What’s New Downtown in 5 Florida Cities

Tampa, meetings
Tampa’s Heights Market will open later this year in a huge building that was formerly a storage and maintenance facility for streetcars.

Florida’s infrastructure has been designed with meetings in mind, and its destinations and hotels are known for delivering top-notch service and selection for programs of every shape and size. Here’s what’s new downtown in 5 Florida cities.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach will have a new foodie district this year, The Warehouse District, located southwest of the Palm Beach County Convention Center near downtown. It comprises eight vintage-style buildings and a New York–inspired food hall, Grange Hall Market.


Miami Worldcenter has broken ground and will become the hub of downtown, a 10-block mixed-use development with retail, hospitality and residential space within walking distance of $3 billion in new public and private projects in mass transit, cultural institutions, recreational parks and entertainment venues. The Marriott Marquis Worldcenter, still in the approval process, will be the largest in southern Florida, with 1,700 rooms and its own convention center.


Orlando’s Convention District is a two-mile stretch along International Drive that most recently saw the opening of the Orlando Eye and Mango’s on International Drive. Attracting a lot of excitement for group events will be Topgolf, a 65,000-sf golf entertainment complex opening this fall with 102 climate-controlled hitting bays big enough to host up to six players at one time.


The Feel Downtown redevelopment project is promoting downtown Ocala as a destination experience and will include a 90-room hotel with 10,000 sf of meeting space.


This year, Tampa will see the opening of the Heights Market in a huge building that was formerly a storage and maintenance facility for streetcars. It will feature eateries headed up by local chefs along with two event spaces (the largest accommodating 1,300 for cocktails) and a rooftop social area.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.