Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association (TDPOA) held its General Meeting and presented the annual report for 2009 on Thursday night.
The TDPOA is a public-private partnership governed by the Board of Directors, representing downtown property owners. The TDPOA works closely with downtown business owners, community groups and the City to make downtown a better place to do business.
TDPOA’s responsible for the maintenance and promotion of the downtown business district represented by the PBID No.2.
The TDPOA Board of Directors for 2010 include President Randy Avilla (Richard & Chambers), Vice-President Mike Allen (Allen Mortuary), Treasure Carlos Sandoval (Minerva’s Furniture), Danny Mann (Mann Electric), Philip Rheinschild (Turlock Poker Room), Mike Kirkes (Retired Properties Owner), Jen Kubala (Ritzy Ragz & Thingz), Dan Grey (Center Street Grill, Vintage Lounge, Staley’s), and Dee Dee Thomas (Coldwell Banker Endsley & Associates).
Outgoing TDPOA President Steve Backus spoke to the small group of about 30 people explaining that despite what some may say, Turlock Downtown is making progress during this tough time. With twenty-three new businesses, a vacancy rate of 17.1%, and the many special events the district provides for the community, Steve went on to say that other downtowns and community districts aren’t doing as well.
Hard questions were asked such as how come more property owners don’t care what’s going on, how are they supposed to know what’s going on if they don’t get involved, why wouldn’t they get involved, and how come the Wood’s family could fill two of their recently vacated properties so quickly while other property owners can’t keep their tenants.
Steve Backus also wanted to remind people that the TDPOA’s activity is funded by fees paid by all the property owners in the Downtown District and that if property owners don’t vote in 2013 to continue do so, that the City of Turlock will have to maintain downtown, business owners will be individually responsible for their own promotion, and special events will have to be organized or hosted by another organization.
Backus encouraged all the property owners, business owners, and affiliates to attend the meetings and work together to continue to be a benefit to the community.
TDPOA Executive Director Trina Walley presented the annual report that included the information on the TDPOA, a market overview, development, Association activity, operations, marketing, special events, stakeholder survey, financials, 2010 outlook, and the 2010 calendar of events.
The Downtown district saw fourteen businesses move or close in 2009, while vacancy rates peaked in March 2009 at 25%. By the end of 2009, twenty-three businesses opened or expanded and the vacancy rate dropped to 17% (down 1% from 2008).
Turlock Downtown’s 6 blocks of businesses contributed 8.9% of the City’s total sales tax revenue collected.
In 2009 Downtown saw approximately $415,000 invested into improving building facades and interiors. Another estimated $600,000 toward development is planned for 2010.
TDPOA’s activity involves working with the Promotions Committee, Downtown Advocacy, Redevelopment Agency, Homeless Action Committee, Community Development Block Grant, Parking, Second Floor Study, Downtown Business Watch, and Branding & Marketing Committee.
Becoming a Bridal Shopping Destination has and will be a focal point for the Business Recruitment Committee. The committee’s goal of recruiting 5 businesses (to add to the current list of related businesses) has almost been met before they launch the branding and marketing campaign for their Bridal Shopping District. The TDPOA is ready to launch with a website dedicated to all things bridal and several key advertisements placed in regional bridal publications. TDPOA will be attending bridal fairs and hosting various bridal related events in the downtown in 2010 to start building their recognition.
Additional marketing for TDPOA will include a downtown guide, cooperative marketing efforts, retails promotions, workshops, and internet marketing.
Internet marketing is becoming a leading method of advertising and the TDPOA has been working on ways to maximize the impact of their website. Turlock Downtown has jumped on the social media trend and started a Facebook (with over 400 friends) and a Twitter account. Efforts will be made to continue to build TDPOA’s online audience as an effective way to get information directly to our downtown supporters and potential customers or event attendees.
– Continue Administration, Maintenance & Promotions
– Improve maintenance of downtown streetscape and parking
– Expand our downtown special events & support new ones
– Continue to recruit businesses (Bridal, Restaurants and Office)
– Launch Branding & Marketing Campaign developed in 2008-09
– Improve working relationships with CSU Stanislaus
– Finding resources that support downtown business growth
TDPOA Statement: 2010 WILL BE A YEAR OF WORKING TOGETHER FOR OUR FUTURE
The promotional focus in 2009 was Downtown’s proven events while they continue efforts to find organizations and partners for future events. Although events do not always bring day-of-event customers, attendees generally gain a better knowledge of what downtown offers and often return to shop at a later date.
Fourth of July – TDPOA worked with the American Legion Rex Ish Post 88 for this event as it brought out approximately 7,000 in attendance. The parade had 75 entries and the car show broke the 100 entries mark. The Independence Day celebration will be held on July 3rd in 2010.
A Taste of Turlock – The attendance at this event has grown each year along with new and more restaurants. The greatest growth will come in 2010 when the event will change from an art oriented theme to a cultural them that will highlight the foods, dance and music of Turlock’s heritage. A Taste of Turlock will be held on April 24, 2010.
Downtown Trick-or-Treat – Halloween Trick-or-Treat, on October 31, continues to draw more and more kids and families with approximately 1,500 children in attendance in 2009. The Turlock 12:10 Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club of Turlock organized a corn maze with coloring booth. New in 2009 was the carnival by the ladies of Alpha XI Delta.
Festival of Lights – The 11th Annual Festival of Lights had an estimated 3,000 in attendance despite the rain. Activities included main stage of live music, activity booths, photos with Santa, and free carriage rides.
Lights on Parade – The Lights on Parade was again one of the best parades to date with more entries, bigger floats, festivities, and a record crow of approximately 18,000. TDPOA assisted with activities, music, and vendors in the downtown core.
2010 will see additional events including the Turlock Farmer’s Market, Veteran’s Day, and more.
Go stroll Downtown one day and see what our historic shopping district has to offer.