West Coast Urban District Forum 2017 Presentations

Long Beach, CA   |   March 14-16, 2017

Selected presentations are accessible by clicking the [DOWNLOAD] button. A new window will open with the presentation PDF. 

Master Talks

The Death of “Downtown”: How Expanding the Concept of the City Center is Critical to its Survival
Christopher Beynon, AICP, Principal, MIG, Inc.

No One has the Right to Die on our Streets
Kerry Morrison, Executive Director, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance

Inclusionary Voice
Dr. Suja Lowenthal, Planning & Community Engagement Manager, City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus

Breakout Sessions 1

Finding the Ideal Development Process
Development within a BID can be compared to a three-legged stool: the developer, the city, and the BID. The relationship between the BID and developer is critically important. The BID, as representation of the community in which the developer wants to build, can help the developer meet their goals of creating a profitable project that the city will support. Developers help BIDs meet the expectations of businesses and residents, and through partnership they can fill demands of the overall community. The city, through establishment of policy and the entitlement process, leads the charge and seals the relationship between the three. Management of the process between the three entities can be a true partnership requiring collaboration and efforts to compromise in order to meet community goals, or a hodge-podge of individual voices representing singular interests. This session will hear from all three parties – a BID, a developer, and city planning – to explore the process on how all entities can work together to be of benefit to constituents and the community as a whole.
IDA Session Domain: Policy and Advocacy
Moderator: Collette Hanna, Community Outreach Manager, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Jing Yeo, Planning Manager, City of Santa Monica
Scott Schonfeld, Founder & Principal, Linwood Ventures, Santa Monica, CA

Market Research: From Data to Insight to Action [DOWNLOAD]
This panel looks at understanding our stakeholders through the lenses of market research data. It addresses how we can use this data to understand how various stakeholders view our downtown spaces and the issues relating to urbanism. This panel will look at opinions that exist around downtown areas from various market research work and how those insights were put to use.
IDA Session Domain: Policy and Advocacy
Moderator: Austin Metoyer, Policy and Research Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Richard Bernard, Fairbank, Maslinm Maullin, Metz & Associates
Stephen Groner, Principal, S. Groner Associates, Inc.

Cool Retail in the Shadow of the CBD: A 21st Century Paradigm [DOWNLOAD]
For decades, downtown boosters have aspired to a retail paradigm based on large anchor stores and well-known brands. Yet as department stores close some of their last-remaining downtown locations, it is clear that this 20th-century model no longer applies. In many cases, the energy and momentum have shifted to the more fine-grained, neighborhood-scaled business districts that sit in the shadow of the traditional CBD. Such is the case in Midtown of Sacramento or the North Loop of Minneapolis, which align more closely with the “neo-hipster” retailer and consumer driving today’s urban renaissance. Even in first-tier downtowns such as San Francisco and Seattle, chain-heavy tourist-driven shopping in the core is juxtaposed to the more hip and contemporary offerings of Hayes Valley and Pike-Pine. In this provocative session, a panel of consultants and practitioners explore this fascinating phenomenon, and what it means for the expansion of the center city.
IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator & Speaker: Michael Berne, President, MJB Consulting
Adam Carrillo, Economic Development Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance

Sustainability & Economic Development through Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Downtown Districts [DOWNLOAD]
California’s goal to achieve ZNE in commercial buildings beginning in 2030 challenges how to upgrade existing buildings cost-effectively, support businesses, and capture all the potential benefits. Establishing a ZNE District, as part of a BID could be a powerful tool for financing, managing, and integrating renewable and sustainable power systems in downtowns. This interactive session will explore examples, benefits, economic development, marketing, and business retention from ZNE districts. Additionally, this session will provide tools on how to best implement the concepts nationwide.
IDA Session Domain: Planning, Development & Infrastructure
Moderator: Mindy Craig, Principal and Owner, Bluepoint Planning
Dave Hewitt, Senior Consultant, BluePoint Planning
Richard Chien, Senior Program Specialist, City of San Francisco Sustainability Department
Neil Matouka, Project Manager, Energize Fresno


Shared Mobility, Housing and Prosperity in the 21st Century Downtown
Gabe Klein, Co-Founder of CityFi

Breakout Sessions 2

Public Spaces, Peaceful Demonstrations, and Effective Management for All
We live in interesting times when the country seems more divided than ever, with people increasingly taking to the streets and public space demonstrations on the rise. Downtown organizations need to reflect on changes taking place in our communities and learn to the affective, supportive, and proactive management organization possible as new issues emerge in the months and years ahead. Join this session and hear the first hand experiences from IDA leaders in Chicago, Baton Rouge, and Charlotte as an introduction to a larger conversation of what every city center must be considering for the future.
IDA Session Domain: Public Space & Place Management
Moderator: David Downey, President & CEO, International Downtown Association
Michael Smith, President & CEO, Charlotte Center City Partners
John Chikow, President & CEO, The Magnificent Mile Association, Chicago, IL
David Rhorer, Executive Director, Downtown Development District, Baton Rouge, LA
Martin Cramer, Vice President Public Safety, Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Residential Renaissance: The Impact of Residential on Downtowns, Neighborhood Districts, and BIDs [DOWNLOAD]
This panel discussion will explore how booming residential development is changing the dynamics of “business” districts and is reshaping the place management industry. Why residential development is important, how residential uses challenge traditional downtown dynamics, and how BIDs are dealing with residents’ needs and voices. Examples from districts in greater Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland will illustrate trends and offer a variety of solutions to these welcome but vexing challenges.
IDA Session Domain: Planning Infrastructure and Development
Moderator: Brian Douglas Scott, Ph.D., President, BDS Planning & Urban Design, Seattle, WA
Mike Stewart, Executive Director, Ballard Alliance, Seattle, WA
Ryan Altoon, Chair Elect, Downtown Long Beach Alliance & President, Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, Los Angeles, CA

In Search of the Music City: What Does Local Business Have to Gain?
This panel discussion will include delegates from Austin, Toronto and California on how music has changed their community, music economy, and place making while supporting artist development. The panel will also explore the relationship between creative city planning, livability, and the music sector as a key industry for your downtown.
IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator: Kraig Kojian, President & CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Mark Garner, CEO & Executive Director, Downtown Yonge BIA, Toronto, ON
Rand Foster, Owner, Fingerprints Music

Place-Based Marketing: Telling Our Story [DOWNLOAD]
How do we build a narrative for the various stakeholders we engage with (residents, businesses, visitors, the media, etc.), to shape the direction of how urban areas are perceived or how our story is told. The panel will examine why branding is important and the process of developing high level strategy. Additionally, the panel will look at the nuts and bolts of tactical implementation of placed based marketing.
IDA Session Domain: Marketing, Communications & Events
Moderator: Stephen Groner, Principal, S. Groner Associates, Inc.
Steven Donaldson, Co-Founder & Principal, Radiant Brands
Steve Snider, Executive Director, Downtown Oakland BID
Andrew F. Guerra Jr., Executive Director, Arlington Business Partnership

Breakout Sessions 3

Restaurant Business Improvement Districts: A Private-Public Partner for Tourism Promotion
This session will inform attendees on the creative ways restaurant business improvement districts are being used to benefit restaurant businesses, downtown association, cities, and counties. Historically, BIDs have been public-private partnerships focused on improving commercial areas. In 2005, restaurateurs in Sacramento saw the success of the business improvement district and came together as a group to establish the Sutter Restaurant Business Improvement District. The RBID concept is young, with three restaurant destinations in California collaborating on marketing and promotions with assessment funding. There is enormous potential for the concept to grow to other cities throughout the state. This session will include an introduction to RBIDs, the history behind RBIDs, an overview of why RBIDs matter, and RBID case studies from RBID administrators and restaurateurs.
IDA Session Domain: Organizational Management
Moderator: Nichole Farley, Project and Account Manager, Civitas Advisors
Emily Baime Michaels, Executive Director, Midtown Sacramento Business Association
Michelle St. Amour, Marketing Manager, Dine Newport Beach

Millennials Shaping Cities [DOWNLOAD]
The undeniable presence of Millennials (individuals who are “adulting” in the 21st century) is changing aspects of today’s urban centers through the demand for shared streets, public spaces, and more interconnectivity. How are businesses, associations, and cities adapting and remaining relevant to this demographic, particularly as technological advances far outpace policy’s ability to keep up?
IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator: Jessica Lall, CEO, Central City Association
Lexey Radcliff, Senior Community Manager, WeWork
Nick Griffin, Director of Economic Development, Downtown Center Business Improvement District

Building Support for Urban Transportation
As the development and densification of our urban centers increases, it has become crucial to support this development with improved multi-modal transportation. From large-scale rail projects to small-scale pedestrian improvements, the challenges of building community and political support for these needed transportation improvements are enormous. Hear how officials from Southern California governments have navigated these obstacles to pass a $120 billion transportation sales tax measure, redesign streets for people and bikes, and get regional transportation organizations to support projects in urban centers
IDA Session Domain: Planning, Infrastructure, & Development
Moderator: Josh Kreger, Director of Real Estate & Planning, South Park Business Improvement District, Los Angeles
Carter Rubin, Program Manager, Great Streets Initiative
Deborah Murphy, Principal Urban Designer/Planner, Deborah Murphy Urban Design + Planning
Jody Litvak, Director of Community & Municipal Affairs, Metro Los Angeles

How BIDs Can Partner With Cities to Combat Homelessness [DOWNLOAD]
The Downtown Long Beach Associates has been the voice of downtown Long Beach businesses and residents since 1937. Combating homelessness has been a strategic priority for DLBA since 2010. As a result, DLBA has partnered closely with the Long Beach Continuum of Care which has been a pioneer across the nation in serving people experiencing homelessness. The CoC leads, funds and coordinates the efforts of a diverse group of public-private organizations that serve the people experiencing homelessness across the City. This panel will discuss how the two organizations have strategized to address the overall needs of our the community members who are in need of housing, and what Long Beach is doing to push forward in a climate where housing is lbecoming harder to maintain.
IDA Session Domain: Public Space & Place Management
Moderator: Kelly Colopy, Director of Health and Human Services, City of Long Beach, CA
Teresa Chandler, Human Services Bureau Manager, Long Beach Department of Health and Human
Steven BeCotte, Community Outreach Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Allison Kripp, Friends of Lincoln Park, Long Beach, CA
Shannon Parker, Homeless Initiative Coordinator, City of Long Beach
Jeff Levine, Program Director, Long Beach Rescue Mission
Tara Reed, Program Director, Mental Health America

Rebranding Pitfalls
Are you considering rebranding your organization? Trying to create a brand identity for your downtown?  Looking to make your image and identity match with your message and goals? Discover some of our rebranding triumphs as well some as some mishaps. This experienced panel will cover challenges from varieties of stakeholders, multitude of agencies vying for the contract, budget constraints, and will help you overcome and prevent these common pitfalls.
IDA Session Domain: Marketing, Communications, and Events
Moderator: Kate Borders, President & CEO, Downtown Tempe Authority
Gina Dartt, Marketing & Special Events Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Eddie Romero, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement, Centro San Antonio

Breakout Sessions 4

Not Your Momma’s Downtown: The future of retail is now
Department stores have been the mainstay for downtown shopping districts for more than fifty years, but times are changing. Competition is everywhere, with the ever-present threat of e-commerce, increased costs, and changing consumer preferences putting even the best retail operators out of business. Learn from successful and unique retailers, developers, and those downtown districts whose retail environments are evolving. The future of retail in the context of downtown revitalization is still strong, but it will require a different way of thinking about the traditional retail experience in order to ensure continued vitality for our downtowns.
IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator: Maggie Campbell, Executive Director, Downtown Santa Barbara
Amy Cooper, Owner, Plum Goods, Santa Barbara, CA
Dominic Tartaglia, Executive Director, San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Barrett Reed, Founding Partner, Miramar Group

Digital Marketing: Best Practices for 2017
We’ve launched our website and set up our Facebook page, now what? Should we be on Snapchat? How do we get people to interact with our website and social media? This session will discuss current trends in digital marketing and present strategies and tactics that help marketing professional break through online noise and reach their target audience. Find out what really works (and doesn’t) to maximize your marketing dollars.
Session Domain: Marketing, Communications, and Events
Moderator: Ariana Gomez, Marketing & PR Manager, LA Fashion District BID
Hazel Quimpo, Communications Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Mackenzie Carter, Director of Marketing and Communication, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Sarah Seward, Art Director, Circlepoint
Tori Decker, Operations Director, Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
Tamiko Garner, Administrator Coordinator, Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations

A Seat at the Table: How BID executives increasingly find themselves integrated into civic discussions regarding homelessness in their neighborhood
No longer can BIDs be passive observers in this situation. Learn about how BIDs are stepping out proactively to play a meaningful role in addressing this crisis. Ideas shared include: keeping data relative to encampments and homeless counts to assist policy makers and capture trends, participating in Connect Days, seeking sites for permanent supportive housing, adding outreach or clinicians to their BID patrol or safety teams, forming or joining coalitions, and raising money for service providers.
IDA Session Domain: Public Space and Place Management
Moderator: Steve Mulheim, President & CEO, Old Town Pasadena Management District

Defining Authenticity [DOWNLOAD]
Roll up your sleeves and get to work defining one of the most popular buzzwords in our industry – authenticity.  Join panelists that recently participated in the IDA “Maintaining Authenticity of Place” research council as they delve deeper into the topic. The panel will briefly present the research and then divide into smaller groups to address the questions that resulted from this work.  For example, if authenticity cannot be “made” or “created” then how do we address public art?
IDA Session Domain: Public Space & Place Management
Jane Jenkins, President & CEO, Downtown Oklahoma City
Kimberly Bares, President, PLACE Consulting, Chicago, IL
Casey Gilbert, Executive Director, Portland Downtown, Portland, ME

Reviving the Core: Transforming and Integrating a Shopping Center into Downtown Location
This discussion will focus on the transformation of a previously declining six block shopping center by reintegrating it into the Downtown, encouraging a mix of uses and collaborating with the City on enhancing the public realm. This on-site discussion will address challenges and opportunities about this work-in-progress development.
IDA Session Domain: Planning Infrastructure and Development
Moderator: Kraig Kojian, President & CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Michael Bohn, Senior Principal, Studio One Eleven
Catherine Morris, Broker, WilliamMorris Commercial, Inc.
Tony Shooshani, Managing Member, Shooshani Development

Breakout Sessions 5

Using Tactical Urbanism for Testing, Engaging and Building Community
Tactical urbanism employs temporary interventions to the urban fabric to create an alternative environment from the one typical experienced on a daily basis. Whether for a single day or a couple years, tactical urbanism can be used to test ideas, engage stakeholders, shift narratives and build momentum for transforming communities. The session will share examples of tactical urbanism projects in various Southern California communities employed to serve a variety of these purposes
IDA Session Domain: Public Space and Place Management
Moderator: Brian  Ulaszewski, Principal and Executive Director, City Fabrick
Sean Warner, Place-making Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Amber Hawkes or Shannon Davis, Co-Directors, Here Design
Christopher Koontz AICP, Advance Planning Officer, City of Long Beach
Devin Strecker, Director of Communications, Hollywood Business Improvement District

Meet the Heroes of Improvement Districts Outside the Downtown Who Fight for Survival
With more improvement districts outside the Downtown becoming established, learn how they manage smaller budgets and deliver community impact? How are resident and business relationships, which are usually more intertwined and complicated, differ from those in the Downtown? Learn how these organizations fight to get attention with the City, Downtown and other neighborhood organizations when everyone else is asking for it!
 IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator Blair Cohn, Executive Director, Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Area (Long Beach)
Sara Berns, Executive Director, Discover Pacific Beach San Diego
Laurie Hughes, Executive Director, Gateway LAX

Towards an Equity-Driven Growth Model [DOWNLOAD]
Strong cities have strong cores.  Without question, the past two decades have delivered considerable reinvestment to downtowns across North America.  Today, healthy downtowns enable significant tax revenue subsidy that support community-wide improvement efforts.  This model, however, is not sustainable without enabling an economic and community development model that incorporates the increasing heterogeneity of American cities.
IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator: David Downey, President & CEO, International Downtown Association
Kris Larson, AICP, President & CEO, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

Urban Retail: Tools for Attraction [DOWNLOAD]
Learn about the variety of tools that downtowns are using to attract retail. We will cover the basics to new trends and discuss how downtown organizations can lead this attraction effort.
IDA Session Domain: Economic Development Strategies & Planning
Moderator: Mary Miller, President & CEO, Downtown Norfolk Council
Ellen Riotto, Interim Executive Director, South Park BID, Los Angeles
Nick Griffin, Director of Economic Development, Downtown Center BID, Los Angeles

Advocacy Partners [DOWNLOAD]
With the changing landscape within our country, advocacy is becoming a larger component of our daily activity. How do we advocate more effectively, efficiently and impactfully to our constituents at the city, county, state or federal level? How can we create advocacy partners within the travel & tourism industry? This panel is designed to discuss avenues to work better with other organizations to create a single more powerful voice to solve issues that impact us all.
IDA Session Domain: Policy and Advocacy
Moderator: Byron Best, Executive Director, Walnut Creek Downtown
Barb Newton, President & CEO Cal Travel
Scott Slocum, sales and Marketing Director, Walnut Creek Convention & Visitors Bureau & Chamber of Commerce
Wendy Hasse, Marketing Director Tourism, Destination Irvine