The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to thoughtful growth and urban redevelopment. The Partnership’s mission is to champion community prosperity through purposeful, transformative projects.
The Partnership focuses on big-picture, long-rage issues and works to form a shared vision for St. Pete's future, inspired by global thought leadership, national best practices and local sensibilities. It recognizes the relationship between successful cities and green space, diversity, higher education, art, transit, data-based decisions and a balanced approach to equitable and economically sustainable development. It is nimble, thoughtful, future-focused, collaborative and humble. The Partnership's members include business leaders, public officials and community partners who are committed to growth that enhances the culture and distinct sense of place that defines this special place.
More than 50 years ago, the organization acquired the land to build the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus. It has continued to provide support for the higher education through scholarships and endowed professorships. It also acted as the developer for the U.S. Geologic Survey’s St. Petersburg’s lab space and continues to provide property management services for this project.
In the late 1990s the Partnership became the designated transportation organization for downtown St. Petersburg and operates a free trolley service circulator called the Downtown Looper with support from the City of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Agency. It also provides charter services for Tampa Bay Rays baseball games, the St. Petersburg Grand Prix and many other private events.
The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership helped establish and provide initial startup funds to the Innovation District and it continues to be one of the main funders and supporter of this important initiative. The Partnership was also among the first groups to fund gallery space in the Warehouse Arts District and provided gap funding for the District’s new education center.
Its current work includes Car-Free St. Pete - an initiative to encourage alternative transportation in the downtown area. And private sector leadership in the City’s Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative to support equitable redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site. It is helping to fund the Deuces/WADA Ignite program and supporting USF St. Petersburg Campus maintain distinct identity as an urban college setting with strategic and distinctive academic programs.
The Partnership also works closely with its government relations partners in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. on projects and policies that will benefit the urban center. Other projects include a Comprehensive Arts Strategy with the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, thought leadership on high impact workspace development, support for higher education and media partnerships to tell the St. Pete story, creating a narrative and brand to help shape future development.
St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership
Jason Mathis serves as the CEO of the Downtown Partnership in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida. The Partnership is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to thoughtful growth and urban redevelopment. The Partnership’s mission is to champion community prosperity through purposeful, transformative projects.
Jason has a long history of success in nonprofit management and urban development. His professional experience spans 25 years in communication, coalition building, public policy and business advocacy. Jason has a strong record of advancing high-profile issues in complex public settings and he excels as uniting diverse stakeholders around a common vision.
In addition to his work with the Partnership, Jason also serves in board leadership positions at the St. Petersburg Innovation District and The St. Pete Group. Jason is part of the St. Petersburg cohort for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative focused on equitable redevelopment of Tropicana Field. Jason has also served on the St. Petersburg Grow Smarter Steering Committee and was a member of the original Emerging Leaders Fellowship program with the International Downtown Association. In 2013, Jason was named a White House Champion of Change for the Utah Compact, a family-focused, business-friendly approach to immigration reform.
From 2008 until August 2018, Jason served as the Executive Director of the Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance and simultaneously as Executive Vice President of the Salt Lake Chamber. In addition, he has also worked in communication, branding and marketing efforts for nonprofit healthcare organizations and in the travel, ski and convention industries.