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In This Issue
Board of Directors
Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Vice President
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association
Maggie Campbell
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Blage Zelalich
City of San Jose
At-Large Directors
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Byron Best
Walnut Creek Downtown
Jessica Lall
Central City Association
Joseph Mariani
Hollywood Entertainment District BID
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
Liz Studebaker
City of San Diego
Dominic Tartaglia
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Immediate Past President
Kent Smith
LA Fashion District 

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AMI Concepts
Arlington Business Partnership
Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
BLVD Association
CA Assn for Local Economic Development
City of Bellflower
City of Dana Point
City of Folsom
City of Glendora
City of Lancaster
City of Long Beach, Dept. of Development Services
City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Clerk
City of Monterey Park
City of Oakland
City of Ontario
City of Santa Barbara
City of Temple City
City of Tracy
County of Santa Cruz - Office of Economic Development
David Jinkens
Dinuba Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Long Beach Associates
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Oxnard Merchants Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown San Diego Partnership
Downtown San Mateo Association
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Gilroy Economic Development
Gridley Business Improvement District
HB Downtown Business Improvement District
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Ironsmith, Inc.
Joyful Solutions Business Management
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
Lauren Schlau Consulting
Los Angeles Neighborhood Inititaive
MJM Management Group
Modesto Downtown Improvement District
North Tahoe Business Association
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
San Pedro Historic Waterfront BID
South Park BID
Telegraph Property & Business Mgmt. Corp.
The Downtown Burbank Partnership
The Placemaking Group
The River District
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
Ukiah Main Street Program
Union Square BID
Urban Place Consulting Group, Inc.
Vista Village Business Association
Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Wilshire Center Business Improvement District

April 2017
The State of Retail

As I write this President's letter it is raining in San Francisco, and I am watching a mentally ill homeless woman yell incoherently and throw garbage onto the recently swept sidewalk. The good news is that the Governor has declared the drought over in California. The bad news is that we still have a visible homeless problem. As the woman checks her reflection in the door of the recently closed BCBG store, I turn my focus to the state of retail in Union Square.
Union Square is fortunate to have some of the best shopping on the planet, from luxury to value, and at all price points in between, in a very authentic and walkable area. However, as I learned at the recent CDA/IDA West Coast Urban District Forum in Long Beach, a variety of factors are negatively impacting our collective retail sales, and vacancy rates are inching upward. We are below a 10% vacancy rate, which is under the danger zone, so we are lucky for now. But what is causin g this downward trend?


We know consumer behavior is changing with increasing options on where and how to shop. Consumers can easily browse online in the comfort of their home thus avoiding the hassle of traffic, expensive parking, street construction, and panhandlers. We understand Millennials, who have a considerable impact on our retail economy, want to buy goods and services from authentic, trustworthy companies. They expect products to be made under fair labor practices with genuine materials. They are looking for hip, local shops that offer unique, personalized, and Instagrammable experiences.
As downtown champions, what is our role in ensuring that our retail centers stay vibrant? At the Union Square BID, we recently called in experts (retail brokers and consultants) to talk about recent retail trends, and how to be responsive. Larger stores are being divided in two or subleased with a demand for smaller retail spaces, and conditional use permits are being submitted to convert third floor retail space into other uses. The experts tell us that in Union Square, flexible spaces, such as pop-up stores where a retail concept can be tested, do quite well.
Shopping must be a fun, positive, and satisfying experience to be successful. Having the right products and services, providing excellent customer service, and ensuring a satisfying ambiance, from lighting and music to overall presentation are essential components. We as place managers need to ensure the experience on the outside matches that of the store's interior. Our sidewalks must be clean, safe, and pleasant. Parking garages must be well lit and wayfinding systems intuitive for all visitors.
As we continue this conversation about the current state of retail and vibrancy of our respective downtowns, I welcome you to e-mail me with your comments. In the meantime, keep up the excellent work!
Warm regards,

Karin Flood
Executive Director
Union Square BID

Urban Revitalization

It's an exciting time to be engaged in urban revitalization issues in California. Every legislator I talk to who represents an urban center asks me the question: "How can you help us continue to revitalize my city?" Which is always followed-up by more detailed questions about housing, transportation, mixed used development and mental health.  
What is particularly unique about CDA and why we are receiving greater interest in the Capitol is because of a few critical factors:
  • CDA is the only organized business voice in the Capitol that is solely focused on urban-centric issues.
  • We have a true statewide presence given our members are represented in virtually every legislative district in the state. 
  • The organization can establish a policy narrative and personal relationship and our reach can be extremely effective with lawmakers.
  • We do business in districts that matter - our voice can reach to legislative leadership and key chairs of committees.
CDA is also benefited from a focused advocacy strategy that is true to our mission of supporting urban-centric economic development issues. We can, and should, stay extremely disciplined on core issues that impact downtowns. This is who we are and this is how we will develop and grow our identity and strength in the Capitol.

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
April 2017 Legislative  Update 

Putting People First: Rethinking Downtown Development
Long Beach Business Journal   
As technology advances and life expectations evolve, many argue that society, specifically major cities...   READ MORE >>

Millennials Shaping Cities - And the Zeitgeist
Long Beach Business Journal   
A t the Psychic Temple - a rehabbed historic building that is now home to advertising firm interTrend Communications - individuals from throughout the West...   READ MORE >>

Retail Turmoil means Stores must Innovate Faster
The San Francisco Chronicle
Since the relaunch of its website six years ago, Target has furiously pushed itself to become a retailer...   READ MORE>>

A Visual Tool for Guiding Urban Change
Photo-powered "urban diaries" can give residents a powerful new way to contribute to the dialogue that...   READ MORE>>

Next Stop for Getta Clue and its Streetwear: Downtown Commons
The Sacramento Bee
Getta Clue just got a new address. The locally owned clothing store, regarded for keeping Sacramento...   READ MORE>>

Historic Preservation can Revitalize Downtown San Diego
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The C Street corridor needs exciting architecture and new development, and Save our Heritage...   READ MORE>>

H ow the Dodger Baseball Stadium Shaped LA - and Revealed its Divisions
The Guardian
On 10 April 1962, amid ceremony and celebration, Dodger Stadium, major league baseball's modern...   READ MORE>>

Confronting the New Urban Crisis
City Lab
In this excerpt from his new book, Richard Florida explains how "winner-take-all urbanism" has deepened inequality, segregation, and poverty-and what cities...   READ MORE>>

California Today: Reasons to Love Fresno
The New York Times
Complaining about the cost of living is a favorite pastime in California.   READ MORE>>

California Prioritizing Repair, Transit Investments, and Walking & Biking with New Gas Tax Increase
T4America Blog
California could be the next state to raise new revenues to invest in transportation, and unlike most...  READ MORE>>

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CDA District Digest Leadership

Executive Editor:
Karin Flood
President, CDA
Allison Shashok
Marketing & Communications Manager, IDA

Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region?
To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact Allison Shashok at allison@downtown.org.