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DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR 12x12 COMPETITION AT FUTURE CLEMATIS STREET BUSINESS HUB

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March 26, 2018
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (March 26, 2018) – Do you know a business that is doing creative work and looking for an engaging storefront experience? It’s not too late to enter the 12x12 business competition.  The City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have extended the application period for the innovative 12x12 project to bring interesting new commerce to Clematis Street. The new application deadline has been extended to May 14, 2018.
 
To apply, businesses must visit 12x12wpb.com and submit an application along with a 30-second video about their business and the value it will bring to Clematis Street. Semi-finalists will be selected and interviewed about their business plan. The twelve finalists will be named in the fall of 2018 and will prepare to open their storefronts.
 
The Thoroughfare, an innovative market that will house the winners of the 12x12 business competition will be located at the former Off the Hookah space on Clematis Street. The competition winners will receive many benefits, including a reduced rent lease, initial marketing and advertising services, professional development training and three grand events to promote the space, helping the new businesses become established and creating a new commercial hub on Clematis Street.
 
The 12x12 project will increase accessibility by lowering the cost to entry into prime commercial space on Clematis Street by providing a smaller square footage and the opportunity for small businesses and creative companies, who otherwise would have to operate out of a warehouse or online, to acquire space in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach.
“We have made a commitment to expanding the city’s already strong base of small businesses,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “The new space will help get the selected businesses off the ground, creating a new generation of success and prosperity rooted in a highly visible location on Clematis Street.”
 
Ecosistema Urbano has been contracted by the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Authority to create an exciting space that allows people to “Eat, Meet, and Shop” at 314 Clematis Street. The Thoroughfare will be a place to connect, work, relax and be part of a new experience, where you can listen to music as you dine or shop in your new favorite boutique. Business meetings or a small play can be held in the interior open area that serves multiple purposes depending on the time of day. The flexibility of the open plan allows for multiple interactions and the creation of a new dynamic business hub.
 
The 12x12 project was selected as a 2017 winner among 4,500 applicants to the Knight Cities Challenge that seeks community betterment ideas from the 26 communities where the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation invests. The grants fund ideas to make cities more vibrant places to live, work and play. Just 33 ideas, including West Palm Beach’s, were awarded grants that year.
 
“The winners will be selected by a panel of judges that are looking for innovative and creative business concepts that can complement the existing business ecosystem of Clematis Street,” said Raphael Clemente, Executive Director of the West Palm Beach DDA.
 
A series of pods ranging in a variety of different sizes that can expand and have full access to large shared common areas for events and programming to emerge from the winning businesses. Everyone will benefit from the open shared common areas, such as a flex space for music, theater, pop-up movies or even a runway show and a children’s indoor play park, that can be used for special events that will activate the space and generate a new type of client that is looking for a unique shopping and dining experience.
 
“By subdividing the space into smaller square footages and providing business and marketing support along with an initial reduction of rent costs, it allows for businesses to establish themselves under The Thoroughfare market-style space, preparing them for long-term success,” added Chris Roog, Director of Economic Development, City of West Palm Beach.
 
As a winner, the first two months of rent are free and many of the startup costs related to opening a business will be covered by the 12x12 business program. Pods will start at $1250 a month and increase to market rate over time. All lease agreements will be done directly with the landlord, who is looking to implement a new type of rental system very similar to co-working spaces, such as WeWork, but tailored to retail, office services, culinary and other business concepts.
 
For more information and to apply visit www.12x12wpb.com. On social media, the 12x12 project will use the hashtags #12x12wpb and #knightcities.
 
 
Pictures of the Architectural renderings can be found here:
Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n58vyei8sab89r3/AABBWc0pfpxFeLcKst6BYvbXa?dl=0
 
A video describing the project can be found here:
Dropbox:https://www.dropbox.com/s/nfizk8bp4phpmkm/12x12%20to%20Boost%20Businesses%20on%20Clematis.mp4?dl=0
YouTube: https://youtu.be/QuUqFb4jLuA
 
Social media accounts for 12x12 can be found here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/12x12wpb
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/12x12wpb/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/12x12wpb
 
About the City of West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a vibrant, resilient, inclusive and safe world-class city. The City of West Palm Beach partners with our communities to preserve and enhance quality of life through an extraordinary focus on service. West Palm Beach is a 4-STAR certified city.  For more information, visit wpb.org.
 
About the Downtown Development Authority
The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities. For more information about the DDA or Downtown West Palm Beach, visit downtownwpb.com or call the DDA at (561) 833-8873.
 
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit knightfoundation.org.
 
About the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Nationally recognized as one of the most innovative CRAs in the country, the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) sets the standard for redevelopment through award-winning marketing and branding campaigns, events and attractive business incentive programs.  The mission of the WPB CRA is to enhance the viability, long-term stability and the overall economic health of the Downtown City Center and Northwood/Pleasant City districts, core areas in the City of West Palm Beach.  For more about the WPB Community Redevelopment Agency, visit wpb.org/cra.
 
Contact:
Tony Theissen, Senior Brand Manager/Media Strategist
(561) 602-1096

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