DJDC, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. Join Forces

The Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. and Jamestown Renaissance Corp. are combining resources under a single board and management to more effectively work to better downtown Jamestown and its surrounding neighborhoods.

The organization will continue to focus on implementing the Urban Design and Neighborhood Revitalization plans, a robust slate of downtown events and developing the downtown area. The consolidation took effect recently, with DJDC board members invited to become members of the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. board.

“The creation of a unified organization born from these two strong organizations will set the stage for a united vision and mission, synergy of efforts, greater efficiencies, and the achievement of a high level of performance towards the renaissance and the vibrancy of Jamestown,” said Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. co-chairperson. “Setting the stage and aligning talents with organizational functions speaks well for the future of Jamestown. Thanks are in order for the two boards who have been working hard for at least a year to provide a thoughtful conclusion to the combined strategic planning efforts.”

The new structure will create a more efficient organization that still addresses the needs of downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. The DJDC’s focus on downtown revitalization is a natural fit with the Renaissance Corporation’s charge to implement the Urban Design Plan. The DJDC will remain in existence as a single-purpose entity that owns the Jamestown Gateway Station.

“It is our hope that creating one downtown organization will result in one clear vision for the downtown of the future,” said John Whittaker, DJDC board president. “We hope all of those who have contributed to the DJDC’s work over the years will continue to participate in the events that bring vitality to Jamestown and to contribute their wisdom and expertise to the new organization.”

Businesses who contributed to the DJDC as members can still contribute to former DJDC events as event sponsors or participate on the Jamestown Renaissance Corp.’s Events and Activities Advisory Committee.

In addition to the combination of organizations, several staff members have been hired. They include:

Tiffani Conti, former DJDC special events coordinator, who will serve as the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. events and marketing associate.

Jim Goodling, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. downtown project associate, who spent 10 years as the director of planning and code enforcement in Corning, N.Y., and recently worked at CHRIC.

Mary Maxwell, the new neighborhood project associate, who has been a leader in her Westside neighborhood for several years and is coming to the JRC from the Prendergast Library.

Frank Besse joined the JRC in December as an office administrator and will assist with a wide range of special projects.

“Considerable progress has been made in downtown Jamestown in recent years,” said Peter Lombardi, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. executive director. “The JRC is looking forward to building on that progress and establishing exciting new partnerships to advance revitalization throughout the city.”

Lee Harkness, former DJDC executive director, has taken a new position as general manager of the Gateway Station. Harkness will be in charge of day-to-day operations in the renovated train station.

“We would be looking to make the renovated train station a world-class facility, making it a destination in its own right,” Harkness said. “It’s another great asset for Jamestown.”