Richmond Main Street Initiative
1015 Nevin Avenue, Suite 105, Richmond, California 94801

510-236-4049

Downtown Richmond Stakeholders Approve Renewal of Historic PBID

July 13, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Amanda Elliott
Email: aelliott@richmondmainstreet.org
Phone: (510) 236-4049

Downtown Richmond Stakeholders Approve Renewal of
Historic Business Improvement District

Richmond, CA – The Richmond City Council of adopted a resolution on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, to renew the Downtown Richmond Property and Business Improvement District (DRPBID), ensuring that vital revitalization efforts will continue. Downtown property owners approved the five-year renewal by 64.42% (weighted by assessment).
 
The DRPBID is a public-private partnership between property owners and Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), a community based non-profit dedicated to revitalizing historic Downtown Richmond, encompassing the commercial corridor from 6th-16th Street between Bissell and Barrett Avenues. The district is funded by annual assessments on commercial and non-profit housing parcels. DRPBID funds provide economic development, promotions and marketing, and cleanliness and hospitality services to the Downtown core, augmenting the base level City services and protecting infrastructure investments.
 
Business Improvement Districts (BID) are a proven revitalization tool for communities throughout the country. Successful Bay Area BIDs operate in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, Downtown Berkeley, and Fruitvale. The DRPBID is the first and only property and business improvement district in West Contra Costa County.
 
The DRPBID was formed in 2012. In its first five years of operation the district provided:
Cleaning, Maintenance, and Hospitality Services
· Neighborhood Ambassadors performed 13850 hours of service, collecting 4000+ bags of trash and debris; abating nearly 500 incidents of dumping and graffiti; assisting 500 residents and visitors with wayfinding and access to resources.

Promotions & Marketing Enhancements
· RMSI hosted 629 arts, culture, and wellness events, attracting 74,000+ visits to Downtown, activating public spaces, and creating opportunities for residents to enjoy family-friendly activities. New year-round and seasonal street banners were added to Macdonald Avenue.

Economic Development Activities
· RMSI provided nearly 5000 hours of technical assistance to established and emerging businesses, and trained 261 youth in work readiness. 36 businesses opened or expanded, creating 83 jobs. RMSI also leveraged $65 million of public and private investment Downtown to support business attraction and development efforts.
 
“The renewal of the DRPBID is a resounding vote of confidence and buy-in from Downtown property owners. We look forward to this opportunity to continue this partnership to create a Downtown that is vibrant, clean, welcoming, and accessible to all community members” says Amanda Elliott, Executive Director. “And we invite everyone to celebrate with us at our first Music on the Main concert of the summer on July 26.”
 
The DRPBID renewal is supported by a grant from The San Francisco Foundation to increase economic development opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses and to create jobs in the interest of people of color and local residents in downtown Richmond.
 
Richmond Main Street Initiative is a community based non-profit dedicated to revitalizing historic downtown Richmond. RMSI partners with the City of Richmond, merchants, and residents to develop and improve Downtown Richmond as a pedestrian-friendly urban village that offers products, services, arts and entertainment that reflect the community's rich and diverse heritage. www.richmondmainstreet.org and www.facebook.com/richmondmainstreet.
 
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Free Immigration Law Workshop
Need help with your immigration law case?   Attendees will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with an attorney free of charge about their immigration law questions? This is a first-come, first-served clinic. Upon arrival, please sign in at the Reference desk.   When: Every 4th Monday of the month             (exception: December workshop will be held on 3rd Monday) Time: 5pm – 7pm Location: Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804 Presented by: Contra Costa County Bar Association   For more information: Call (510) 620-6561 To view additional dates: Download the flyer
Freshest Cargo Mobile Farmers’ Market
Downtown Richmond Stop   When: Wednesdays, 4pm – 5:30pm Location: Marina Way & Macdonald Avenue Fresh Produce from Local California Farms Great, Low Prices CalFresh/EBT Welcome * Market Match Honored     More Info & Resources Get the flyer: English, Espanol, Bilingual Freshest Cargo: A “farmers’ market on wheels”. Sourcing produce directly from local farmers to sell at sites across the Bay Area. Increasing access to fresh, quality produce in areas where it is not otherwise easily accessible. More details & schedule available here. CalFresh/EBT: Monthly food benefit/nutritional assistance program for low-income households. Learn more and how to apply here. Market Match: Get extra cash to buy fruits & veggies! A dollar-for-dollar match when shoppers pay using CalFresh/EBT.  Up to $10 FREE. Learn more and how to participate here.
Downtown Richmond Post Office Update
We are sad to report that despite our community's efforts to convince the USPS otherwise, the postal service has decided to move forward with the relocation, closure, and sale of our historic Downtown post office. Notice of this decision was made on August 10 via the posting of a letter addressed to Mayor Tom Butt to the front door of the post office.    Additionally, on August 21, USPS posted a notice stating that they are initiating the Section 106 process, which regulates the sale of historic buildings owned by the Federal government. As part of this process, a 30 day public comment period has been initiated and citizens may submit comments related to the adverse effects that this sale may have on this historic property. In addition to the notice, a packet of materials related to this finding are stated to be available at the post office for review. A PDF copy of this packet was sent to us and we have added it to our website.   Richmond Main Street will submit a letter, strongly communicating that the sale of the building will have a significant and fundamental adverse effect on its historic significance, as well as an adverse effect on our residents, workers, and business community. We invite you to submit comments as well. Comments must be mailed to the following USPS representative and received no later than September 25, 2017: Ann Sarver Facilities Environment Specialist 6013 Benjamin Road, Suite 205 Tampa, FL 33634 ann.m.sarver@usps.gov   Finally, Richmond Main Street staff recently met with Mayor Tom Butt to discuss this decision and next steps. With permission, we share the following message that Mayor Tom Butt sent via his e-forum:   Despite media coverage...that appears to write a death warrant for the Richmond Main Post Office, this is still very much a work in progress. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and I are in negotiation with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) at the highest levels to find a solution that will be a win-win for both the USPS and the City of Richmond. Because of a number of regulatory review requirements, including Historic Preservation (NHPA 1016), Environmental Review (NEPA) and Intergovernmental Cooperation (IGN), there can be no sale for at least several months and perhaps as long as several years. The steps the USPS has taken, as alarming as they are, represent the beginning of a process, not the end of it. Among other things, USPS policy allows for a sale to state and local governments instead of competitive bidding. The USPS is also willing to allow the existing operation to remain at 1025 Nevin Avenue as long as it is economically attractive to the USPS. Rest assured that we are giving this our highest level of attention, and we are hoping for a successful outcome. Tom Butt   For more information about this situation, including copies of the notices, letters of support from local leaders, news articles, and arguments to save the Richmond Main Post Office, please visit www.RichmondMainStreet.org.   We will do our very best to continue to advocate on behalf of the Richmond community and provide updates as they become available.   Huge thanks to everyone who attended the meetings, wrote letters, signed the petition, shared this story, and resisted this proposal.
Exciting news coming September 25!
We're working on a great opportunity that will have a big impact on #DowntownRichmond...and we will need the support of the entire #Richmond community to make it a reality. Stay tuned & follow us for details & how you can help:  Facebook: Richmond Main Street Initaitive Twitter:@RMSI Instagram: @richmondmainstreetca