Village of the Arts residents hope new plans will change problems

jtate@bradenton.comApril 29, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Flooded streets, sparse foot traffic and seasonal clientele stunt their economic growth in the Village of the Arts business owners say.

Village of the Arts business owner Vicki Rollo hopes plans discussed at the 6 p.m. "Plan to Act" meeting Monday at the Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W, will help address the problems.

"Hopefully, with this project, things will be better," said Rollo as she was maintaining her store, Hearts Desire at 1221 12th St. W,, on a slow Thursday afternoon.

Realize Bradenton, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority and res

idents of the Village of the Arts will review possible solutions from University of South Florida students, led by Shannon Basset, assistant USF professor of architecture and urbanism. Students surveyed the area to diagnose what can be done to improve the economic climate.

This is the fifth and final meeting in the series. David Brain of New College facilitated the earlier meetings involving the ideas and concerns brought up by residents.

Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, said the final meeting will focus on plans to make the Village of the Arts a designated district with better gateway signage prompting people to know when they are in Village of the Arts.

Isham encouraged residents to attend and provide feedback. It will include more details on when stimulus plans will be implemented and how the project will be funded.

"When you address physical, social and cultural issues, you build the economy," said Isham.

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