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The Downtown San Diego Partnership: A year in review

Downtown San Diego has accomplished a great deal in the past year. When approved by the voters in 1998, Prop C -- "more than a ballpark" -- spawned an unprecedented wave of economic development. This wave was instrumental in creating our urban renaissance that has since become a national model for urban revitalization.

Last April not only did Petco Park open its gates to the public, but the downtown community opened its arms to baseball fans and visitors, from throughout the state and country. With over 3 million tickets sold in its inaugural season, Petco Park has created an almost unfathomable momentum, which has facilitated the economic and social growth of downtown San Diego.

Thus far in 2004, over 2,000 residential units have been completed while over 2,000 are currently under construction. In addition, the first class A office tower to break ground in over 15 years, Lankford & Associates' Broadway 655, is finally under construction.

As an integral partner in the growth and revitalization of downtown, the Downtown San Diego Partnership is putting forth great efforts to ensure that the unprecedented momentum we have all been witness to in the past five years does not come to a halt.

The Downtown San Diego Partnership has partnered with various public and private organizations to ensure that the momentum continues to grow. Three programs in particular: the Downtown Business Attraction Program (DBAP), the Downtown Residential Marketing Alliance (DRMA), and the C Street Task force, all exemplify our continuing efforts to further revitalize downtown.

Over the past year, a coalition including the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the Centre City Development Corp., the San Diego Regional EDC, the city of San Diego and a number of private stakeholders have worked diligently to promote downtown San Diego as a business friendly environment.

Last year the DBAP coalition contracted with DCI, a leading economic development consultancy firm, to provide strategic media placement. Thus far we have seen articles surface in The Economist, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor to name just a few. In addition, downtown San Diego was recently featured in a segment on "CNNfn."

The DBAP has also hosted site selection consultants from around the nation to promote our community as a business center. While the results of our efforts have been impressive, the continuation of the DBAP is vital to the further growth of downtown San Diego.

The Downtown Partnership has also been a leader, contributing to the renaissance of the downtown residential market.

Through the DRMA, a public/private partnership composed of the Downtown Partnership, CCDC and nearly 20 private developers, we have been able to create and sustain an incredible amount of residential development.

This month, the DRMA will celebrate the 5,000th condo sale downtown since 1999. While this event is a huge milestone, it is only the beginning as we project the downtown residential population to triple in the next 25 years.

While our successes are many, we still have areas needing improvement. One example is the C Street Corridor. In August, the Downtown Partnership's Clean & Safe Program relocated its offices to the corner of Sixth Avenue and C Street to serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of this once bustling, now blighted, transit and retail corridor. During Clean & Safe's grand opening ceremony, Councilman Michael Zucchet announced the formation of a C Street Task Force to be chaired by the Downtown Partnership's Director of Public Affairs, Kevin Casey. This task force has been charged with presenting its findings and recommendations by mid-2005 and convincing public agencies of the importance of this corridor and the need for investment in infrastructure upgrades on C Street.

The Downtown San Diego Partnership has been an integral partner in the unprecedented growth that downtown San Diego has experienced over the past five years. In addition to the DRMA, DBAP and C Street revitalization efforts, the Downtown Partnership has been instrumental in the progression of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, the Downtown Historic Harborfront Competition, the Downtown Community Plan Update and the implementation of the Downtown Parking Task Force.

We should not only be proud of our past contributions, but look forward to continued efforts, a bright future and the further advancement of downtown San Diego.

Submitted by the Downtown San Diego Partnership

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