View of downtown to north, from the Embassy Terrace Hotel, at sunrise
|o Mayor||Bob Buckhorn (D)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||33602, 33606|
It is second only to Westshore regarding employment in the area. Companies with a major presence downtown include Bank of America, BB&T, Marshall & Ilsley, PNC Financial Services, SunTrust, Sykes Enterprises, TECO Energy, and Frontier Communications. The Tampa Convention Center is located on the river.
Downtown Tampa is bounded by the Hillsborough River to the west, Channelside to the east, Interstate 275 to the north, Davis Islands and Harbour Island to the south. The total area for the area is 521 acres (2.11 km2). Historical Fort Brooke was located at the southern end of downtown Tampa, near the mouth of the Hillsborough River. The TECO Streetcar takes passengers from downtown to other core areas of Tampa.
The Florida Aquarium is a large scale, 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) aquarium and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The facility is home to more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from Florida and all over the world. The facility is located in the Channel District near the SS American Victory and the Port of Tampa's cruise terminals.
The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors as the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, Florida in July 1987 and has welcomed more than 10 million guests. The Straz Center is located in northern downtown on a 9-acre (36,000 m2) site along the east bank of the Hillsborough River. As the second largest performing arts complex in the Southeastern United States (behind the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts), the 335,000-square-foot (31,100 m2) venue provides an environment for a variety of events. It has a leading Broadway series, produces grand opera, is the home of the resident professional theater company Jobsite Theater, and also presents a wide variety of concerts and other events.
The Tampa Theatre a historic U.S. theater and city landmark in the Uptown District of downtown Tampa, Florida. On January 3, 1978, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Theatre features a wide range of independent, foreign, and documentary films on a daily basis. It is Tampa's only non-profit movie theater and operating costs are largely covered by its membership program, various corporate sponsors as well as ticket sales. It has periodically been used as a backdrop for movies, MTV videos and local programming.
Also known as the River Arts District, this northwestern chunk of downtown contains the majority of nightlife and dining in the neighborhood. Important cultural landmarks such as Tampa Theatre, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Germany public library, Glazer Children's Museum, and the Tampa Museum of Art are all centered around Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, which has been called "Tampa's town square". Collectively, this area represents the focal point of downtown proper due to having a large concentration of interest points and establishments.
Although technically downtown, Channelside is often thought to be adjacent to the main CBD. This district is the location for many prominent downtown venues. The Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay History Center, the Florida Aquarium and the SS American Victory are located in the Channel District. Twin 30 story condos were completed in 2007, called the Towers of Channelside. Many other residential mid and high-rises have been completed since. Many locals know the Channel District (often abbreviated to Channelside in local parlance) for its nightlife. The Channelside Bay Plaza, which has views of the downtown skyline, is located in the middle of the district. Entrepreuners have founded companies that operate NEVs to shuttle clubgoers to/from Channelside and Tampa's other core districts: Hyde Park, SoHo, Downtown, and Ybor City.
The University area is the city's educational hub and is the location of The University of Tampa a medium sized private co-educational university. Making up the City's western boundary and located just across the Hillsborough River from downtown the university is home to 6,900 students.
The northern half of downtown is undergoing huge construction projects including retail, condos, and a large grocery store. The district, which will fill the gray zone between Downtown and Historic Ybor, will be called "Encore" and will be a "city within a city."  A stimulus grant amounting $38 million was secured to help fund the project, the remaining to be derived from private funding. It is expected to create thousands of jobs for the area including at least 1,000 permanent ones. [permanent dead link] The district is being created with its African-American heritage in mind, having been built over the site of the former Central Avenue Business District and later Central Park housing project.
The Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.4 mile long walking and biking trail that winds along the edge of Tampa's downtown, running along the Hillsborough River and the Garrison Channel from the Channel District on the southeast end to Waterworks Park to the northwest. The Riverwalk's wide pathways, boardwalks, and bridges connect most of Tampa's waterfront parks, attractions, sports and entertainment venues, and hotels, including the Tampa Convention Center, Amalie Arena, the Straz Center, and many others.
The idea for the Riverwalk was first proposed by mayor Bill Poe in the mid-1970s as a way to redevelop Tampa's downtown waterfront, which had long been dominated by large warehouses, port facilities, and other industrial uses. The project was initiated in 1976 with a short walkway of wooden planks behind old Curtis Hixon Hall. However, funding and interest waned, and the project stalled for almost 30 years until mayor Pam Iorio made completing the project a city priority upon taking office in 2003. Construction began in phases in the mid-2000s, and the originally planned Riverwalk was completed in 2016, with further extensions to be added on both ends. The total cost of the completed project will be about $32 million, with most of the funds coming the city of Tampa along with a $11 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation.
Downtown Tampa has 9 hotels located throughout the downtown core that create a total of 2,791 rooms. Major hotels in downtown are:
The following are boutique hotels:
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) operates Tampa's public transportation. HART operates many bus lines through downtown and also operates the TECO Line Streetcar System, a 2.4 miles streetcar line that extends from central downtown through Channelside and into Ybor. HART's main hub, the Marion Transit Center is located in the north end of downtown and is serviced by 30 local and express routes and a future stop for HART's MetroRapid Green Line.