Good evening! My name is Larry Baker for Main Street Leasing. Thank you for coming. I look out and see a lot of familiar faces.

Our goal from the beginning has been to create and rehabilitate properties to their best use keeping the historic aspects of the town's architecture in mind. Main Street has purchased buildings that were distressed or underutilized. Many of these had been on the market for an extended period of time and were obsolete for their use. As you can see in the presentation we have created new spaces that now house thriving businesses. As the market improves, hopefully all of our properties will be home to new businesses.

Here's a little history, in 1994 we purchased the Dudek property which houses Pisces Rising. The original house is still intact and is a thriving restaurant. You can still dine in the original rooms or sit at the best bar we ever built. Connected by an arbor the Dudek carriage house was repurposed for Cecile's French Café which has resided there for 15 years. The A&E complex features eyebrow windows and the arbors, hence the name. It is made up of three shops, home to Maggie's and KaDee Kay and one is available, if anyone is looking.

 

Later we expanded the Arbors & Eyebrows complex converting a 1920's gas station into the building that now is home to Pure Aveda Salonspa and Em'z on Fifth. The historic features of Arbors & Eyebrows were carried thru in the construction.

Recently we converted two residential houses to become the Bavarian Haus German Restaurant and Gianni's Italiano Café. This entire area is now a thriving retail, restaurant and entertainment district.

 

There had been around 10 or 12 jobs on the Arbors & Eyebrows block before the conversions and new construction, now there are in excess of 100.

On the other end of town we converted what had earlier been a commercial laundry and car dealership.

In 2013 we presented the Modernism Museum of Mount Dora and the Museum Shoppe. This museum boasts a unique and expansive collection of Modernist art by some of the most iconic and significant American masters of the craft. Our current exhibit is Wharton to Wendell. This museum contributes to the allure of Mount Dora as a fine arts and craft community.

 

This complex is also the home of Fiesta Grande and on the old Rehbaum property we built retail outlets which now house Bowersock Gallery, Julianne's Coastal Cottage and In A Nutshell Miniatures.

I would like to introduce you to Glenn & Kim Gordon our newest tenants. They are opening The Spice & Tea Exchange in a couple of weeks.

5 years ago in an effort to draw shoppers and diners to Mount Dora we debuted the musical Christmas tree. At each of your place settings is an ornament that was given away to commemorate the first year. Obviously, we bought a lot of them. We gave away annual ornaments for the next three years in exchange for surveys. We continue to use this information in our leasing efforts. This spectacular tree has brought thousands of people into the area. This year we partnered with the City and sponsored the fireworks for July 3rd and a new event for New Year's Eve. Both were a huge success bringing large crowds to town.

Our dedicated family of employees are very involved in Mount Dora. Together we have served and continue to serve on numerous boards, too many to list them all. Harlow Middleton who was the founder of the Mount Dora Center for the Arts, Chairman of the Art Festival Committee (78-84), Mount Dora City Attorney and President of the Mount Dora Chamber now serves on the board of the Sarah George Charitable Trust. Eric Benzing is on the Executive Board of the Chamber, Janet Coffman serves on the CRA Advisory Board, Michell Middleton is on the Executive Board of the Center for the Arts. As most of you know I have served on almost every board in the city, and served as a councilman as well.

The current slideshow will highlight just some of the many recipients of our sponsorships, donations and support. We have supported the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce's events thru sponsorships such as The Taste of Mount Dora, Casino Night, The Business Expo, Bike Festival, Mount Dora 2015 and many more. We are proud to have given 47 scholarships to our police and fire departments for their children. Due to our efforts and support our police department has had a canine program for 8 years. In 2014 we established the Heroes Foundation to keep the canine retirement program and others viable for years to come. We continue to support Mount Dora High School in numerous fundraisers for the Boosters, Football, Baseball, Basketball and Project Graduation. We have been a major contributor to the Mount Dora Center for the Arts for several years. Click here to see our complete list.

In conclusion, Main Street Leasing has tried to be a good corporate citizen. Currently downtown MSL has created jobs for 189 people and 15 new businesses. The impact of these jobs on our downtown is significant, so is the property tax.

Our heart is in making Mount Dora the beautiful and unique community we all love, but at the same time creating and sustaining a downtown vitality. It is our intention to continue to create top quality retail spaces and entice businesses that benefit the community as a whole. We also intend to continue to enhance its image as the fine arts and craft community that it is. We will do so because our lives and families are here. We love Mount Dora.

The theme of this meeting is the economic vitality of our town. Main Street and its' tenants have been walking the walk along with the Chamber and the City to create that dynamic.

Thank you for your attention. Good night.

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