Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., (DTSM Inc.) hopes it could learn a thing or two from the City of Denver about attracting tourists to the city’s central core while maintaining “Living Streets.” That is looking forward. Looking back, DTSM Inc. is pleased with the progress it has made in developing downtown as the iconic center of the City of Santa Monica.
Two key points seemed to highlight DTSM Inc.’s progress between June 2010 and June 2011: financial stability and customer service.
DTSM Inc. CEO Kathleen Rawson and Board Chair Bill Tucker acknowledged an increase in new downtown businesses.
“Signs of economic recovery were evident in the number of new businesses that now occupy key locations in Downtown and in the resurgence the opening of Santa Monica Place and The Market has brought to the area,” Rawson and Tucker said in a joint statement.
DTSM Inc. reported more than $5.6 million in revenues for FY 2010-2011, compared to about $5.1 million reported for FY 2009-2010. Reported expenses for FY 2010-2011 were more than $5.5 million, compared to $4.925 million for FY 2009-2010.
Through its Mystery Shopper and Ambassador programs, DTSM Inc. was able to track customer satisfaction for those who patronized businesses in the downtown area, including locations such as the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place.
Other reported progress in the downtown area included: infrastructure improvements (200 new bike racks added); a pair of $5,000 grants to Common Ground and Step Up On Second as part of the Dolphin Change grant program; development of the Interim Parking Plan in light of the redevelopments of parking structures three and six; and the hosting of various events, including Santa Monica ICE.
At DTSM Inc.’s recent annual meeting, two guest speakers spoke about their work transforming the City of Denver’s downtown space. Crissy Fanganello, the policy and planning director for the Denver Dept. of Public Works, and Anna Jones, vice president of Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA), discussed the “Living Streets” initiative that was implemented.
Fanganello discussed how the initiative was used to build infrastructure within Denver’s downtown in order for the city to handle additional visitors, be it local residents or tourists.
Through federal grants, the Living Streets initiative was developed to promote multi-modal transportation while maintaining economic and community development and sustaining the environment.
Similarly, DTSM Inc. is attempting to improve traffic circulation while bringing development and people to downtown.