A year after opening the Oxford Exchange is booming with business

City leaders hope their success spreads

It may just be one of the most unique places to open in downtown Tampa, and after a year since the Oxford Exchange opened, business is booming.


"I think we just really believed in the idea," Allison Adams, Director of the Oxford Exchange said. That idea is what brought the Oxford Exchange to Tampa. 


"The thought behind it was how do we get people to come here, to feel comfortable here, to want to stay here," Allison said.


That thought seems to be working. The owners decided to open in an historic building off Kennedy Boulevard, across from University of Tampa. The building is one of the oldest in Tampa. Now it's a place for something downtown's never seen before.


"It was just a beautiful building and we thought it had a lot of character and we loved this location to downtown," Allison said.


Inside you will find a sophisticated space that houses a restaurant, coffee shop, tea bar, bookstore, retail store and office space. "I think what they've done here should be done in every other city," customer Jim Reese said.


Even though it's been a year since they opened their doors, they're not done growing just yet. Next month they plan to use space in a building a few doors down to open a take out place called the OE Market.


"It's overwhelming sometimes to think that it has had so much success," Allison said.


City leaders hopes that success spreads throughout downtown Tampa. "Taking old historic structures that have a lot of great character to them, restoring them, rehabilitating them, putting them back on the tax rolls, bringing them back to life with the creative use," Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn said. 


"That's exactly what what you want to do with those old buildings and Oxford is a great example of how to do it right."


Mayor Buckhorn believes something as different as the Oxford Exchange can have a big impact on the city.


"We are now looking beyond our expectations. I think we now envision a much different future for this community," Mayor Buckhorn said.


A future Mayor Buckhorn sees attracting more unique businesses like the Oxford Exchange.

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