This year has been productive, exciting and full of changes for Downtown Santa Monica. The biggest change we undertook was streamlining the identity of our organization and the district to better reflect the area. We retired the name Bayside District Corporation and Bayside District and we are now Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. and Downtown Santa Monica (DTSM, Inc. and DTSM). This is a momentous occasion for us and we plan to maximize the status of our district as a world-class downtown.
Signs of economic recovery are evident in the number of new businesses now occupying key locations in Downtown, and in the resurgence that the opening of Santa Monica Place and The Market has brought to the area. Capturing the right tenant mix is a key ingredient to the continued success of Downtown and we will continue to assist property owners in identifying and leasing to businesses that bring new flavor and enhance Downtown.
We understand the urgency to improve parking and traffic circulation in the Downtown core and that continues to be a top priority. Working with our City partners, we have begun to implement short- and long-term solutions to these issues.
We are focused on the redevelopment projects that are slated for Downtown Santa Monica including the City-acquired land at 4th/5th and Arizona, Expo Light Rail, the rebuild of Parking Structure 6 and movie theater redevelopment. We have also been supportive of the reinvestment in several hotel projects in the District. These projects will span many years and while we are bracing for that construction period, these major redevelopments promise to be wise long-term enhancements to the functionality of the area.
Meanwhile, our marketing and public relations programs have maximized our visibility and provided strategic partnerships, helping Downtown businesses to thrive. The Downtown Santa Monica Brand Study resulted in a fresh way to market ourselves as a downtown community and we look forward to continued implementation of this program.
Downtown continues to be a clean, safe place to live and visit, and our Ambassador and Maintenance programs play a big role in this. Last year, Downtown Ambassadors assisted over 182,000 people, many of whom were Santa Monica residents and local employees. They advised smokers of our local outdoor smoking laws, gave directions, jump-started cars and provided safety escorts to and from vehicles. DTSM’s Maintenance team worked side by side with City crews to scrub sidewalks, remove graffiti and pick up trash.
This year, we will continue caring for a Downtown that is welcoming to all. We strive to craft a place that is truly ”Everyone’s downtownSM” - one that builds traditions and keeps Downtown Santa Monica a wonderful community to live in, work in, and visit.
Thank you for your continued partnership and we look forward to another ardent and industrious year.
Kathleen Rawson, CEO
Johannes Van Tilburg, Board Chair