Consolidation to Produce Greater Synergy and Focus With Events and Development
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The boards of both the Downtown Lexington Corporation and the Lexington Downtown Development Authority have approved a plan to create one umbrella organization for downtown Lexington that unifies all activities that develop and promote the heart of our city.
The new organization will be called the Downtown Lexington Partnership.
The Downtown Lexington Corporation (DLC) has been marketing its members and the downtown experience for almost three decades. The Lexington Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) has been coordinating downtown economic development and helping guide public projects for 15 years. While the roles and responsibilities of these organizations are well defined for those directly involved, for many outside the agencies those roles are not as clear. This consolidation is designed to provide a greater focus to those efforts, officials with both boards said about the recently approved merger.
An executive committee of the Downtown Lexington Partnership has already been appointed by the boards of the DLC and LDDA and is working on the consolidation plans. Steve Grossman, Sr. Vice President of Hilliard-Lyons, is serving as chairman of the executive committee for the consolidated board.
“While we certainly hope there will be staffing and operational efficiencies, this initiative is not intended to be a cost-saving effort,” Grossman said. “Our belief is that of 1 + 1 = 3, meaning combining the work product of both LDDA and DLC will generate results that enhance the efforts of the individual organizations. Our intent, our hope is to consolidate the downtown mission and leverage the resources of both organizations to better serve downtown, its businesses, residents and other stakeholders.”
The Partnership executive committee has contracted with Alan Stein of SteinGroup to serve as interim executive director of the new organization. Stein will be working with the executive committee and staffs of the LDDA and DLC to consolidate the operations, identify a new office location, and develop a job description for the permanent executive director position.
The Board of Directors of the Downtown Lexington Partnership will consist of all members of the boards of DLC and the LDDA. The executive committee includes five members from both the DLC and LDDA boards. In addition to Grossman, the members are Kevin Atkins, John Gohmann, Paula Hanson, Tom Harris, Paul Johnson, Steve Kelly, Woodford Webb, Lawrence Wetherby, and Mary Beth Wright.
With the creation of the Downtown Lexington Management District, which is intended to enhance the safety, beautification and marketing of downtown, there is even more incentive to combine efforts and resources. Additionally, the city -- and its agencies such as Lexington Police and Parks -- plays an important role in the life of downtown Lexington. DLC currently has an agreement to oversee the operations of the Management District. This new, combined partnership organization will be better positioned to help coordinate all downtown development, marketing and event activities.
“This new partnership is an opportunity to provide one portal for everything downtown. From the developer looking for a downtown location to the family trying to find out what time the parade starts – one phone number, one web site, one mission,” Grossman said. “We believe we can serve the members of DLC and all the downtown constituencies even better under this model. Just imagine a staff working in collaboration on economic issues, event management, commercial and residential development, business partnerships, public spaces, and development of completely new ventures.”