Eye Shop Earns Clearwater's First Downtown Development Board Retail and Restaurant Grant

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Special taxing district, DDB, demonstrates confidence in the Eye Shop by giving boutique maximum grant funding.

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As the Cleveland Street District continues to thrive and more business owners see the opportunities of opening a business on Cleveland Street, we anticipate that more exceptional businesses like Eye Shop will apply for the DDB grant

On May 17, the Eye Shop, the new full-service destination for designer prescription eyewear in downtown Clearwater, became the first business to receive the Downtown Development Board (DDB) Retail and Restaurant Recruitment Grant. The DDB voted unanimously to award the grant’s maximum retail match funding of $35,000 to the boutique. The Board and business owner’s combined $70,000 helped produce the shop’s sleek, modern interior.

“The grant’s review committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Eye Shop’s application and were impressed with their business plan, interior design plans, plans for merchandising and proof that the business is operated by successful business owners,” said Downtown Manager Courtney Orr.

The Retail and Restaurant Recruitment Grant Program is offered to reputable retailers and restaurateurs that move into a specific area of downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street District and improve the interior appearance and utility of a street-level storefront.

“The Eye Shop is a distinctive business in the Cleveland Street District that we are working to bring more of in as we create a destination downtown filled with a clustering of unique establishments. As the Cleveland Street District continues to thrive and more business owners see the opportunities of opening a business on Cleveland Street, we anticipate that more exceptional businesses like Eye Shop will apply for the DDB grant,” Orr said.

“We picked Cleveland Street because we considered it to be an ideal site,” said Eye Shop owner and operator Pamela Rowan. A gallery director who has spent the last 15 years managing The Rowan Eye Center in New Port Richey with her husband, Rowan has filled the Eye Shop with glasses and sunglasses from top American and European designers. “We’ve combined this location with highly-qualified staff, designer lenses at affordable prices and eye exams for early, accurate detection and correction of vision and eye health problems,” Rowan said. “That way, the prescription, color and style all work with the designer frame customers select, and they leave the Eye Shop feeling great about every aspect of their eyewear.”

The Eye Shop invites Clearwater residents to come see for themselves what makes the Eye Shop different. To learn more, visit http://www.eyeshopdowntown.com or call the Eye Shop at 727-755-EYES.

About the Eye Shop
Located in the retail heart of Downtown Clearwater, the Eye Shop is designed to fulfill all optical needs. Dr. Cary Rowan of the Rowan Eye Center serves as the surgical consultant for Eye Shop Downtown, while wife Pamela Rowan applies her background in art and business as the shop’s fashion and retail director. The boutique’s mission is to offer personalized service and a wide variety of high-quality, affordable eyewear and lenses. Customers can obtain eye exams and other services on-site from a team of Board-certified optometrists, or bring in existing prescriptions to be filled for eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and more. For additional information, visit http://www.eyeshopdowntown.com.

About the Downtown Develop Board
The Downtown Develop Board’s purpose is to revitalize and preserve downtown property values and prevent deterioration in the downtown business district. The board is composed of seven elected officials who help the city, the Clearwater Redevelopment Agency and citizens ensure that city services are properly planned for the downtown area. More information on the grant can be found at http://www.clevelandstreetdistrict.com.

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Karla Jo Helms
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