To: Raphael Clemente, Executive Director WPB Downtown Development Authority
From: WPB Downtown Neighborhood Association Board of Directors
Re: DDA Business Incentive Program
The residents of Downtown West Palm Beach appreciate that the DDA allocates funding to incentivize businesses in our neighborhood. As the DDA is considering changes to the program, the DNA would like to communicate our suggestions. Since walkability is one of our main differentiators, we would like the Incentive Program to focus on benefits for “Neighborhood Serving” businesses. For example:
• Restaurant Café and Parklet Seating – In addition to reimbursing project costs, subsidize new City fees for outdoor seating
• Activities/Attractions – New Year’s Eve entertainment (Drone show, Laser show), Flagler waterfront attractions, Festivals, Mini golf, Dog park, Cat café
• Live Performance Venues – Piano bar, Programmed Busking, Theater, Comedy, Supper club
• Shopping – Produce, Grab and Go food, Seafood Market, Bookstore, Antique shop, Florist
• Shoe/Clothing repair, Dry cleaner, Hardware, Electronics repair, Locksmith, Bike shop
• Package Center including FedEx with copying/printing services and shipping/moving supplies
• Façade Grant category should cover entire structure including rooftops. Maintaining historic character or unique design elements should be prioritized.
The legacy program focused on Leasehold Improvements to owners or tenants, but we believe more effort should be made to recruit quality tenants and upgrade the customer experience. We agree that incentives should be available to businesses located on the ground floor only, and we strongly encourage Clematis Street be included.
We request that the DDA actively works with new businesses to host a Grand Opening that is scheduled after normal business hours so that we can attend.
Most importantly, the DNA would like more representation on the committee that evaluates Business Incentive applications.
Sitima Fowler, Cynthia Nalley, Jordan Brooks, Pamela Cairns, Peter Cruise, Rick Rose, Erin Sadler
Board of Directors WPB Downtown Neighborhood Association