ATLANTA, Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Downtown Association (IDA), an international network of diverse practitioners who transform cities into healthy and vibrant urban places, today recognized the South Park BID with its most prestigious award, the Downtown Pinnacle Award. This is the second consecutive year that the South Park BID has been honored with the Pinnacle Award, a first for any BID in the history of the international annual tradition. The South Park BID's winning project, Programming the Promise, was one of 69 overall submissions, and one of just six to receive the highest honor. The category recognizes programs and events that improve the image and vitality of downtown, while exceeding in the areas of: innovation, replication, representation, and sustainability.
"The South Park BID's project sets an outstanding example for cities around the world," said IDA President and CEO David Downey. "They continue to champion their neighborhood as a livable, vital and thriving urban center. Their project in particular, and the reason IDA is honoring them again this year, demonstrates how creative and inclusive programming can drastically improve a community."
As Downtown Los Angeles' fastest growing neighborhood, South Park's residential population is expected to triple by 2019, and with 17 projects currently under construction, there will be an estimated 500,000 square feet in new commercial retail space. In anticipation of this rapid growth, the South Park BID's Events and Programming Strategy first aimed to integrate the diverse populations currently living in the district, and then sought to establish an infrastructure of programming to lay the foundation for the future increase in the resident population. The five unique styles of programming outlined in the strategy were heavily informed by feedback from residents and business owners, and collectively work to authentically engage residents and cultivate a sense of district pride and awareness of the retail services available to them.
"I have personally participated in many events that the South Park BID has put together for the neighborhood," said LA City Councilmember José Huizar. "It comes as no surprise that they are being recognized once again for their outstanding contributions and leadership. The BID understands the importance of listening to the particular needs of its varied community stakeholders, and then developing creative and engaging solutions to address those needs. They continue to be an incredible partner to my office and others, and their inclusive and collaborative style only heightens the excellent programming they provide."
"The success of these projects depends on our ability to understand the motivations of the people that live and work in South Park," said South Park BID Executive Director, Jessica Lall. "The BID has the privilege of interfacing with just about every stakeholder within our district: homeowners, renters, business owners, visitors, and folks who work in South Park but live elsewhere. This vantage point allows us to see patterns and similarities across these varied populations, and we try to craft our events so they appeal to as many different groups as possible. The outcome is inspiring: we're seeing a kind of shared pride in this neighborhood."
With a wide variety of businesses, SPBID created a replicable program template serving businesses from mom-and-pop stores to large entertainment venues commonly seen at L.A.LIVE. From marketing to implementation, the program exists at no new cost to SPBID. The program today is both a SP and DTLA-wide "must attend" community event. From its conception, the series resulted in an average of 94% attendees who indicated they were likely to return to the featured business. Due to this success, events are booked 6 months in advance.
"Art in the Park"
SPBID programmed a series of free art classes, strategically hosted at a public park that is usually empty and perceived as unsafe. The classes were fully booked, largely by people who had no prior knowledge of the park. Local artists – including SP residents - began offering to teach classes and got more involved. Today, other organizations have started programming the park with other community events, including a free outdoor movie series.
"Meet Your Artist"
SPBID initiated a free series featuring Q&A with a neighborhood-contributing artist, hosted in the district's overlooked art galleries. While the series educated residents on their community's art, the program also fostered dialogue amongst differing demographics about the transition the district is undergoing. Due to residents' interest and connection to the public art, SPBID created wayfinding maps for self-guided art tours, which now provide a road-map for exploring ones' own neighborhood.
Experiential Art: Construction Fences
SPBID launched an innovative, replicable art program in partnership with a local elementary school to creatively deter construction fence graffiti. The program consisted of identifying a local artist who led a series of art classes for students without an art curriculum, resulting in a unique public art piece that reduced tagging at the test site by 96%. The program was featured in several news outlets and is now a local attraction. Today, SPBID uses this successful template to guide other developers to replicate this program at their sites.
Resident Block Party
SPBID closed and activated a city block for an evening programmed with free live performances, art exhibits, and more for nearly 500 residents. Results and feedback were so positive that SPBID is now exploring a permanent, programmable park at the same location, and plans are in place to host the event annually. Several community organizations requested to sponsor the next event because it so effectively engages residents.
"I congratulate the South Park BID for this achievement," said Ted Tanner, Executive Vice President of Real Estate for AEG. "Ten years ago, South Park was a sleepy neighborhood. But the BID recognized its potential and began to unify the community and transform the district into the bustling neighborhood that we see today - one that's attracting businesses and residents alike, and that has seamlessly integrated and embraced the live-entertainment capital of LA: L.A.LIVE."
The South Park BID will continue to partner with the City, local organizations, and other community stakeholders to create a vibrant, cleaner, safer, and more sustainable neighborhood. Future projects will aim to connect residents and business owners with each other, public art, and green space.
For more information, please visit: www.southpark.la
The South Park Business Improvement District (BID) is managed by the South Park Stakeholders Group, a coalition of residents, property owners, and business who are deeply committed to the ongoing improvement of the district. Since 2005, the South Park BID has worked to make South Park safer, cleaner and more vibrant for the people who live, work and visit South Park.
International Downtown Association: The Washington, D.C. based International Downtown Association (IDA) is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. With 500 member organizations and thousands of professionals, IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.
CONTACT: Ellen Riotto
South Park BID
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SOURCE South Park Business Improvement District