Published in the Tampa Bay Times this morning:
Clearwater downtown blueprint ignores Church of Scientology, the 'elephant in the room'
CLEARWATER — The latest downtown revitalization plan unveiled this week calls for walkable green spaces and a bustling town square peppered with outdoor dining and retail shops to fill the vacant storefronts.
But the 146-page blueprint the city paid consultants nearly $400,000 to write makes no mention of the Church of Scientology's future implications on downtown revival as the largest property owner and an international institution with a $917 million economic impact locally, according to one study.
Since first arriving in Clearwater in 1975, the Church of Scientology has accumulated $250 million in real estate, occupying whole blocks of downtown and building its worldwide spiritual headquarters steps from City Hall.
Full Article: http://www.tampabay.com/news/sciento...ephant/2312148