In renderings, downtown West Palm Beach is greener and more walkable. An investment there, makes the city more attractive for businesses, says Downtown Development Authority Executive Director, Raphael Clemente.
“Downtown is seeing incredible momentum in investment and growth,” Clemente said.
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio noted there’s close to a billion dollars in development, including one million the city plans to spend on trees alone.
The change means police will be adapting too.
“We’re going to have to grow with it,” West Palm Beach Police Chief Sarah Mooney said.
She says in budget talks she is vying to invest more in crime prevention technology in the downtown area: Expanding its license plate reader systems and adding more cameras.
“We’re getting really good at solving things with what we have but if we can add to our tool-belt so to speak, I think that we’re going to do a better job and (it will be) a little bit easier for us to predict things before they happen and to get ahead of them,” she said.
They are also part of the conversation with road redesigns-making sure things like ballards are in place to prevent a car or truck from jumping the sidewalk.
Ballards are part of the Clematis Street redesign.
“Of course safety is a huge one for us and anytime we do a project like that, it’s perfect to have us at the table because we can put our wish list together,” she said.
She also wants to add more officers, in addition to the recently DDA funded officer.
“Down the road, ultimately, more population down here, we’re going to have to get a little bit bigger and you are going to have to increase the manpower,” she said.
There’s also a mobility study going on, which could recommend doing away with one-way streets in the downtown area.