WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 19, 2019) – An exciting mix of new retailers and food vendors have been named the winners of the 12×12 business competition for prime retail space at reduced rents in Downtown West Palm Beach. The finalists selected include After 5 Lux; Bubbly Boba; Cider Doughnuts; Dina’s Vegan Deli; Dreamallows; The Grow; ODDFELLOWS Interesting Clothing for Interesting Men; Pumphouse Coffee Roasters; and You Farm. Lease negotiations are currently underway for them to officially set up shop in a striking new shared storefront on Clematis Street.
“The 12×12 initiative has provided a wonderful way for the city to recruit and retain small businesses,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “This new market space has created an opportunity for entrepreneurs to acquire storefront space in a highly visible location on Clematis Street, while also adding an exciting new shopping and dining experience to Downtown.”
More than 50 small businesses originally applied for the competition, which was launched last year through a collaboration between the City of West Palm Beach, the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), and West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Partially funded by a grant from the Knight Cities Challenge, the 12×12 project was designed to find a collection of interesting businesses for a dynamic new 14,000-sq. ft. shared open space at 314 Clematis Street, to be called the Thoroughfare.
The market-style space will feature designated retail pods and micro pop-up shops along the inside perimeter. The selected winners are After 5 Lux, which offers chic, contemporary women’s apparel at an affordable price; Bubbly Boba, serving a variety of bubble tea flavors and desserts; West Palm Beach GreenMarket favorite Cider Doughnuts; Dina’s Vegan Deli, a plant-based delicatessen and dessert shop offering vegan versions of Philly cheesesteaks, gyros and Italian hoagies created by Dina Lauro, founder of vegan snack brand Chunkie Dunkies; men’s new and vintage boutique ODDFELLOWS Interesting Clothing for Interesting Men; Pumphouse Coffee Roasters, serving espresso, coffee, cold brew beverages, specialty teas and artisan pastries; and You Farm, a provider of hydroponic and traditional grown vegetables and herbs. Featured along the perimeter will be hand-crafted stuffed marshmallow company Dreamallows and GROW, a succulent box to go.
“The businesses selected are a perfect complement to the existing business ecosystem of Clematis Street,” said Raphael Clemente, Executive Director of the West Palm Beach DDA. “Our panel of judges and volunteers carefully evaluated each candidate and their business plans to identify the most viable concepts to launch in this exciting new, commercial hub in a highly visible location on Clematis Street.”
The 12×12 judges included Ana Caballero, owner of Thoroughfare; Hess Musallet, owner of Field of Greens; and Kazia Marczyk, local business owner and financial advisor. The semi-finalists were required to develop business and marketing plans, and were assisted throughout the process by volunteer mentors from SCORE, Pathos, Two Fish, Colleen Dupont, and Professor Jesse Saginor from Florida Atlantic University.
The ground-floor space is undergoing significant renovations and is set to open next year. The competition winners will receive many benefits, including 12 months of reduced rent, initial marketing and advertising services, professional development training and three large-scale events to promote and drive traffic to the space.
“When Thoroughfare takes its place at center stage among Clematis District businesses, it will serve as a defining element of the destination’s experience and be a powerful catalyst for sweeping change among other retailers,” added Chris Roog, Director of Economic Development, City of West Palm Beach.
For more information on the 12×12 program, visit www.12x12wpb.com.
About the City of West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a vibrant, resilient, inclusive and safe world-class city. The City of West Palm Beach partners with our communities to preserve and enhance quality of life through an extraordinary focus on service. West Palm Beach is a 4-STAR certified city. For more information, visit wpb.org.
About the Downtown Development Authority
The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities. For more information about the DDA or Downtown West Palm Beach, visit downtownwpb.com or call the DDA at (561) 833-8873.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit knightfoundation.org.
About the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Nationally recognized as one of the most innovative CRAs in the country, the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) sets the standard for redevelopment through award-winning marketing and branding campaigns, events and attractive business incentive programs. The mission of the WPB CRA is to enhance the viability, long‐term stability and the overall economic health of the Downtown City Center and Northwood/Pleasant City districts, core areas in the City of West Palm Beach. For more about the WPB Community Redevelopment Agency, visit wpb.org/cra.