The Franklin Street Better Block Project was last weekend, an event intending to cast a new light on the north end of Franklin Street extending out from Downtown Tampa. A one day project running from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, the Franklin Street Better Block Project is the latest in a series of events organized by The Better Block, who aim to show how to redevelop and revitalize communities across the United States by putting together a live demonstration, or “imaginarium” if you will, of what the area could be like, and its potential for the community. It’s kind of like playing pretend, but for grown-ups.
Local businesses, organizations, and food vendors came out to the neighborhood, and, along with a few budding businesses already established in the area, attempted to give residents and visitors a sense of what the area could be like through pop-up shops, games, and a free biergarten. There were food trucks, community art projects, and drawings illustrating fake storefronts in vacant shops.
Notable participants include: the Congress for New Urbanism Tampa Chapter, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, the Tampa Heights Civic Association, The Urban Conga, Nuance Galleries, Taylor Art Studio, Dragonfly Landscape & Water Gardens, Rustic Steel Creations, Rialto Theatre, Franklin Street School of Woodworking, Coast Bike Share, Hidden Springs Ale Works, Croxbone Brewing, Ulele, Commune + Co., Cafe Hey, Tampa Street Cafe, Rollin’ Zoinks food truck, Cajun In a Truck food truck, I Wanna Wok food truck, and live music by the Fire Swamp Terrors and Ragged Old Souls.