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West Palm Beach looking to change retail experience downtown

Posted: 8:14 PM, Jul 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-20 09:08:04-04
West Palm Beach looking to change retail experience downtown

West Palm Beach city leaders are looking to change the retail experience downtown.

It's called the Thoroughfare and eventually, it will house 12 different businesses in a market-style setting. The goal is to get smaller unique businesses on Clematis.

For Chef John Carlino his business is his baby.

"I get recognized as the donut guy," he said.

For 14 years Carlino has bounced around different outdoor markets selling his cider donuts. He says over the years he's built up a bit of a fan base.

"Every week is where is your store that's always the biggest question," Carlino said.

Soon he's hoping to have an answer. Carlino is one of 26 small business owners vying for a spot on Clematis.

"This is the first time anything like this is done in the city," Sherryl Muriente said.

It's called the 12x12 project. Where 12 local businesses will be chosen to set up shop in a 14,000 square foot shared open space. The winners of the competition will receive 12 months of reduced rent, marketing, and advertising.

"I would say this might be the future of retail," Muriente said.

Muriente is with the Downtown Development Authority. She believes this new innovative space might be the answer to fill the vacancies on Clematis Street.

"So, if you subdivide them into the smaller spaces it's easier to rent out and it's easier also for people to be sustainable," she said.

The winners of the competition will be chosen in October. Muriente said they hope to open the market in the Spring 2019.