by Michael C. Lowe | October 01, 2014

Last December, the 137-room Epicurean Hotel opened in Tampa's SoHo neighborhood, just west of downtown. The property, developed in collaboration with the city's famous Bern's Steakhouse, features culinary themes throughout. The Marriott Autograph Collection hotel has 5,200 square feet of meeting space, a spa and several food outlets. Unique food-themed team-building activities are available for groups.

Occupying the Old Federal Courthouse in downtown, the 130-room Le Méridien Tampa opened in July. The hotel offers a pool; a fitness center; a brasserie offering dry-aged, hand-cut beef and signature French dishes; and more than 4,000 square feet of function space.

The 442-room Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay completed $20 million in upgrades this past July. The project included a full revamp of public spaces, a new restaurant and the debut of a tech lounge within the lobby. The 442-room property has more than 20,000 square feet of function space, including a 10,370-square-foot ballroom.

The 130-room Aloft Tampa Downtown opened in July in the former Mercantile Bank building. Amenities include a bar and lounge, and 685 square feet of meeting space.

The Tampa Bay Convention Center will soon begin a four-year, $14.6 million program to replace its elevators and upgrade other infrastructure.

• Tampa International Airport is embarking on a $1 billion expansion project to expand its car rental facilities, parking structure and main terminal. The multiphase plan is expected to be complete by 2017.

Developers filed plans this past May for a 400-room hotel just west of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The property, if approved by the city, will have 175,000 square feet of meeting space and 45,000 square feet of retail.