Tampa has long had a reputation, especially among the young and ambitious, as a town to bounce from, typically to cities with more to offer professionally and culturally.

Yet in recent years, this exodus has curiously reversed itself. Indeed, even Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn – who has long despaired of seeing Tampa’s young flee to cities such as Charlotte; Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and farther – now crows about how Tampa is fast becoming a destination for a younger generation.

What’s more, many of this youthful newcomers aren’t so new. A growing number are Tampa-born kids who are coming back. And they’re returning with fresh ideas and energy for helping make their long-second-tier hometown truly world-class. Tampa Bay Times biz columnist Graham Brink writes about some of these Boomerangers, including Tampa attorney Tyler Hudson, with law firm Gardner Brewer Martinez-Monfort; Brad Cooke, founder of architecture firm Practice; and Allie Kessler, a manager with Strategic Property Partners, the development company for the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project.