown's residents would grow from 1,200 this year to 2,400 in 2007 . . . to 19,200 in 2010. Let's hope the pace accelerates.

[Last modified January 7, 2006, 16:52:02]

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