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MULTIPLE DOWNTOWNS? Why it could happen in North Port

City leaders are considering it; supporters say the designations would boost the local economy and save taxpayers money.
North Port
Posted at 10:51 PM, Apr 04, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. — A downtown in any city can contribute to job growth, a sense of identity, and so much more.

North Port is growing quickly. It even has its own committed professional journalist from Fox 4 (that's me, Victoria Scott, your North Port Community Correspondent!)

And I got some insight Thursday into how more than one downtown could be coming to North Port. City leaders say they want to create environments that serve as a central hub for residents.

North Port Director of Development Services Alaina Ray said Toledo Blade and Price Boulevards in addition to Toledo Blade and I-75 are a couple of possibilities.

Ray said the land is available, and since it's visible from the highway, it could help draw more people into North Port.

Downtown areas could also help alleviate traffic and provide more money from businesses that set up shop.

"People who are able to get their needs met further east, would not have to drive on Price," Ray said. "We also capture that tax revenue that we don't get now. For every business that develops here and builds here, we get tax revenue from those property taxes and different revenue streams that we don't get when those businesses are in Sarasota, or Venice, or Port Charlotte."

City officials said they're working hard behind the scenes to bring new businesses to the area. They told me they hoped to share some more information soon.