What We Do
The Voice of Downtown
Welcome to our great city. The Downtown Ventura Business Improvement District (d.b.a. Downtown Ventura Partners) has been serving Ventura’s historic core for over 13 years. We lead with a clear mission: To make Downtown as clean and safe and economically viable (and fun) as possible. We step in to address particular needs above what the City can do. And the success of our Downtown is based upon partnership.
In July 2019, 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. We eagerly serve as the voice for downtowners and play a vital role in the growth and vitality of our evolving urban core.
The last couple of years brought a global pandemic and times of economic challenges and uncertainty. But also, innovation and creativity, including our Main Street Moves street closure that continues to reimagine 6 blocks of our central core into an enhanced public space filled with outdoor dining and unique human connections. We couldn’t be more proud of this evolution and community support. 2023 will continue to be a year of resiliency, with added staff, strong funding and new possibilities. We are rolling up our sleeves and jumping in.
Enjoy our City,
Kevin M. Clerici
- A clean, safe, well-lit, and inviting appearance, both day and night.
- Appealing storefronts occupied with an eclectic variety of inviting and interesting retail and service businesses.
- High-quality activities and events that will attract and benefit area residents, businesses and visitors.
- Historic architecture preservation and adaptive reuse that offers visual unity and quality experiences.
- A healthy mix of retail, restaurant, entertainment and service businesses and to be known as having a reputation for welcoming and supporting new businesses.
- Creative and lively places where people will live, work, shop, enjoy, remember and return.
- Improved connections with our natural resources, from our beaches and state parks to the Ventura River to the Ventura Botanical Gardens and public spaces.
A Robust Vehicle for Success
Separate Parts Contributing to a Collective Whole
Downtowns, new and old, frequently rely on a skilled management firm like Downtown Ventura Partners to navigate economic changes.
A Property-Based Business Improvement District, or PBID, is a designated area in which property owners choose to assess themselves to create funds that supplement baseline city services for the benefit of property owners, merchants, businesses, workers, visitors and residents. The model is strong and flexible.
In its basic form, a PBID creates and sustain a vibrant and prosperous City Center by:
- Producing a consistently clean and attractive Downtown experience
- Attracting and retaining new businesses
- Cultivating a fun and vibrant Downtown
- Enhancing property values, sales, and occupancies
- Helping businesses compete locally and regionally
Making a Difference Across the Country and State
Over the past 25 years, PBIDs have benefited more than 1,000 communities across the United States. They have consistently been successful in improving areas as diverse as Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.
The Model in Ventura
Property owners within the established footprint of Ventura’s PBID pay an annual assessment based on the square footage of both their underlying parcel as well as any building on top of it.
An 11-member board of directors oversees the organization’s work. Seven must be real property owners who pay into the district. The Ventura City Council appoints one council member to the board. The remaining seats can be filled with business owners or nonprofits in the district.
Regular meetings are open to the public. Board minutes are available in our Minutes & Documents Archive.
Building on Success
A budget is a statement of one’s values and priorities. Downtown Ventura Partners, through outreach and stakeholder input, prioritizes programs and strategic services that address fundamental needs of the District. The renewal and expansion vote is evidence of DVP’s focus on consistent, high-quality services to property owners, merchants, businesses, workers, visitors and residents. We look forward to building on that success as we work through a new 10-year window of service and growth.
Budget Grows with District Expansion
The budget projection for 2023 is $1.93 million, up from to $1.1 million in 2019.
The funds derive from two major sources: PBID Assessment fees paid by property owners, totaling $1,050,950, and contracts, sponsorships and building revenues totaling a projected $1,055,010.
Downtown Ventura Partners, listening to stakeholder input, prioritizes its commitment to keeping the district Clean & Safe by allocating 70% of assessments ($744,200) to this critical service. Another 20% ($198,000) supports Economic Enhancements, from events and our newsletter to business recruitment and retention programs. The final slice of the budget earmarks 10% of funds ($109,000) to Advocacy & Administration, which includes DVP’s outreach, administrative expenses and advocacy at City Hall and other agencies.
Downtown Ventura Partners will focus on these goals for the year 2023.
- Successfully manage the Main Street Moves street closure as a flexible, welcoming public space amid the ever-changing post-pandemic conditions, and chart a stakeholder-driven course for the future of Main.
- Continue to emphasize District wide cleanliness, particularly steam-cleaning.
- Champion a General Plan update that reflects Downtown’s history, character and emerging residential offerings.
- Expand street outreach and peer support services to our unhoused neighbors in an effort to reduce the number and frequency of individuals on our streets. Initiative new collaborations with medical and mental health staff at CMH and VCMC to provide street-based care, and assist with the closure and transition of Project Roomkey.
- Advance our parking goals related to the creation of a new parking structure, solutions to the deteriorating Harbor Blvd. garage and other development plans in progress.
- Continue to engage all existing and new stakeholders.
- Promote and market Downtown as an authentic and activated cultural and retail space and increasingly residential hub of the community.
- Continue stewardship of the expanded Park Safety Ambassador Program, and seek to expand evening and overnight hours in summer.
- Support City’s efforts to create Outdoor Design Guidelines for greater outdoor dining opportunities and “fortified” parakeets and the installation of removable bollards.
- Advocate for greater public restrooms, including installation of Portland Loo in the California Street mini park.
- Partner with Code Enforcement to educate and ensure Covid compliance and clean up derelict or abandoned properties.