CRESTVIEW — A spokesperson from Retail Strategies, a national firm hired by the Crestview Community Redevelopment Agency, said residents soon will see the progress they have made in attracting businesses to the area.

In October 2016, the CRA partnered with Retail Strategies to bring more retailers to the community. According to Scott von Cannon, the representative from Retail Strategies, their job is to find desirable businesses.  

During the first 30 days of the contract, Retail Strategies did a market analysis of Crestview’s CRA district. By December 2016, representatives from the firm drove through the market and found 36 properties that were a best fit for retail. After day 100 of the contract, the firm presented a retail recruitment plan to the CRA board.

Marketing teams from Retail Strategies regularly attend retail trade shows across the county and attend more than 350 meetings with prospective retailers and national chains.

“We try to flush out those who are not interested in the Crestview community, and engage those who are,” von Canon said. “A lot of these national chains don’t fit the downtown [area].”

Two accomplishments the firm has achieved are recruiting a pet store, Petsense, which will employee more than 10 employees, participate in quarterly adopt-a-thons and bring in $1,000,000 in sales revenue annually. The firm has also eyed a fast food restaurant chain that will employee 25 to 30 people and bring in $1,400,000 annual revenue. That restaurant, which serves chicken, is still in the initial stages of planning; however, Petsense should open by early 2018.

Additional CRA prospects include Tin Cow, Merlin’s Pizza, Danny’s Fried Chicken, Diego’s Burrito Factory, Top’s Choice Hamburgers, McGuire’s Sushi, The Pancakery, Fresh Grease, So Stinkin’ Cute, among several others, according to the presentation.