Last summer the Hillsborough County Commission approved $2 million for preservation of Ybor City's most significant buildings: the Italian Club, the Cuban Club and Centro Asturiano, and later received another $2.5 million for other historic preservation areas.
Now what to do with it?
La Gaceta editor and publisher Patrick Manteiga has an idea. Speaking at the monthly Ybor City Development Corporation (YCDC) meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Manteiga advocated for making the area a cultural tourism destination à la Savannah, Charleston or St. Augustine.
"When you look at the pie of our tourism, when you look at historic and cultural tourism, our slice is very small, " Manteiga said, alluding to the fact that aren't any bed and breakfasts in the district. "Tampa just doesn't have what many communities have in great numbers," he lamented.