NAIOP – AIA Luncheon

Former Charlotte mayor to Downtown advocates: ‘You have to keep trying’

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer for Financial News & Daily Record

Harvey Gantt, an architect, urban planner and former two-term mayor of Charlotte, N.C., was in Jacksonville Tuesday for a repeat performance of a presentation he made last year to the delegation that traveled to North Carolina on the annual JAX Chamber trip.

He addressed a joint meeting of the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and NAIOP, the Northeast Florida Commercial Real Estate Development Association of developers, owners and professionals of commercial, industrial and mixed-use real estate.
You heard something in Charlotte you wanted me to say again,” said Gantt.

Upon graduating in 1965 with a degree in architecture from Clemson University, Gantt was hired by a firm that had a contract to develop a master plan for Charlotte’s urban renewal.

The plan was delivered a year later, he said, and Charlotte has revised its plans about every 10 years since.

Gantt said one key element of Charlotte’s success was involving the business community in the effort.

“It was important to get the movers and shakers to buy in,” he said. “If you’re a business enjoying the benefits of the community, you’ve got to keep it going.”
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