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Denver vs. Tampa: Not hockey, but downtown leaders look west for ways to better improve city living

On Wednesday, Tampa Downtown Partnership hosted its annual meeting.
Credit: Noah Densmore - stock.adobe.com

TAMPA, Fla — In the midst of the Stanley Cup playoffs, you may not think the city of Tampa and Denver would be the best of pals. Ice hockey rivalries aside, when it comes to the urban development of downtown, Denver is a city Tampa looks to. 

On Wednesday, the Tampa Downtown Partnership, a non-profit that partners with city leaders to advance the downtown area, celebrated its 36th anniversary with a luncheon. The keynote speaker, Tami Door is the CEO of contemporary development firm Q Factor in Denver. 

According to Brookings, Denver ranks 16th in the nation for standard of living. Tampa Bay comes in at 44. 

"Denver grew very rapidly," Door said. 

Sound familiar? It's what is happening in the Tampa Bay area right now. You may notice it in the rising housing prices, the added traffic during rush hour or something as simple as a longer wait at your go-to restaurants. 

"Some of the things we know we still need to work on our transportation initiatives and also our affordable housing," Lynda Remund, the president of Tampa Downtown Partnership, explained.

Conversations surrounding urban development are ongoing now so the city is ready for the new residents trickling in. Remund says they're looking to Denver to take note of what is working and learn from what isn't.

"When you're growing as a city, it's not just the great things that grow,"  Door said. "Everything grows. Have a plan, work the plan."

"Looking at crime, for instance, when you have that influx of people, other things happen within your city," Remund said. "You become a big city all of the sudden."

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