Implementation of Community’s Retail Vision Proving Effective
2010-10-01 · By Editor
A community-based plan designed to help recruit new retail businesses to Downtown Long Beach is delivering substantial results just months after its implementation began according to a report released by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA).
Earlier this year, the DLBA, in partnership with the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA), held a series of community workshops with the goal of formulating an attainable retail vision and strategic plan for Downtown Long Beach. Called ‘Retail Visioning,’ the project was also designed to align the work programs for the industries and organizations involved in retail recruitment, strengthen Downtown’s retail environment, and clarify the process of recruiting new retail businesses to Downtown.
The final plan, available for download via the DLBA’s website, includes a detailed summary of Downtown’s current retail economy, an overview of the public process used to outline the community’s vision for Downtown retail in 2015, and strategies for positioning retail sectors in Downtown Long Beach within a regional marketplace. Most importantly, it also included a 32-item implementation plan that will help direct the efforts of the many partnering agencies involved in retail recruitment.
“As a Co-Chair of the Steering Committee, I was provided the opportunity to participate in both the high-level, long-term planning as well as the immediate, on-the-ground discussions about what the Downtown community envisioned for itself and how we might get there,” said Economic Development Task Force member, Loara Cadavona. “Through that first-hand experience, I can say with confidence that this group did its homework in devising a sustainable and realistic plan to help prepare our community for substantial retail investment.”
Since the conclusion of the public process in March, the DLBA and its partners on the project’s Steering Committee and elsewhere immediately began working on a number of items included in the plan’s implementation plan. Significant progress has been made on more than a dozen of the action items, including but not limited to the development of a new national advertisement on Downtown retail opportunities, extensive new business welcome banners and grand opening assistance programs, business acumen expansion programs for existing businesses the development of new retail recruitment collateral.
Additionally, recruitment activities have yielded several new businesses that help to fulfill and advance the positioning recommendations included in the report. A tracking tool within the final plan includes further details and status updates for each of the 32 items that have reached significant progress milestones.
“The collaborative energy and shared desire for improvement resulted in a public process that proved to be both cathartic and inspiring,” said DLBA President and Chief Executive Officer, Kraig Kojian. “The final report provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges that we face in working to better the Downtown retail environment. As our progress updates demonstrate, the partners involved in implementation have wasted no time in helping the community achieve its vision.”
Kojian continued by noting that, while significant strides have been made, the process of improving Downtown’s retail environment is not a sprint, but rather a marathon that requires the continued commitment of all partners involved to reach the finish line together.
The Downtown Long Beach Associates is a non-profit organization operating on behalf of the property owners and tenants of the Business Improvement District. It is dedicated to the management, marketing, security, maintenance, advocacy, and economic and community development of the assessment districts in cooperation with the City of Long Beach and the private sector. For additional information, please see the Downtown Long Beach Associates website.