Now that Riverwalk is complete, 14th Street West is on Bradenton's radar for improvements

mvalverde@bradenton.comNovember 13, 2012 

BRADENTON -- Bradenton is looking ahead, south actually. Now that the $6.2 million Riverwalk project is complete, the city is planning to enhance another part of town: 14th Street West.

"The 14th Street CRA is our next mission," said David Gustafson, executive director of Bradenton's Downtown Development Authority.

Bradenton will collaborate with residents, businesses and a team from local colleges and universities to develop key elements that will become part of a vision plan for the 14th Street West neighborhood.

The 14th Street area includes Village of the Arts, blocks of art galleries that also serve as the permanent residence of many artists.

A tentative timeline for a neighborhood vision workshop, follow-ups to the workshops and meetings with stakeholders has already being drafted, with meeting dates as early as January 2013.

Jayne Kocher, DDA board member, said at a meeting Tuesday that when the city was mapping out the Riverwalk renovations they worked on parameters based on the Downtown by Design: The Bradenton CRA Master Plan. It would be beneficial to have some similar guidelines that can help direct the revitalization project and make sure that everyone is visualizing the same goal, she said.

Some of the desired outcomes from the 14th Street project are physical improvements, neighborhood leadership and partnership development.

A list of partners for the revitalization project include Realize Bradenton, a non-profit that promotes downtown; Artists Guild of Manatee; New College of Florida; and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Polk, Bradenton's director of planning and community development, suggested having a panel to discuss incentives and possibilities available for businesses and those interested in relocating to the 14th Street area.

There are "some things that need to be looked at to explain to the community what's available," he said.

Bradenton is not interested in "creating a document to put on a shelf," Gustafson said about the vision plan.

"It's all about measurable results," he said.

Miriam Valverde, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@MiriamValverde.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service