Key characteristics of our clients?:
In Jacksonville, FL, CivicMoxie founder Susan Silberberg worked with Community Partners Consultants, Inc. and Karl Seidman, Economic Development Consultant, under the team leadership of Urban Focus, LLC to turn “talk” of affordable artist space into solid plans backed up by numbers, designs and knowledge of the markets and context. The City of Jacksonville Department of Community Development teamed up with the Greater Jacksonville Cultural Council (GJCC) to ensure that the planning effort had a broad base of support and that the planning team had access to the expertise and information needed for sound decisions. The planning team designed a survey to assess the market for artist work and live/work space and the GJCC distributed the online survey to its vast database of artists and cultural organizations. The planning for artist space, recruitment of larger cultural uses such as a film and media center for downtown, and the organizational and regulatory recommendations were all based on a solid understanding of the market for space. The team assessed over 20 vacant buildings in the downtown area and used the market study survey to identify development opportunities, floor plans and potential development partner. This ensured future action on bricks and mortar projects…a key goal of the client.
For another project in New Orleans, Susan Silberberg’s students worked with a group of private citizens to recommend revitalization strategies for the Broad Street commercial corridor. Denied a state “National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Streets” designation, involved and savvy citizens took matters into their own hands by bringing in MIT and moving forward despite lack of designation. The results of committed clients? In 2008, Broad Community Connections received its 501(c)(3) status and in January of 2009, Broad Street was designated a Louisiana Main Streets district. The client acted on the MIT team recommendations and the latest news is the successful recruitment of a Whole Foods Market in the district. Bricks and mortar results and enhanced community capacity are the rewards reaped by a client’s commitment to action.