A comprehensive economic vitality program has been included as a key component of the Downtown Berkeley PBID managed by the DBA:
- Business Support and Innovation: Downtown is first and foremost a center for commerce providing both primary jobs and retail. For retail, downtown will aim to strengthen its existing offerings and position for local unique dining and shopping. The PBID will fund efforts aimed at attracting new tenants and investment and promote continued mixed use development that includes retail, office, housing and cultural uses. Downtown has an opportunity to expand its profile as a regional center for technology and innovation through partnerships between the business community and the University of California.
- Arts, Culture, Entertainment: Advance Downtown Berkeley’s evolution as a regional destination for arts, culture and entertainment. Downtown has a rich and varied collection of arts and cultural venues. The Berkeley Repertory Theater is one of the most acclaimed community theaters in the nation. A new world-class art museum is being opened by the University of California. Other venues, featuring both live and visual arts, restaurants and other entertainment options, and sprinkled throughout the Downtown. Arts, culture and entertainment creates a differential advantage for Downtown and adds to the quality of life for Berkeley residents. The PBID will provide leadership and programs to enhance Downtown’s image as a unique arts and cultural destination.
- Parking and Transit Management: Improve the parking experience to support Downtown commerce and living. Parking is part of the economic “infrastructure” that is essential to continued vitality of Downtown. It is also the first and last impression of the Downtown experience for many. Downtown Berkeley features one of the busiest BART stations, slated for a major redo, and is a major hub for AC Transit. While the DBA supports a growing variety of transit and mobility options (train, bus, bike, bike-share, pedestrian), there are still many employers, businesses, and institutions that require parking. Businesses and institutions that attract visitors from beyond the region’s transit network are particularly reliant on safe, clean, and easy to use parking. The PBID will support efforts to improve parking management in the Downtown, including an additional parking supply to support the growth of all business, arts, cultural sectors, and information systems that improve the customer experience.
- Marketing and Communications: Marketing and communications efforts will be strengthened to support all components of the PBID Management Plan. Marcom related to environment services will create awareness of cleaning, hospitality, beautification, and placemaking changes being made to improve the Downtown. Additionally, it promotes the vision designed by the Downtown community and inspires stakeholder engagement. Marcom related to the economy portion of the work program will: advance the image and branding of the Downtown, highlight the unique startup innovation and arts, culture and entertainment character of the Downtown, attract new and returning visitors to Downtown to live, work, eat, drink, play, engage, and be inspired, support new investment opportunities for retail, office, and housing, and promote easy and affordable access via transit and parking to the Downtown.
- Leadership: The PBID will support research and community education efforts that help to evaluate the impacts of policies and issues on the Downtown business and investment climate. The PBID will support efforts to advance policies that improve Downtown’s overall quality of life and economic and cultural vitality.