Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

CURA Names New Director

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

CURA Names New Director

Article excerpt

The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority introduced its new executive director at its meeting Wednesday. Ron Butlin, 59, recently left his position as the executive director of the Downtown Improvement Board in Pensacola, Florida.

A native of Southern California, Butlin has about 30 years of experience working in real estate lending and downtown revitalization.

His background includes several years as a vice president and manager of Wells Fargo Bank, where he handled lending for commercial construction projects.

Butlin also spent four years in Colorado Springs as executive director of the city's Downtown Partnership, which included marketing its business improvement district and economic development group.

In Pensacola, the organization Butlin headed managed programs for marketing, beautification, safety, transportation and economic development.

Former CURA executive director Jim Edwards is showing Butlin the ropes for the next several days.

"You guys have done some exciting stuff, and I couldn't be happier to be involved going forward, Butlin told the board.

CURA also voted on Wednesday to donate a piece of property on the West Side to the city of Charleston.

Cpl. Errol Randle, the Charleston Police Department's strategic planning officer and head of Project West Invest, proposed a new park in the 1200 block of Washington Street West, at the corner of Beatrice Street.

CURA owns the property, which is just under four-tenths of an acre.

Randle showed the board renderings of the new park created by ZMM Architects. It would have playground equipment for children, but also a concrete walking trail around the park's perimeter.

Randle pointed to a report released earlier this year by the Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action (KISRA), which found that almost half of the West Side residents who were surveyed have hypertension.

A walking trail would give those residents a place to get active in their own neighborhood, he said.

"Our kids need places to play and call theirs and be excited about. …

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