Friday, August 15, 2014

Downtown West Palm Beach’s success feted at “summit” | West Palm Beat

Raphael Clemente gave a summary speech about the progress made in downtown West Palm Beach over the years and I heard that it was well received by those in attendance. Click title for link for Eliot Kleinberg's take on the event.
Five years ago, downtown West Palm Beach was “a pretty good place, but we didn’t have a great place,” Raphael Clemente told Tuesday night’s Downtown Development Authority “downtown summit.”
But then the city knocked down its old library and opened up the waterfront, cleaned up streets and alleys, improved safety, and actively recruited businesses, Clemente, the DDA’s executive director, told residents, business owners, civic and government leaders and other downtown stakeholders who gathered at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
In the past, “we were saying ‘welcome,’ but we weren’t as welcoming as we needed to be,” Clemente said. “We saw a lot of businesses leave. Major destinations, main corners; empty sidewalks.”
And, he said, “our waterfront was an asset that that wasn’t being used to its maximum potential.”
So, Clemente said, “we worked to make the place better.”