Washington Avenue Business Improvement District
City Administration is actively working with members of the proposed Washington Avenue BID on retaining a design firm to create an update to the Washington Avenue Master Plan for the commercial corridor. The scope for this master plan update is still under development with the BID, but will essentiallly examine the current street conditions, and provide structural and curatorial recommendations that address traffic, walkability, lighting, and vibrancy. The Administration will present to proposed scope to the Commission for consideration once it is finalized.
Addressing Storefront Vacancies
City Staff is working on a city-wide ground floor storefront vacancy count to better understand the current economic climate in our commercial corridors. Washington Avenue is a part of this research study. As of April 2018, Code enforcement counted 55 storefront vacancies between 5th-15th Street. Attached to this memo is list of the storefront vacancies on Washington Avenue along with a corresponding photo.
Previously, the City had allocated some funding to produce CMB designed window coverings for vacant storefronts, and provided these at no cost to vendors, landlords and tenants. However, that funding is no longer in place, so the City currently provides the template for this printout, and costs of printing must be borne by the storefronts.
Staff is currently examining the business ownership of each property and will then begin doing outreach to asses the reason as to why these storefronts have remained vacant. This item is being further discussed at the May 18, 2018 Finance and Citywide Projects Committee meeting.