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Who We Are

Mission & History


To be America's Iconic Riverwalk


Working in partnership with the city to develop, activate and promote Tampa’s downtown waterfront.


  • Support further expansion and development that increases community access to the waterfront, improves mobility and connectivity, and increases people-oriented uses and experiences along the Riverwalk.
  • Create an inviting outdoor destination showcasing downtown parks, museums, attractions, and businesses through outdoor public events and programming.
  • ​​​​​​​Build a stronger sense of community for everyone.


1975 – Riverwalk project conceived by Mayor Bill Poe in 1975 as a bi-centennial event
1976 – Waterfront walkway of wooden planks installed in the Curtis Hixon Park area
1989 – CNBC Plaza (Rivergate Tower) and ramp constructed
1989 – Wooden planks replaced with granite pavers
2000 – Marriott Waterside Hotel opened
2003 – Cotanchobee Ft Brooke Park opened
2005 – MacDill Park opened
2006 – Phase I Master Plan completed
2006 – USF Park opened
2008 – Platt Street Bridge Underpass opened
2009 – Tampa Convention Center, Cotanchobee/Ft Brooke Park extension, South Plaza completed
2010 – Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park opened; Cass Street crosswalk enhancement completed
2012/13 – Brorein Street Underpass, Brownstone, CapTrust and TCC connector completed
2014 – Water Works Park completed
2015 – Kennedy Boulevard Plaza – 1460 feet over water completed – Funded by TIGER Grant
2016 – Straz Center to Water Works Park – Funded by TIGER Grant
2020 – The Heights District Riverwalk extension completed

History of Friends of the Riverwalk, Inc.
Incorporated as a Florida Not-For-Profit entity on July 7, 2005
Given 501(c)(3) status effective July 7, 2005
Raised over $2,778,000 cash and in-kind
Transferred over $1,350,000 directly to the city to fund design and construction activity

Projects include:
Riverwalk Master Planning and Design Contracts – $183,000
Brownstone Segment Design and Construction – $220,000
CapTrust Segment Construction – $320,000
History Center Dock Survey, Permitting and Design – $86,000
History Center Dock Construction and Engineering Support –  $40,000
Convention Center Connector Construction – $58.000
Riverwalk Portal – $146,000
Shade Structure Design – $9,500
Donor Wall Design and Construction – $60,000
TIGER Matching Funds – $225,000

Paid $75,000 for Promotion and Other Amenities:
Riverwalk Promotional Fly-over Video
Legal Fees for Forum Land Transfer at South Plaza
Planters Along the Convention Center
Granite for “Quotes on the Water” on Brownstone Segment
Railing Gate for Large Vessel Docking at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Historical Monument Trail – Cash, Grants and In-kind – $628,000
Six Monuments Installed, 2012
Six Monuments Installed, 2013
Six Monuments Installed, 2014
Six Monuments Installed, 2016
Six Monuments Installed, 2017