Scientology Plans Control of Downtown Clearwater, Florida for Retail Makeover

CLEARWATER, Fla. (Tampa Bay Times) The Church of Scientology is maneuvering to control all downtown real estate to create a master retail district that will operate under its management and oversight.

The plan, according to two city officials briefed by Scientology leader David Miscavige, requires all property from Osceola to Myrtle avenues between Drew and Pierce streets being bought by the church, its parishioners or others willing to participate.

The concept involves recruiting a few major national retailers to anchor the district and filling the grid with handpicked businesses all at one time, similar to how an outdoor mall is established, said Community Redevelopment Agency director Seth Taylor and City Manager Bill Horne, who in October were shown renderings of the retail strategy by Miscavige but not given copies.

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