It’s been an exciting year in Downtown Santa Monica, one marked by progress in many key areas. We welcomed a new, eco-friendly parking structure (with 400 additional spaces) to better serve the needs of our guests; construction on the Exposition Light Rail Line is steadily moving towards completion; the City Council approved the creation of two moderately-priced hotels that will bring millions in tax dollars to help fund critical social services our residents expect and deserve; the community is close to finalizing the Downtown Specific Plan; and construction has begun on the District’s first new movie theatre in decades.
And more is on the way. The Esplanade project will transform Colorado Avenue into a more pedestrian-friendly street that will serve as a gateway to Downtown, the Civic Center and its beautiful Tongva Park, as well as the historic Santa Monica Pier. The aging California Incline will be re-built to better serve the needs of future generations, and additional housing and commercial space will be added to further meet the city’s goal of creating a vibrant, diverse community in Downtown that is welcoming to all. We are moving forward with infrastructure renewal and plans to better activate the northern end of the world-famous Third Street Promenade, as well as adjacent alleys, which are often the first areas our visitors and residents come into contact with when coming to Downtown.
Through it all, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM, Inc.) and its Board of Directors have been keeping a watchful eye, working closely with our partners in the City to mitigate construction related issues that impact parking, circulation and access to and from Downtown, as well as provide guidance on future initiatives and projects.
The organization has been focused on the day-to-day operations, such as power washing parking structures or recommending great restaurants and enjoyable, lively activities to the roughly 12 million people who visit Downtown each year. It is our duty, and one we accept with great pride and purpose, to provide the best experience possible for those who choose to live, work or visit our District.
In addition, the organization has been steadily preparing for the future by researching the feasibility of an overlay district to provide the additional cleaning required, as well as the active management necessary to preserve the same level of services people have become accustomed to in Downtown once the Expo Line arrives. DTSM, Inc. is also exploring incorporating Lincoln Boulevard north of Interstate 10 into our District, as the Land Use & Circulation Element designates.
We move into this new fiscal year with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor as we make plans to celebrate Third Street Promenade’s 25th Anniversary. We know how fortunate we are to have such a magical place that is more than just a collection of restaurants and retail, more than just concrete, steel and bricks. This is Santa Monica’s Living Room and we are committed to caring for it, to preserving its spirit and maintaining its fabric for all those who wish to experience it in their own special way. We want the Promenade to be around for another 25 years and beyond. To do so, we draw inspiration from those who created it, who recognized the need to re-imagine a floundering pedestrian mall into something truly remarkable. How? Through collaboration. We welcome the opportunity to engage our community partners and forge ahead with solid plans for progress and prosperity for all of Santa Monica. After all, it is Everyone’s Downtown.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to another prosperous and productive year.
Kathleen Rawson, CEO Patricia Hoffman, Board Chair