May 2013 Meeting Review

May 2013 Meeting Review

“The Anatomy of Cool”

Presented by: Kevin Dick, Director of Downtown Durham Economic Development Projects, and Matthew Coppedge, Director of the Downtown Durham Inc.

Review by Jamie Newell, Timmons Group

IFMA Triangle happily welcomed Kevin and Matthew as they presented on the transformation of downtown Durham over the past 20 years.  Together they discussed the “vision of a cool city” that has developed and how Durham was able to make it happen by creating a live, work, and play environment.  Kevin’s role is to convince City Council that public private partnerships will work to bring in business to the city and that contributing tax revenue to a project is beneficial.  He explained the different grants that exist and how Durham will match $1.00 to every $2.00 invested.

Downtown Durham has been a catalyst for startup businesses as American Underground is home to 30 startups, most of which began as just a simple food truck business.  Matthew explained the campaign they created to gain National attention towards Durham called the Bull City Start Up Stampede.  Their motto is “Run With It.”  To support this, Matthew introduced their concept of the “SMOFFICE” http://thesmoffice.com/, which just happens to be the world’s smallest office.  He gave details of his trip to Doha, Qatar, where they competed in “World’s Most Innovative Chamber Project” against many other amazing projects and walked away with an award that the United States had never won before.

If you were present at this meeting, you left knowing that Durham really is a “cool” city that has come a long way but hasn’t stopped growing yet.  Kevin and Matthew closed the meeting by welcoming any public private partnership ideas, stating that Durham has visions of 700 new residential units within the next 3 years and plans to triple the amount of hotel rooms that are currently available.