Downtown Stockton is both a Gem and a disaster in the opinion of some in Stockton. Find out what the city is doing this weekend to try to create a strategy for downtown revitalization.
STOCKTON, CA – On Sunday, an advisory panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit education and research organization that fosters and encourages high standards of land use planning and development, will visit Stockton to evaluate and identify strategies for the revitalization of downtown. The ULI team is comprised of representatives from eight states and includes consultants, planners, finance, housing, real estate and development professionals, from cities across the United States that are recognized for significant urban renewal. Their evaluation process, which will take place over the course of five days, includes interviews with the local community, assessments and evaluations and will result in a report that will include recommendations and actionable activities that are realistic, achievable and appropriate for the market and economic conditions.
The Stockton City Council has established four major goals for the revitalization of Stockton; economic development with job creation is one of the goals. Another critical goal is to reduce crime and improve public safety. In addition, the Council adopted a series of specific strategic initiatives to accomplish these goals, which includes a downtown revitalization plan.
“The health of our downtown is critical to the success of the city and the entire region,” said Deputy City Manager Mike Locke. “Blight results in crime and discourages investment and economic development, which causes businesses to leave our community, loss of jobs and high unemployment. The best tool for reducing crime is the creation of jobs. We can benefit greatly from a critical review of how we do business, what we need to change, and the tools to effectively develop public-private partnerships to address our central core. We must first invest in ourselves to encourage investment by others.”
This is not the ULI’s first visit to Stockton. ULI was first engaged by Stockton in 1997 to conduct a similar downtown evaluation, which was focused on producing a vision for the downtown waterfront and resulted in large public projects. This evaluation will focus on specific actions that can take place with public and private collaboration and investment and will include transit-oriented solutions, all are critical to achieving state requirements for infill and development within Stockton’s downtown core.
Funding for these ULI advisory services has been provided by San Joaquin Rail Commission, Downtown Stockton Alliance, San Joaquin Council of Governments, AG Spanos Corporation, Grupe Commercial Company and San Joaquin Regional Transit District. The City of Stockton is providing support by organizing and facilitating the needs of the panel with research and other related activities.
On Sunday the ULI team members and sponsors of the project will get to know one another at a social gathering; panelist briefings, tours and meetings will take place on Monday; scheduled interviews with community members on Tuesday; panel working sessions on Wednesday and Thursday; and a report and presentation to the public on Friday. The Friday presentation is open to the public at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, 110 W. Fremont Street, from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. A final written report from the ULI panel will be provided within two months. Following receipt of the final report, a study session with City Council will be scheduled to discuss next steps.
information provided by the City of Stockton