A NEW START FOR DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ
In 2019, the Downtown Association and Economic Development initiated a strategic plan, in partnership with outside firm, Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA), for the maintenance and management of the Downtown area.
After months of work with Downtown stakeholders, PUMA came forward with an outline of recommendations. These recommendations have led to the Downtown Association advocating for a Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) that encompasses the entire downtown district, which is fairly standard for well-maintained Downtown's around the country.
Instead, of our current model in Santa Cruz largely relies on funding from property owners in a much smaller district, only Pacific Avenue and its direct side streets - and businesses downtown appreciate the Downtown Management Corporation’s enduring partnership. However, this funding relationship also necessarily restricts the majority of the Downtown Association’s clean, safe and welcoming functions to a smaller area than our entire business improvement assessment district, which includes busy streets like Front and Center in need of the same services as well, but for which funding is inadequate without property owner support.
Details about the recommendations being proposed to enhance our neighborhood services and the process that led us to these recommendations as well as details about how a new PBID could work are available at the links below.
With anticipated support from property owners throughout Downtown, a petition to create a PBID was started in early Spring of 2020. However, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the economic climate of Downtown Santa Cruz and the anticipated support was not forthcoming.
In the Summer of 2021, the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz conducted outreach to several of the largest property owners in the Downtown area, hoping to build momentum to enact a PBID again. While overall enthusiasm for the concept remains, this was couched in the feedback that increased economic certainty post-COVID was going to be required for property owners to move forward, as well as more certainty around the boundaries and nature of the new Downtown Plan that aims to encompass the district south of Laurel where the new Warriors stadium is proposed.
We will continue to take the feedback of Downtown stakeholders as an indicator for our work going forward.
Please contact the Downtown Association, with questions.
Strategic Plan for the Maintenance and Management of Downtown
Downtown Community Survey
PBID Fact Sheet
Proposed Management Plan for New PBID
Proposal From Outside Contractor Block by Block Outling Enhanced Clean & safe Services