by Kathy Steele, Tribune staff, Published June 5, 2013
TAMPA-City planners and their consultant, AECom, are seeking people’s ideas for development along the west bank of the Hillsborough River and surrounding neighborhoods just north of downtown. Two meetings have been scheduled. The first, held at Blake High School, was a workshop where ideas and visions were gathered.
A second community meeting, planned as a follow-up to the workshop, will be at 6 p.m. on July 18, also at Blake. Some area residents in recent months have urged city officials to do more to seek their ideas and suggestions on future growth in the affected neighborhoods. “I would like to see what they come up with, “said Ruth McNair, president of the West Riverfront Neighborhood Crimewatch Association. McNair said she and others plan to attend the workshop and community meeting. More than a year ago Mayor Bob Buckhorn launched a citywide effort to create a blueprint that re-imagines the city’s downtown and its connections with surrounding neighborhoods. The project is called InVision Tampa. Studies and community meetings have given city officials ideas about redeveloping downtown and making Nebraska Avenue a mass-transit corridor. Attention now turns to Hillsborough River’s western shore, dubbed by city officials as “the West River area.” It is bordered generally by Green Street, Rome Avenue and the river and includes North Boulevard Homes public housing complex and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.