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Downtown Partnership gets interim CEO

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Michael Keith

Downtown Partnership gets interim CEO

Developer, downtown advocate replaces Glenn Lyons

Michael Keith, a developer and downtown advocate, will be the interim head of the Downtown Tucson Partnership, the public/private agency tasked with downtown development.

Keith will replace Glenn Lyons, who is leaving May 7 to head the Downtown Community Alliance in Des Moines, Iowa.

Keith is president of Contemporary West Development, which specializes in historic restoration and new residential development. He led the effort to prepare a comprehensive Downtown Infrastructure Study in 2007 and has been involved in several downtown renovation projects.

The development organization is funded via a special property tax assessment on private owners in the downtown Business Improvement District, and also receives public money from the City of Tucson. It provides security and cleanup services, and has been charged with attracting new businesses to the district.

"Under Glenn Lyons' leadership, the Downtown Tucson Partnership has been an integral part of the tremendous renaissance taking place Downtown," said Larry Hecker, chair of the organization's board. "We are fortunate that a person with Michael's skills, experience and knowledge stepped forward to ensure that the steadily gaining momentum of downtown revitalization will not slow."

"It seems to me, looking around the country, that there is no linear progression to how downtowns get revitalized" said Keith in a press release. "Progress happens in fits and starts, quiets down, starts up again. You can feel the surge building up again in Tucson, a vibe downtown that is really beginning to intensify. I think the Downtown Tucson Partnership, with its cross-section of businesses, developers, merchants, artists, and civic leaders, must and will play an increasingly active and visible role in this resurgence."

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