Patch Podium: Dave Eggers on Spurring Development
Each of the mayoral candidates took a moment on the Patch Podium to explain what can be done to spur development in Dunedin.
This week, we asked the candidates:
- In reference to some of the stalled developments in the city (i.e., 570 Edgewater, The Gateway Project, and Fenway), what could be done to lure and spur development in Dunedin, should you be elected?
Mayor Dave Eggers responds:
As we spur development and if done correctly, Dunedin will attract new investors and businesses in the name of economic development, jobs and quality of life improvement. Establishing Dunedin Tourism and Business Recruitment Strategic plans will enable Dunedin to begin identifying and attracting a more diverse visitor and business base. Successful implementation should include completion of our form base codes and an adjustment of our “impact fees,” all in expectations of an improving economy.
A Tourism Strategic plan will take advantage of our attractions and match them with industries that bring new visitors to Dunedin. Eco tourism is of interest as to Pinellas County and could be further enticed by specific attractions unique to Dunedin: “Dun our way.” Honeymoon Island, the Hammock and our quaint downtown, as the “railroad station to the Pinellas Trail” can be the focus of any strategic plan. Those interests coupled with the cultural and athletic entertainments along with special events make for a great way to enjoy the week.
A Business Recruitment plan will focus on the bedroom community of northern Pinellas County where businesses have been started in someone’s ”back yard.” Enticing them requires that the Patricia 25 becomes a business park allowing owners to have their businesses close to home, yet located in business friendly city. A pro business attitude will encourage new business to ask other business that have come before them. Coupling those efforts with Pinellas County Economic Development’s efforts of attracting medical and high tech could land us a company or two becoming a catalyst to the Patricia 25.
Finally, practical steps are needed to attract businesses to Dunedin. We must continue the development of the corridor plans by finalizing our form base codes bringing more flexibility where a business locates. Our codes have been redone to help any company with simplicity, clarity and more user friendliness; those companies will be assisted by staff acting as liaison between them and the building and fire departments. Our impact fees need to be reviewed for reasonableness as compared to other impact fees in our City and with other fees of other municipalities in and around our county. Inducements should be used strategically to assist in any “recruitment” that fits with our plans.
Dunedin must pursue a diverse tourism market and more businesses that will diversify our tax base and bring people and jobs to the area. More residential development will bring people to our “corridors” and in turn more of a demand for restaurants, shops and entertainment. Whether through tourism or business development, a hotel and drug/grocery store is sure to follow. The former should be pursued immediately with Fenway and Bluff options “shown off” to the industry. An improved economy will bring more tourists and businesses looking to relocate. It is a cycle that demands our readiness including an improved infrastructure, improved business cooperation, trained staff and open communication with all interest groups within Dunedin. In essence a more attractive City to others only adds to our quality of life if “Dun our way.”
See also, Bob Hackworth's response.