The Voice of Downtown

The nonprofit Downtown Ventura Business Improvement District (PBID) has been serving Ventura’s historic core for 10 years. We lead with a clear mission: To make Downtown as clean and safe and economically viable as possible. We step in to support or address particular needs above what the City can do. And the success of our Downtown is based upon partnership.

In July, Downtown property owners voted overwhelmingly to renew and nearly double the size of the District, continuing a dedicated funding stream for enhanced clean and safe services, place-making and economic development programs through Dec. 31, 2029.

The renewal, which passed with 70 percent approval, continues a special assessment paid by property owners for enhanced services provided by the nonprofit Downtown Ventura Partners, or DVP. Funds in 2020 will total about $960,000. DVP’s total budget is $1.6 million, through its partnerships such as the Park Safety Ambassador program.

“Downtown is our neighborhood,” said David Armstrong, president of the DVP board of directors. “We had to be accountable and prove our value in the renewal/expansion process. The overwhelming confidence of our voters and neighbors shows confidence in our incredible staff who work extremely hard to build not only a sustainable economy, but a cohesive community.”

A decade ago, Downtown property owners joined together to form an assessment district to improve Downtown as an attractive visitor destination, workplace and a livable neighborhood.

DVP has long serviced City Hall to the beach. The expansion pushes the District boundary west to include all of Patagonia’s headquarters and east to Front Street and includes the 230-unit high-end apartment community being constructed on the “triangle” parcel between Ash Street and San Jon Road. DVP also will service the entire Promenade from the venerable Pier to the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

DVP provides enhanced services and special events through an extensive network of partnerships. DVP’s Clean & Safe Ambassadors and Park Safety Ambassadors work 7 days a week, until 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights. They sweep and pressure-wash sidewalks, pick up litter and remove graffiti tags, deter unwanted behaviors, provide visitor information and assist property owners with maintenance issues.

With resources such as redevelopment now gone, DVP has emerged as a leader in efforts in ensure Downtown thrives, such as the development of a multistory parking garage, and to solve issues. Programs such as its Family Reconnection Program and the multi-agency Community Intervention Court are making real progress toward solving our vagrancy challenge, rather than continuing to perpetuate it.

 Overall sales tax receipts in Downtown have remained strong and vacancy rates down at a time when other downtowns are faltering. Downtown has a fast-growing professional base. It’s now home to the corporate headquarters of Patagonia, The Trade Desk, GiddyUp, FreshRealm, Vonazon, the DuPuis Group and Pacific Coast Land Design, among others. Over 500 new housing units are fully entitled throughout Downtown with construction set to begin on some in 2020.

“Our Downtown is better than it’s ever been,” said Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere. “This renewal is an important part of our economic vitality. The partnership includes strategic capital improvements, enhanced maintenance and security, entertainment and events, historic preservation and a growing mix of retail, restaurants and other innovative businesses. We welcome this partnership as we continue to improve the way we do business in Ventura.”

Under the approved expansion, the rate structure will be simplified to 2 Zones: Core Zone and Perimeter Zone. Properties in the Core Zone will be assessed at a rate of roughly 10 cents per square foot. Properties in the Perimeter Zone will be assessed at just under 7 cents per square foot.

To guide the PBID for the next 10 years, the Downtown Ventura Partners board has developed a new Management Plan that responds to today’s market opportunities and District challenges.

Below are a series of documents to provide information on Downtown’s plan. If you have any questions, please contact DVP Executive Director Kevin Clerici at 805-302-1660 or at kevin@downtownventura.org

DVP Management District Plan 2020-2029

DVP Proposed Expansion Zones with Current Boundary

Expansion Map 2020-2029

FAQS about DVP

About Downtown Ventura Partners

Downtown Ventura is a unique urban neighborhood spanning nearly 50 blocks of retail, office, residential and entertainment/cultural uses. The PBID is managed by the Downtown Ventura Partners, a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation established in 2008.

Our mission is to promote Downtown Ventura as a vibrant residential, commercial and cultural destination. This is achieved through partnerships, strategic capital improvements, enhanced maintenance and security, effective marketing and promotions, historic preservation education, and effective administration. This includes:

1. A clean, safe, well-lit, and inviting appearance, both day and night;

2. Appealing storefronts occupied with an eclectic variety of inviting and interesting retail and service businesses;

3. Activities and events that will attract and benefit area residents, businesses and visitors;

4. Historic architecture preservation and adaptive reuse that offers visual unity and quality experiences;

5. A healthy mix of retail, restaurant, entertainment and service businesses and to be known as having a reputation for welcoming and supporting new businesses;

6. Creative and lively places where people will live, work, shop, enjoy, remember and return, and:

7. Improved connections with our natural resources, from our beaches and state parks to the Ventura River to the Ventura Botanical Gardens and public spaces.

2018-19 Board of Directors (3-year terms)

President: David Armstrong, Smith-Hobson, LLC.

Vice President: Douglas Wood, Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel

Treasurer: Yvonne Besvold, Patagonia

Secretary: Mark Hartley, The Fitzgerald Hartley Co.

David Comden, The VC Reporter

Emily DeArkLand, OFI Management

Debbie Fox, Fox Fine Jewelry

Angie Hecht, Sespe Consulting

Mike Merewether, Plaza Park, LLC

Jeff Smith, Smith-Hobson, LLC

Christy Weir, Ventura City Council (appointed by City Council)

Staff

Kevin Clerici, Executive Director

Ashley Smith, Coordinator

Steve Caramihai, Operations Manager

What is a Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID)?

The International Downtown Association estimates that more than 1,000 property-based business improvement districts (PBIDs) currently operate throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, the Caribbean and Europe.

A PBID provides enhanced improvements and activities, such as security, maintenance, marketing and economic development in addition to those provided by local government. A PBID is based upon the “mutual benefit” concept. Assessments are collected on properties within a specific geographic district, with the proceeds directed back to the district to provide services that benefit the district. California law does not allow discrimination based upon use. In other words, residential property within the district is assessed in the same manner as commercial and government property.

Some other attributes of a PBID are:

  • It is designed and created by those who will pay the assessment;
  • It is established through petition and ballot process by the property owners who will pay the proposed assessments;
  • It is governed and implemented by those who pay through a 501c6 non-profit, private sector management organization that manages the day-to-day operations;
  • It provides for a set term of existence (10 years) and requires a new petition process, by those who pay, to renew the assessment district;
  • It allows a wide range of service options, including security, maintenance, marketing, economic development, special events, parking improvements, access improvements;
  • In California, all PBIDs are subject to the Brown Act and all meetings are open to the public.