TAMPA — Former Mayor Pam Iorio's vision of turning Zack Street into an avenue of the arts will take another step forward this fall and winter.
Tampa City Council will consider on Thursday allocating nearly $760,400 to extend Zack Street's avenue-of-the-arts theme one block farther east, from Florida Avenue to Marion Avenue.
The remodeling will run through Feb. 11.
When it's done, the block fronting the future Le Meridien hotel — now the former federal courthouse — will have orange shade canopies at each end and sidewalk art in the same vein of the sidewalk between Florida and Ashley Drive.
The construction also will widen the sidewalk along Zack and narrow the street slightly.
“Connecting the courthouse with Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, our museums, and the river via an extended Zack Street helps tie the hotel into our urban fabric and creates a more livable, pedestrian friendly environment,” Buckhorn said.
City officials have budgeted $80,000 for art along the street.
The $1.2 million first phase of the Zack Street facelift wrapped up in August 2012 just before the Republican National Convention downtown.
Iorio announced the Promenade of the Arts as a way to link downtown with Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Tampa Museum of Art and the rest of the city's arts district.
At the time, Iorio, who left office in 2011, said the project was important to the city's economic development.
The work ran into a snag in 2009 when the Tampa City Council cut about two-thirds of the project's $3 million budget in the wake of the housing collapse and ensuing budget shortfalls.
Pressure from Iorio and business leaders convinced council members to change their minds and let the project go ahead.
The third piece of the work — from Marion to Nebraska avenue — remains to be done.
At their Thursday meeting, council members will also:
Consider approving a $200,000 payment to Jeffrey and Arnita Mills to compensate for the death of their daughter, Brittany, who drowned in the city's Cyrus Greene Park swimming pool on July 8, 2009.
Vote on more than $9,000 in city-ordered work to board up foreclosed and abandoned houses than have been neglected by their owners.
Hear from parks officials about the feasibility of building a fence at Temple Crest Park to avoid future incidents like last month's drowning death of 2-year-old Armani Sander, who disappeared into the Hillsborough River at that park.