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What We Do: 

Columbia is leading the state in downtown development with South Carolina's first Business Improvement District (BID). City Center Partnership was formed to manage Columbia's downtown BID in the 36-block area bounded by Gervais, Elmwood, Assembly and Marion streets. The organization provides public space management, economic development, marketing services, and public advocacy for downtown Columbia.  The Board of Directors oversee the organization's mission — to focus on filling vacancies in commercial properties, retaining existing downtown businesses and recruiting new ones, expanding the downtown residential base, and creating a safe, clean, and friendly downtown environment.

Our staff:

Matt Kennell
President and CEO

Matt Kennell has worked in urban development and management for almost thirty years in a variety of roles including City Planner, Main Street Manager, Community Development Manager, and in Business Improvement District (BID) management in Florida, Virginia, and South Carolina. He is a graduate of Christopher Newport University in Virginia and Florida Atlantic University where he earned his MPA degree in Environmental Growth Management

He currently serves as the President and CEO of the City Center Partnership in Columbia, SC which provides public space management, economic development, retail recruitment, homeless outreach, public advocacy and planning. Since the Columbia BID was formed in 2002, three new office towers have been constructed, office and residential occupancy has increased, two new hotels have been developed, parking has improved, a comprehensive homeless services facility has opened its doors, and retailers are returning to South Carolina's Main Street. This represents almost $500 Million in private, taxable investment in the area.

Matt has served on the International Downtown Association (IDA) Board of Directors, is a former President of the Virginia Downtown Development Association, and is a founding member of the ULI South Carolina Center for Sustainable Leadership and is on the Midlands Executive Committee for the organization. He is a founding board member of the Midlands Housing Alliance, and is on the boards of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Film Society, and the Capital City Club. Matt also represents the Carolina's as the Public Alliance Chairman for the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is a member of the Columbia Rotary Club and Chapin United Methodist Church.

He is married and has two college age daughters.

Karel Givens
Vice President, Administration & Development

Lorri-Ann Carter 
Director of Marketing

Jenna Bridgers
Vice President - Recruitment

Hazel Stokes
Administrative Assistant
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