Thursday, June 14, 2007

Channelside LEEDs tower

Key Developers brought a much anticipate green project to city council for rezoning tonight. Located at Kennedy and Meridian, the building will be LEED certified, which involves efficient water and energy use. In exchange for the certification, they received huge height and density concessions. There was dissension primarily from the adjacent project, The Slade which will be impacted on 2 sides by the 7 story parking garage- site plan below, Key Dev project in grey. The project looks great and was approved by city council. On a side note: Is WilsonMiller in every developers payroll? and why have the become the de facto authority on urban architecture.

Friday, June 08, 2007

New Museum Design Delights, But Board's Leaders Disappoint

This is complete nonsense...why is this lady still chair after so many years? Maybe she should stick to playing golf and leave the fundraising and leadership of the museum to someone else.

TBO-Just when you want to get excited about a new design for the Tampa Museum of Art comes a signal that the project might not get built as rendered.
Turns out the museum's board has failed to continue fundraising for the new building, which is expected to cost about $33 million. The city's $17.5 million contribution is the bulk of what's available for construction.
Problem is that by the end of the month, architect Stanley Saitowitz needs to know the financial parameters so that he can begin construction drawings for a December groundbreaking. Before he begins, he needs a firm dollar figure so that Tampa doesn't end up with another set of drawings too expensive to build.
TMA chairwoman Cornelia Corbett, who has led the board through several false starts for a new facility, says "we're only going to build what we can afford." If the private funds aren't raised, she says some segments will be eliminated from the design. She's confident, however, that the money will be secured.
Here we go again.
The board's leadership has once again put members behind the eight-ball in fundraising, this time creating a mad dash to raise $15 million by the end of the month. Millions more also are needed for the endowment to run the place.
The failure to aggressively raise funds sends a terrible message to taxpayers, who are putting up the lion's share of the money.
The failure also clarifies the need for new leadership on the museum board.
Corbett is a good citizen who has devoted herself to building a new art museum. But the ill will that oozes from her and other board leaders toward city government has clouded their effectiveness. No bigger challenge faces this board than raising the money to build a new museum, yet three weeks before a key deadline, the campaign is just getting started.
Corbett says that once ground is broken in December, it will be easier to raise money. She adds, a bit haughtily, that some people won't donate money unless the city grants the museum autonomy.
If that's the attitude she exudes toward private donors, it's no wonder that fundraising has barely gotten off the ground under her stewardship. If this board wants shovels in the ground before it seeks donations, the facility won't look anything like the exciting design recently unveiled.
Corbett was badly bruised after the failed attempt to build a big, flashy facility designed by architect Rafael Vinoly. She blames Mayor Pam Iorio for changing the rules along the way. The mayor wanted to see a financial plan that ensured the museum wouldn't return hat in hand, and the board was unable to deliver.
In that fundraising campaign, board members raised close to $31 million for construction costs, $9 million in pledges for possible overruns in operating expenses and $17 million for possible construction overruns.
Yet this time, Corbett won't even commit to raising $15 million, less than half the project's cost.
Clearly, someone with new energy, new enthusiasm and a fresh attitude could better lead the campaign.
The exact cost of the proposed 68,000-square-foot facility is currently being worked up. So, too, are plans for a "slightly smaller" facility, Corbett said.
If donors are skeptical about the project - and who can blame them? - the board should look no further than its leaders.
A lot of other folks are skeptical, too.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Skypoint Art

The folks over at Skypoint recently installed the first dynamic art work display in downtown Tampa in quite some time..... The lights change in color scheme throughout the night- a nice addition to the building and the Arts District. I wonder who will get more views, this display or exhibitions at the art museum?