Communication Builds Our Community

Articles written by Robin Gibson


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  • Good News: Onward and Upward

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Feb 11, 2021

    This is the 13th installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. 2020 is been a bummer. It's time for some good news for 2021. We've got it. Dover-Kohl's "Lake Wales Connected" plan is coming off the drawing boards. It will be going out for bids this Spring. The pretty pictures you've seen -- in reality they are only promises. This summer the shovels...

  • Olmsted Heritage: Unrealized Asset

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Oct 7, 2020

    This is the twelfth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. is recognized as the founder of the profession of landscape architecture. In the late 1800s he set a standard of excellence that continues to influence landscape architecture today. His two sons carried on and expanded the legendary work of the Olmsted firm wel...

  • Becoming a Destination: The Economic Facts of Life

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Aug 19, 2020

    This is the eleventh installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. Nations strive for a positive trade balance, where they sell more products than they buy, thereby receiving increased capital and creating a higher standard of living for their citizens. The same holds true for any economic unit. Let's take Lake Wales downtown for example. It's a...

  • Trees Trees Trees

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Jul 30, 2020

    This is the tenth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. Best Bang for the Buck Trees are the best. Their mere presence improves individual property values. Collectively they improve the town's tax base as a whole. The improved value comes from the purchaser's desire to buy the advantages of appearance and aesthetics. Not only do trees...

  • Design Creates Value

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Jul 15, 2020

    This is the ninth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. Victor Dover and his co-author have poured their careers as town planners into what has become the definitive handbook entitled Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns. The book recounts the history and experience of a wide range of different situations across the globe that...

  • The Private Sector Component

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Jul 2, 2020

    This is the eighth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the private enterprise segment of a successful community redevelopment effort. Florida's Community Redevelopment Act illustrates the point. The very first section of the Act is entitled "Encouragement of private enterprise." The Community...

  • The Northwest Neighborhood

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Jun 24, 2020

    This is the seventh installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. The Dover-Kohl plan is much more than an update of the well-worn 1973 improvements to Downtown. The plan covers the town's historic core. It is thorough, comprehensive, and doable. The entire plan can be viewed at: https://www.doverkohl.com/lakewales. Appropriately named "Lake Wales...

  • Potential Trouble Spot

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated Jun 10, 2020

    This is the sixth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. First, let's talk about where we are headed, and next, about one of the trouble spots we may confront in getting there. Where We're Headed. The Dover-Kohl plan, entitled "Lake Wales Connected," is a comprehensive plan for the revitalization of the Lake Wales historic core. It connects...

  • Community Redevelopment Agency: How It's Supposed to Work

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated May 26, 2020

    This is the second installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Robin Gibson is a city commissioner and deputy mayor, who chairs the Lake Wales Community Redevelopment Agency.A Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a proven commodity adopted in 44 states and over 220 areas in Florida. CRAs can be the vehicle for spectacular success or they can be badly abused. Succeeding articles will cover Lake Wales' history of CRA mistakes, lessons learned, and the way we can turn...

  • What's so Hot About Dover-Kohl?

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated May 26, 2020

    This is the fifth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. Dover, Kohl & Partners is an internationally known town planning firm working out of South Miami. Among their many achievements are nationally recognized revitalizations of traditional communities much like Lake Wales. Victor Dover is co-author of the definitive work on the subject...

  • Walesbilt Hotel Saga: Lessons Learned

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated May 26, 2020

    This is the fourth installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as deputy mayor and chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. The purpose of this article and the previous article on the Longleaf Business Park is to heed the lessons learned in those projects as the City pursues community redevelopment in the future. Now the Hotel: The City in 2008 acquired title to the Grand Hotel, originally the Dixie...

  • Longleaf Saga: Lessons Learned

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated May 26, 2020

    This is the third installment in the Lake Wales Renaissance series. Lake Wales City Commissioner Robin Gibson serves as deputy mayor and chairman of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. CRA Created. Lake Wales formed its own Community Redevelopment Agency in 1985. The original purpose was to build on the downtown improvements completed in 1973 by capturing the benefits coming from the CRA's unique Tax Increment Financing tool. (The difference between property values befo...

  • Dover Kohl Plan

    Robin Gibson, Contributing Writer|Updated May 26, 2020

    I would like to thank Lake Wales News.Net for allowing me to become a guest columnist. The City Commission, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, has unanimously adopted what is known as the "Dover Kohl Plan." The Plan, entitled "Lake Wales Connected," will serve to redevelop the historic core of our town – by connecting the Town and Bok Tower, building connections between Downtown and the Northwest Neighborhood, and between Lake Wailes and the Downtown. I will be w...

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