CLEARWATER - The Clearwater Downtown Partnership (CDP)held an inaugural event Tuesday evening at The Atrium. CDP is comprised of citizens, and business and property owners who will work with city government to boost Clearwater’s economic prospects.
Membership in CDP is open to all, but is especially attractive to those who benefit from the revitalized district and want to work to spur it on.
CDP purports that millions of dollars of public and private sector investments in Clearwater are incubating. The partnership will strive to give opportunities for people to participate in and help accelerate a renaissance for the downtown district.
Founding members organized a pleasant evening for invited guests with music, cocktails, and buffet.
Lee Arnold of the Clearwater Bay Club acted as emcee. He introduced the government side of the partnership, the city commissioners, who were all in attendance and referred to Mayor Frank Hibbard as, “One of the sharpest investors in Clearwater.”
Arnold further remarked, “At no time in Clearwater’s history since I’ve been involved has there been such fine leadership.”
Directing his comments to Hibbard sitting in the front row, Arnold proclaimed, ”We heard the good news today that we will get a new marina!”
Over the applause he went on to say, “This group has lots of energy, and lots of plans. I encourage everyone to get involved.”
Dwight Matheny, CDP Chairman told those gathered, “I haven’t seen so many people concerned about one thing in the same room for a long time. What we do will have a lasting impact.”
Matheny kept their attention further by stating that the median income for populations in the city’s vicinity compares to Washington DC and Seattle. Attention from around the globe is being focused on Clearwater. “The downtown is currently an untapped market. We are poised right now to have a world class city.”
Matheny explained the partnership’s research to date: “We’ve undertaken a building by building inventory of downtown. We’re researching the best methodologies to attract local and national retailers. So, the executive board feels the time is right for this partnership.”
Putting formalities to rest, Matheny then exclaimed, “Let’s see if we can’t get us a marina!”
In his speech, Hibbard acknowledged the council for being a great team and downtown for being pretty special as it is. He likened the city to owning a historical home. “You want good bones when you buy an old house. Downtown Clearwater has good bones. It’s great already.”
A banner over Hibbard’s head read, “Making Downtown Clearwater Tampa Bay’s Newest Destination.”
With a nod toward the future and the newly formed partnership he said, “We want to create the right environment for downtown investment to come in. This partnership fits.”
Current board members are: chairman, Matheny; vice chairman, Howard Warshauser; treasurer, Bob Clifford; secretary, Rodney Taber, and members Jenny Esno, David Allbritton, Joy Gendusa and Joe Scanlon.
Sponsors for the event were: Crabby Bill’s; Clearwater Bay Club; Murphy Business and Financial Services; Opus South Corporation; PostcardMania; J.J. Taylor Distributors; Nature’s Food Patch; Espresso Express; Jigsaw Printing; The Fort Harrison Hotel, and Jiffy Graphics.
The next meeting of the Clearwater Downtown partnership is being tentatively set for January. For membership information call 461-9612 or visit the partnerships website at www.clearwaterdowntownpartnership.org.
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