Annual Report 2017-2018
About the Gallery
Whether you're looking for a healthy, on-the-go bowl from Everytable, a 20-plus course tasting menu from a James Beard Award-winning chef at Dialogue, a fresh fish sandwich from the Voltaggio Brothers' STRFSH, or a scoop of your favorite flavor from Sloan's, The Gallery has it all … and there is so much more to come.
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It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since property owners in Santa Monica's central business district voted to reinvest in their beloved downtown. Known then as the Bayside District, the area boasted beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, a plethora of shopping options, an eclectic mix of street performers and most of the city's movie theater seats.
A Letter from the CEO
It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since property owners in Santa Monica's central business district voted to reinvest in their beloved downtown.
Known then as the Bayside District, the area boasted beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, a plethora of shopping options, an eclectic mix of street performers and most of the city's movie theater seats. Millions of people from around the world would visit each year to bask in the sunshine and partake in the California dream.
Beyond the views, the success of the area can be traced back to the late 1980s when a public-private partnership known as the Third Street Development Corporation worked with the City of Santa Monica to redevelop the failing Santa Monica Mall into the Third Street Promenade, and created policy that would encourage shopping, dining and entertainment venues to open nearby.
For many years the area flourished under the management of the corporation, which became known as the Bayside District Corporation in 1990. But with success came new challenges. By the early 2000s, additional maintenance and hospitality services were necessary to keep up with the number of people using the area, and a restructuring of the board of directors was desired to allow for a higher level of property owner representation.
In 2008, property owners voted to approve a property-based assessment district (PBAD) that now funds 51% of the DTSM, Inc. annual budget to allow for additional services like the popular ambassador program and enhanced marketing efforts.
The PBAD also instituted a new framework for the board of directors. Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is governed by a 13-member board. Six members are appointed by the Santa Monica City Council, six are directly elected by property owners within the district, and one is the Santa Monica city manager or his/her designee.
The PBAD had a lifespan of 20 years, with an affirmation vote at the 10-year mark. That vote took place this past March. Property owners were given the opportunity to cast a "yay" or "nay" vote to continue the PBAD through 2028. A total of 221 ballots were submitted, representing 66.8% of total PBAD assessment dollars. Ballots were tallied and the results were impressive; 91.1% voted in favor of preserving the PBAD.
We now look to the future, one that has its fair share of challenges. Technology is changing the way we shop, travel, watch movies, experience art and so much more. Meanwhile, people are moving back into their city centers and want to embrace and celebrate everything that their neighborhoods have to offer.
In Downtown Santa Monica we must focus on creating a comfortable and active space for locals and visitors to enjoy. That means attracting modern shopping brands, unique culinary experiences, diverse entertainment options and cutting-edge companies.
Last July, after seven years of work, the City of Santa Monica adopted a comprehensive and innovative Downtown Community Plan (DCP) that will serve as a roadmap for the creation of an even stronger downtown. It is the goal of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. to make sure that we are pushing the projects and policies in that document forward.
We are diligently working with our city partners and consultants on infrastructure upgrades, activating the public realm with seating and fun engaging elements, creating community events for our downtown residents, infusing culture into the pedestrian experience and making the area more accessible by embracing all modes of transportation.
The following report outlines the programs Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. spearheaded during Fiscal Year 2017/2018 and dives deeper into DCP action items that are already underway.
We at Downtown Santa Monica Inc. are determined to continue to foster an environment that honors our past, satisfies our present and inspires our future.
The mission of DTSM, Inc. is to work with the City of Santa Monica to promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica through responsible planning, development, management and coordination of programs, projects and services designed to benefit the community as a whole, which includes downtown businesses, property owners, residents and visitors.
Downtown property owners are assessed annually based on the type of property they own and the zone in which their property is located. The City of Santa Monica directly funds services in Tongva and Palisades parks.
The map illustrates the five benefit zones and the chart reflects their respective total assessments.
|Tongva Park (P1)||$329,446||$152,475|
|Palisades Park (P2)||$219,630||$97,484|
Following is a summary of DTSM, Inc.'s Fiscal Year 2017/2018 financial statements for all programs and operations.
|STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES||6/30/2018
|Parks Program Revenue||$549,076||$249,959|
|Ice at Santa Monica Revenue||$1,084,764||$989,168|
|STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES||6/30/2018
|Program Operation Services||$1,330,855||$1,073,679|
|Dolphin Change Program||$10,307||$22,413|
|Ice at Santa Monica Expense||$949,794||$931,489|
|Parks Program Expense||$449,763||$233,955|
|Statement of financial position||6/30/2018
|Total Net Assets||$3,421,274||$3,568,882|
|Total Liabilities & Net Assets||$4,246,988||$4,133,596|
Wealthy, influential and successful couples and families living in prestigious suburbs.
Younger, up-and-coming singles living big city lifestyles located within top CBSA markets.
Mature, upscale couples and singles in suburban homes.
Fondly referred to as "the blue shirts," hospitality ambassadors have made a lasting impression with residents and visitors as the dependable, friendly and familiar faces of Downtown Santa Monica.
Since 2009, the hospitality team has greeted patrons, provided business referrals or directions, assisted in finding lost children or vehicles, and more. As the acting eyes and ears of the district, ambassadors will kindly notify patrons of quality of life violations such as smoking, scooting or biking on the promenade, sleeping on public property, and filming without a permit. All interactions are recorded and reviewed regularly to maintain the quality of service this essential program provides.
All interactions are recorded and reviewed regularly to maintain a high quality of service.
The Downtown Santa Monica Maintenance Program provides round-the-clock cleaning of district streets, sidewalks, parking structures and alleyways. The custodial and power washing services, made possible by property assessments, have had an immense impact on the public perception of downtown.
- Clean and maintain parking structure restrooms (including restocking hand towels and other supplies)
- Clean and maintain elevator interiors
- Empty parking structure trash bins and replace trash bags
- Walk parking structures removing loose trash and debris
- Mop parking structure stairwells, restrooms, landings and lobby areas
- Report non-functioning lights in parking structures and elevators
- Spray and wipe down handrails in parking structure stairwells
- Spray and wipe signage and trash bin cages
- Spray and wipe walls in parking structure restrooms, lobby areas, stairwells and landings
- Clean and deodorize trash bin liners
- Continuously remove graffiti, flyers and handbills
- Attend to emergency maintenance issues such as spill clean-ups
- Applying touch-up paint to street amenities such as light poles, benches, railings and trash bins
All interactions are recorded and reviewed regularly to maintain a high quality of service.
2,450,000 sq. ft.
DTSM, Inc. administers a robust marketing program inclusive of advertising and promotion for district businesses and attractions, brand and message management, public relations efforts, stakeholder communication and special event production.
In Fiscal Year 2017/2018, the marketing department focused on the development of our social media presence using engagement data to define our audience and hone a unique digital voice that speaks to them.
We also repackaged our monthly newsletter into a digital format that lives on SantaMonicaCentric.com, downtown's in-depth blog that covers a wide range of topics from retail trends to public policy. The new format allows DTSM, Inc. to publish a greater number of stories in a timely manner so as to better serve our stakeholders.
The Downtown Santa Monica business directory and walking map are updated on a quarterly basis. Promenade kiosks and parking structure elevator clings feature visually stimulating signage to inform patrons on downtown happenings.
ADVERTISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS
To ensure that downtown remains top of mind as a premiere SoCal destination, DTSM, Inc. engaged in multiple advertising campaigns across a wide range of platforms including transit, print, out-of-home, radio and digital.
DTSM, Inc. continues to host a number of outdoor events to enhance the visitor experience including Picnic on the Promenade, Ice at Santa Monica and the Official City of Santa Monica Holiday Tree Lighting. Our staff has also been working with the City of Santa Monica on special event policy changes that could allow for larger, more culturally rich events to take place on Third Street Promenade. The goal is to provide top-notch community events that jive with our brand and appeal to our residents and businesses.
DTSM, Inc. continued its quest to bring art into the public realm, transforming our public spaces into thriving, family-friendly gathering spots that help foster the exchange of ideas and build community.
A fun, festive and vibrant art installation popped up on Third Street Promenade during the holiday season by the internationally acclaimed artistic duo DABSMYLA. The interactive holiday displays garnered a strong social media presence as the perfect backdrop for a seasonal selfie.
What a year it's been for mobility in Santa Monica. We are at the heart of innovation and have access to all forms of travel, from scooters to trains.
More people are getting out of their cars, but it's still no secret that traffic congestion and parking remain among the top concerns in Downtown Santa Monica. In the short term, we have to determine the best ways to ease traffic today. In the long term, we must embrace the future by incentivizing alternate modes of transportation and making them more accessible.
Curb space is in high demand in Downtown Santa Monica. From rideshare drop-offs to food delivery pick-ups, the use of curb space can clog our streets. To organize the chaos, we needed to know what was happening with every inch of curb space, so we walked, measured and mapped the entire district. With the help of this new tool, we now have the ability to make recommendations to the city on how best to allocate curb space for optimal use of the street.
PARKING RATE CHANGES
An increased parking rate structure for public parking facilities in the downtown went to City Council in late spring 2018. The strategy behind the rate increase was to make sure more parking spaces are available at all times by better distributing demand. The proposed plan included an increase in the daily maximum rates in the downtown core, eliminating the first 90-minutes free program and moving monthly parkers out of highly utilized structures 1 and 3.
The DTSM, Inc. Board of Directors advocated strongly to maintain the 90-minute grace period as it is an amenity that residents and frequent visitors have become accustomed to and it is important for downtown businesses. The board also requested there be a program that would reduce the cost of parking for Santa Monica residents and that money generated by parking be invested back into the parking structures and to fund programs to help with access and circulation throughout the downtown.
In the end, the 90-minute free parking was maintained and DTSM, Inc. will continue to work with the city on the discounted resident parking and program funding pieces.
Last year, the City of Santa Monica installed static wayfinding signage throughout the district to better direct drivers to public parking structures. Real-time wayfinding signs featuring to-the-minute messaging about parking availability and traffic patterns will be installed in the next fiscal year. DTSM, Inc. was involved in the design and siting process for the new program.
To provide downtown employees with incentivized mobility options, DTSM, Inc. organized a monthly roundtable for Employee Transportation Coordinators (ETC) to learn about commuter benefits programs. During these meetings, ETCs had the opportunity to speak with Santa Monica Transportation Managment Organizations (TMO), Big Blue Bus and Metro about programs such as Blue to Business and the Metro Business Access Transit Pass (BTAP).
Over the past year, DTSM, Inc. produced a number of first-time programs around placemaking and public space activation in order to enhance the pedestrian experience and deter anti-social behavior in some of our most notable spaces. These programs and more will prepare us for larger planning projects that lie ahead, such as the redevelopment of Third Street Promenade and activation of private plazas and public sidewalks.
ROAM AT TRIANGLE SQUARE
In the fall of 2016 DTSM, Inc. and the City of Santa Monica launched ROAM, a rotating public art project that would, over the following 18 months, feature temporary but memorable works of art created by world-renowned artists. The art pieces were presented in Triangle Square, a small grassy area that sits parallel to the Colorado Esplanade. This empty space was transformed by the artwork, captivating pedestrians and luring in the social media savvy in search of a great pic.
ROAM will come to an end in the fall of 2018, but DTSM, Inc. hopes to continue to pursue art projects for the neighborhood. Staff is currently working with the city's Cultural Affairs Division to develop a temporary art permit to allow installation in the public realm. It is important that the downtown be an inviting locale for artists so that it can maintain a strong cultural presence for residents and visitors.
OCEAN AND COLORADO PLAZA
The corner of Ocean and Colorado avenues, which was improved as part of the Colorado Esplanade and Tongva Park projects, offers shade, public seating, sea breezes and the perfect view of the iconic Santa Monica Pier sign. Hundreds of people walk by daily, but instead of gazing at the natural beauty, many were treated to unsavory anti-social behavior that included public urination, drug dealing and fist fights. The corner, designed to be a pleasant resting spot, had become an eye-sore.
Seeing an opportunity to transform an underutilized and potentially dangerous public space, DTSM, Inc. secured an outdoor dining permit from the City of Santa Monica and entered into a leasing agreement with a food vendor to activate the corner and provide visitors to the downtown another amenity.
Out went the drug dealing and other illegal activity and in went a gourmet French-fry concept, along with seating and active monitoring by downtown ambassadors and the food vendor's employees. Now visitors can enjoy delectable fries from the Great American Fries Co. and take in the views without fear of being verbally or physically assaulted. DTSM, Inc. may explore adding more vendors in the near future.
DTSM, Inc. partnered with downtown businesses to host a series of monthly parklets in various locations around the district. We developed safety measures and perfected installation and teardown methods that make these visually pleasing pop-up parks quick and easy to manage. Downtown ambassadors were onsite at each parklet to engage the community and collect feedback. Survey results showed that 92% of parklet visitors liked them and hope to see more in the future.
PROMENADE DINOSAUR FOUNTAIN UPGRADES
The Third Street Promenade dinosaur fountains are a popular attraction in Downtown Santa Monica. The public artwork was installed during the redevelopment of the promenade over 30 years ago. DTSM, Inc. recently identified mechanical and structural upgrades needed to keep them working properly. DTSM, Inc. partnered with the City of Santa Monica to develop a scope for the project and funded the work for a fresh new fountain pool design. A $450,000 budget was approved by City Council. A contractor was selected and construction began in June 2018. The upgraded fountains will debut in September.
PROMENADE 3.0 WORKSHOPS
In 1989, Third Street Promenade opened its roadway and sidewalks to millions of people who would, over the next 30 years, shop, dine, meet with friends, enjoy live street performances, dance, laugh and make lasting memories on the acclaimed pedestrian mall. There is no doubt that Third Street Promenade is one of the most successful public spaces in the world. But after three decades, it's time for an upgrade.
DTSM, Inc. has identified a number of promenade infrastructure upgrades that are sorely needed. The discussion to replace aging elements on the street has evolved over the following weeks to become one of much greater purpose, to undergo a comprehensive review of the Third Street Promenade and establish a new design vision for the beloved street.
To kick off the program, DTSM, Inc. hosted a series of community workshops that featured urban design and placemaking experts who shared their insights and urged the importance of creating and maintaining vibrant public spaces. These fun, interactive meetings were designed to spark conversation and collect feedback from local residents and businesses. The thoughts of the community were documented and will be shared with the City of Santa Monica as this project continues to unfold.
LOCAL COASTAL PLAN
The DTSM, Inc. Board of Directors supported the adoption of the proposed Local Coastal Plan that will allow the city to issue Coastal Development Permits directly. This will significantly streamline the entitlement process and provide greater local control over development in Santa Monica, allowing the city to fully implement the Downtown Community Plan. The board was sure to emphasize the importance of policies in the plan that protect our stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline as these are key competitive advantages of our district.
The board also felt it was imperative to encourage beach access by a variety of transportation modes, consistent with our desire to see a proliferation of options to access the downtown. We also support all efforts to protect our community from the harmful effects of climate change, ensuring that investments made today will benefit future generations.
In Fiscal Year 2017/2018, DTSM, Inc. launched economic development efforts in accordance with the objectives established in the board's Promenade Tenancy Action Plan.
The goal of this initiative is to maximize the vitality of downtown by fostering a diverse, engaging mix of high-quality retail, restaurant and entertainment businesses and other active uses. New programs include publishing a quarterly market report and the development of a data-driven website for prospective tenants and downtown brokers, participation in conferences and educational programs to learn about retail trends and opportunities, and streamlining permitting processes to ease the burden of opening a new business in the district.
RETAIL ACTION PLAN OBJECTIVES
- Monitor industry trends and stakeholder feedback to disseminate findings and adjust strategic planning accordingly
- Educate decision makers and disseminate data about retail trends and the impacts of individual leasing decisions on the success of the district as a whole
- Encourage a balanced mix of active uses
- Promote opportunities for unique businesses that differentiate downtown from other regional destinations
- Facilitate innovative opportunities, possibly including pop-up shops, temporary markets and retail incubation programs
- Evaluate potential guest services and leverage new technologies to encourage additional consumer spending
ANNUAL MARKET REPORT
Total Taxable Sales Generated in Downtown
|Third St. Prom.||$472,112,800||$485,877,500||-2.9%|
|Santa Monica Pl.||$209,060,800||$218,458,800||-4.5%|
*Source: City of Santa Monica, HdL Consulting
DTSM, Inc. is governed by a 13-member volunteer board of directors. Six board members are elected by downtown property owners; six board members are appointed by the Santa Monica City Council; and one board seat is reserved for the City of Santa Monica's city manager or his/her designee.
BOARD & COMMITTEE MEETINGS
All board and committee meetings of the DTSM, Inc. Board of Directors are open to the public. Agendas are posted in advance at DowntownSM.com and with the Santa Monica City Clerk.
To join the distribution list for meeting notices, please email [email protected].
Board of Directors
DTSM, Inc. staff is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the neighborhood and the organization's programs and operations.
DTSM, Inc. Staff