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Center for Commerce, Education, and Culture (C-CEC)

Celebrating Thirty Years of the Witters Competition

CCEC selected as the 2023 Project for the 30th Annual Witter's Competition


2023 Writters Competition Preview Video

Patricia Lee, MBA, of T-Fan shares her excitement about being chosen as the project for the 2023 Witters Competition.

The Center for Commerce, Education, and Culture C-CEC) was conceived 10+ years ago as a unique Brick & Mortar, comprehensive, revenue producing project to be built in East Gainesville.  East Gainesville’s population is predominately low to moderate income African Americans.  The facility is designed to bring numerous services and retail opportunities that currently do not exist in the area.  More importantly, it will create more than 100 jobs.  The project was conceived as a result of need revealed by an East Gainesville Development Corporation entrepreneurship and microloan program that was funded by grants written and managed by CEO Patricia Lee more than a decade ago. Our current focus is to raise capital funds needed to obtain land and preconstruction costs for the C-CEC building plus current operating capital.


Project Concept: 

The current project concept includes the construction of a two-or three-story building(s) in a campus like setting. First and second floor would house the mini-mall, offices, bank and/or credit union branch(s), restaurant, daycare and auditorium/conference center. The higher education facility and dinner theater/auditorium would be the anchors. The third story would be one- and two-bedroom adult-only apartments.


Target Location: 

The current target location would be in East Gainesville on Waldo Road and 12th Avenue, 8th Avenue, University, and/or 39th Avenue. These communities house significant taxpayers but are below the radar screen of typical economic development initiatives. The establishment of the C-CEC will reduce existing economic and educational disparity by housing programs that:


Promote self-sufficiency through self employment



Enhance the quality of life through cultural and socal programs



Provide entrepreneurial, STEM, vocational, and other educational programs


Economic Development

Serve as a catalyst for economic development what will further make East Gainesville/Alachua County a better place to live, work, and play.

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