Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cool Town Studios economic development firm

Here's a group that may relate to who we are, and, more importantly, they might be good consultant types that could quickly see what our city needs. Of course, that's the product they're selling. Wonder if it works. They're called "Cool Town Studios."

From their website:

"CoolTown Studios is the 'weekdaily' newsite blog of CoolTown Beta Communities, which focuses on implementation (see diagram here) as a crowdsource-based placemaking and economic development firm committed to codeveloping natural cultural districts for creatives, by creatives. This newssite blog (and only the blog!) is a free public service (including all 1200+ archived entries) toward building better places to live/work/play.

(Probably can't make much of this photo on the blog; go their cite to see it better.)

"Who are we?

"Neil Takemoto is the founding director of CoolTown Beta Communities, a crowdsource-based placemaking and economic development firm codeveloping natural cultural districts with creatives. His work over the last 14 years has been committed to the development of places with significant economic, environmental and social benefit, currently working in Syracuse, New Orleans and Washington DC.

"Neil is the founder of CoolTown Studios, a ‘crowdsourcing cool places for creatives’ blog/news site that attracts 30,000 unique visitors a month. It has been featured in Architect Magazine and the ULI’s annual developers conference.

"He is also the cofounder of CoolTown Investments, linking investors with developers of urban smart growth developments for the creative class. CoolTown Investments’ partner is a capital management company with a $150M resource seeking to invest $2-$10M in equity in redevelopment projects in second/third tier cities in the eastern half of the U.S.

"With Andres Duany, Neil co-founded the National Town Builders Association in 1997, the only business trade group of Smart Growth/New Urbanism real estate developers. Prior to that, he founded a national nonprofit educational clearinghouse for the New Urbanism field.

"Kennedy Lawson Smith is an associate partner of CoolTown Studios. She is one of the nation's foremost experts on main street district revitalization and a leading authority on mom-and-pop businesses. Kennedy joined the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center in 1985 and has served as its director until 2004. Under her leadership the Main Street program assisted nearly 2,000 districts in towns and cities of all sizes across the United States and abroad, experiencing a net increase of 57,000 new businesses, 231,000 new jobs, and attracting more than $17 billion in new investment. In March 2002, Fast Company magazine named her to its first-ever list of Fast 50 Champions of Innovation, recognizing creative thinkers whose sense of style and power of persuasion change what our world looks like and how our products perform."

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