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EXPERT URGES COALITION FOR CITY RENEWAL

Though city business and political leaders are doing many things right to revitalize downtown Jamestown, they need to work more in concert for better results.

This was the message to the community from Norman Mintz of Corning, known as the "Main Street" consultant, who spent a day and a half in Jamestown, winding up his visit Tuesday.

After meeting with several groups and organizations, he shared his preliminary findings with about 70 people Tuesday during a two-hour forum in Consistory Auditorium.

Mintz said he is impressed with Jamestown residents.

"I've met more enthusiastic people than one can imagine. This has just been terrific. It's been from one meeting to another, and everyone has been just so terrific and very warm," he said. "But most of all, (they're) just very receptive and really wanting to do the right thing and see things happen in Jamestown."

Steven Centi, the city's director of development, said he agreed with much of what Mintz had to say.

"One good point that he brought up is you really can't concentrate all your development activity in just one area, because there are a number of different venues, there's a lot of different projects that are on the verge of happening and are in the planning stages," Centi said. "I do agree with him in terms of preservation of buildings."

Mintz, who specialized in improving facades in Corning, believes in preserving buildings -- especially those of architectural significance. Centi added that while much attention has been paid to the ice arena project on the West Side, that cannot be viewed as the single project that will save downtown Jamestown.

John Sember of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce said Mintz reaffirmed a lot of things local business groups are trying to do.

"To have an expert come in and tell us that we are on the right track -- that's heartening for everyone," Sember said.

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