DTP Five-Year Strategic Plan 2022-2027

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FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN 2022-2027



CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 MARKET SNAPSHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT SUMMARY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 KEY TAKEAWAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 GOALS, OBJECTIVES, TACTICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 ORGANIZATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 IMPLEMENTATION MATRIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 KEY METRICS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thank you to the Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP) staff, Board of Directors, Executive Committee/Project Working Group, and the more than 900 stakeholders who provided input for this strategic plan.

DTP STAFF • Kathleen Eriksen, President & CEO • Zach Baker, Deputy Director • Russ Stone, Downtown Safety & Maintenance Director • Whitney Nesbitt, Office Manager • Lazaro Cabrera, DTP Ambassador, Safety Supervisor • Harold Harris, DTP Ambassador, Safety Supervisor

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE/PROJECT WORKING GROUP • Larry Hecker, Chairman, Executive Committee, Sun Corridor Inc., Hecker & Pew PLLC • Tom Heath, Co-Vice Chair, Executive Committee, The Heath Team – NOVA Home Loans • Dillon Walker, Co-Vice Chair, Executive Committee, Hydrant • Lucinda Smedley, Secretary, Executive Committee, TREND Report and Real Estate Consulting Group • John O’Dowd, Treasurer, Executive Committee, Amado and Associates • Michael Ortega, Executive Committee, City Manager • Barbra Coffee, Executive Committee, City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives • Michael Crawford, Executive Committee, Crawford Law PLLC • Darryl Dobras, Executive Committee, Downtown Development Corporation • Randi Dorman, Executive Committee, R + R Develop • Todd Hanley, Executive Committee, Hotel Congress/Maynards • Chuck Huckelberry, Executive Committee, Pima County • Lisa Josker, Executive Committee, Pima County • Julie Katsel, Executive Committee, University of Arizona • Fletcher McCusker, Executive Committee, Rio Nuevo and UAVCF • Renee Morton, Executive Committee, Mordasini Villas • Les Pierce, Executive Committee, Downtown Neighborhoods and Residents Council (DNaRC)

BOARD MEMBERS • Dee Buizer, Senae Thai Bistro • Stacey Collins, Tucson Musicians Museum • Christopher Dennison, Tucson Police Department • Isaac Figueroa, Larsen Baker, LLC • Brett Goble, City High School • Glenn Grabski, Tucson Convention Center • Tim Hagyard, DNaRC, Dunbar Spring Neighborhood • Nancy Johnson, El Rio Community Health Center • Lee Klein, Cox Media • Chris Leighton, Peach Properties


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

BOARD MEMBERS • Camila Martins-Bekat, Tucson Electric Power • Jeremy Mikolajczak, Tucson Museum of Art • Omar Mireles, HSL Asset Management • Liz Pocock, Startup Tucson • Ron Schwabe, Dabdoub-Schwabe LLC • Chris Squires, Ten55 Brewing Company • Cameron Taylor, Imago Dei Middle School • Hilary Van Alsburg, Children’s Museum Tucson | Oro Valley • Bob Vint, Vint & Associates Architects, Inc. • Art Wadlund, Institutional Property Advisors • Kylie Walzak, Pima County District 2 • Adam Weinstein, Gadsden Company • Zach Yentzer, DNaRC, Menlo Park

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS • Christina Bertrand-Benson, Southwest Gas Corporation • Brent Deraad, Visit Tucson • Donovan Durband, Park Tucson • Steve Kozachik, Tucson City Council, Ward 6 • Diana Amado, Council Aide, Ward 6 • Michael Guymon, Tucson Metro Chamber • Ted Maxwell, Southern Arizona Leadership Council • Nicole Barraza, Southern Arizona Leadership Council • Jane McCollum, Marshall Foundation/Main Gate Square • Gary Molenda, Business Development Finance Corporation

CONSULTANT TEAM - Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) • Brad Segal, President • Erin Laetz, Vice President and Project Manager • Amanda Kannard, Associate

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The 2022 Strategic Plan for the Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP) is intended to guide the organization’s evolution and enhance its value proposition over the next five years and beyond. The plan was informed by input from DTP staff and Board of Directors, along with broad community feedback, current market trends, impacts from COVID-19, and best practices from downtown management organizations across the country.

About the Downtown Tucson Partnership

DTP is a nonprofit, 501(c)(6) corporation created in 1998 to implement enhanced municipal services for the downtown Business Improvement District (BID). The enhanced services include clean and safe initiatives, beautification, economic development initiatives, marketing, placemaking, and advocacy for projects and resources that support a vibrant and sustainable downtown. In spring of 2021, Downtown Tucson Partnership contracted Denver-based consulting firm Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) to assist in developing a new strategic plan to guide the organization’s evolution through COVID-19 recovery and over the next five years.

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The downtown BID spans a 54-block area, including 394 properties.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Community Input & Priorities A variety of stakeholders were engaged to understand the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement in Downtown Tucson, which informed a refreshed work program for DTP. This involved virtual and in-person options including one-on-one interviews, roundtable discussions, workshops with approximately 100 participants, and an online survey that collected 963 responses. Stakeholders included but were not limited to: merchants, property owners, developers, City leaders and department heads, young professionals, residents in and adjacent to downtown, and representatives from the arts, culture, education and real estate sectors.

Downtown Tucson Improvements

Based on input received from community stakeholders and the organization’s board of directors, the following improvements were identified as priorities.

Top 10 Priorities (Not listed in order of importance)

Fill vacant storefronts in downtown, with a focus on curating a diverse retail mix and resident-serving amenities

Support for more workforce and affordable housing options in downtown so that those who work downtown can also live downtown

Increase services for people experiencing homelessness, including mental health services

More family-friendly amenities, such as an ice rink, bowling alley, or activities in parks

Enhance safety, especially focused on reducing criminal activities during late evening hours

Improved access to, from and within downtown, considering multi-modal options, expansion of the streetcar, and way finding to parking

Encourage the return of festivals, events, and other in-person programming

Support for and celebrations of arts and culture

Create a pedestrian-friendly “outdoor downtown” experience, including shade, seating, outdoor dining, and potentially “pedestrian only” areas

Recruitment of primary employers to increase the number of jobs in downtown

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

VISION

Downtown Tucson is a downtown for everyone – the region’s eclectic urban hub, where people come to connect, be authentically inspired, prosper, and celebrate diversity.

MISSION

To be the catalyst making Downtown Tucson the economic and cultural center of the region – an inclusive place people want to live, work, and play, and where new ideas flourish.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Goals DTP will work in collaboration with its many partners to move forward the vision and goals for Downtown Tucson expressed in this plan.

Goal 1: Continue to provide high-level enhanced services and outreach in downtown A. Improve the perception and reality of safety in Downtown Tucson, with a focus on evening hours B. Actively engage with partners to support the unhoused population in Downtown Tucson and those with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges C. Continually seek ways to improve cleanliness throughout downtown D. Establish a revised Enhanced Services Agreement (ESA) between the City and DTP during BID renewal

Goal 2: Curate and support a vibrant storefront economy A. Activate and populate vacant storefronts in downtown B. Work with partners to attract jobs and employees downtown that help support a vibrant storefront economy C. Proactively recruit diverse businesses to Downtown Tucson D. Provide ongoing support for existing businesses E. Understand and proactively disseminate downtown market information to partners

Goal 3: Activate and maintain a physical environment that is beautiful, fun, accessible, and encourages people to spend time and explore downtown A. Green and shade downtown B. Enliven public spaces through culturally responsive placemaking C. Enhance the downtown streetscape D. Activate downtown parks to provide an enhanced a sense of place

Goal 4: Market and promote downtown to Tucsonans A. Elevate and promote businesses in and near downtown B. Rethink DTP’s role in downtown events, from production to facilitation C. Encourage Tucsonans to visit and explore all that Downtown Tucson has to offer D. Improve signage and wayfinding throughout downtown E. Increase connection and communication with residents in and adjacent to downtown F. Increase awareness of DTP as an organization

Goal 5: Be a thought leader and champion to guide the future of Downtown Tucson A. Advocate for policies and resources that support a vibrant and sustainable downtown B. Encourage long-term initiatives to plan for the future of downtown C. Identify and encourage sources of funding that can be used to support community benefit D. Be a conduit to share stakeholders’ voices around important topics impacting downtown

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Organizational Recommendations To continue to evolve and meet the goals and objectives of this strategic plan, the plan contains a series of recommendations pertaining to the organization and its operations, including: • Optimal level of staffing, remaining lean but increasing capacity in key areas aligned with stakeholder priorities • Adjustments to the DTP Board of Directors to maximize participation, sense of purpose and overall effectiveness

• Realignment of programmatic committees to sync with the strategic plan goals • Implementing recommendations from DTP’s recently completed Strategic Diversity Plan • Diversifying revenue sources to leverage BID assessments and in lieu contributions

AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM

NEW NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) AFFILIATE

The strategic plan recommends DTP develop an Affiliate Membership Program for businesses located in proximity to the BID that would like to take part in DTP’s marketing, promotions, and select programs like the Downtown Tucson Gift Card.

Many downtown management organizations have added to their organizational family over time. A common addition for 501 (c)(6) organization like the DTP is a 501(c)(3) affiliate. A 501(c)(3) can help leverage assessment revenues by seeking grants, sponsorships, and other donations for special projects and initiatives that provide community benefit. For Downtown Tucson this could include: public art, homeless services, pedestrian improvements, greening initiatives, or mobilizing seed capital to advance business ownership by historically marginalized populations.

For businesses farther away from the Downtown core that still see the value in contributing to efforts to support a vibrant city center, DTP could offer a “Friends of Downtown” distinction.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS DTP’s strategic planning process was designed to meet the following objectives: • Engage the organization’s leadership, ratepayers, business and civic leaders and other district stakeholders in a participatory process to develop the strategic plan • Assess current and future market influences affecting Downtown Tucson • Refresh the mission, program and organizational structure of DTP • In concert with DTP staff and board leadership, develop recommendations to guide the organization’s evolution and enhance its value proposition over the next five years

To advise the consultant team, and meet the goal of alignment and consensus among district stakeholders, P.U.M.A. engaged a Project Working Group during strategic intervals of the planning process. The Working Group included DTP staff and the board’s Executive Committee. The strategic planning process consisted of three steps, shown in the graphic below, from April 2021 to October 2021.

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The External Assessment informed the plan through discovery of stakeholder aspirations and market realities for Downtown Tucson. This included a review of relevant studies and reports, a high-level assessment of market conditions, and a variety of on-site and remote stakeholder engagements including one-on-one interviews, small group roundtables, board workshops, and an online survey. Themes from stakeholder outreach are described in the next section.

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The Internal Assessment reviewed DTP as an organization to evaluate any changes that needed to be made to effectively address the challenges and opportunities identified for Downtown Tucson through the External Assessment. This included reviewing staff roles, budget, bylaws, board structure, and other elements of the organization. This step also looked at best practices from comparable downtown management organizations.

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The final step, Plan Synthesis, took findings from the Internal and External Assessments and put them into a strategic plan framework with initial recommendations for DTP. This framework was presented to the full board of directors in August 2021, and feedback was incorporated into a final draft plan. STEP 1: EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

STEP 2: INTERNAL ORGANIZATION ASSESSMENT

Tour/Document Review

STEP 3: SYNTHESIS/DRAFT AND FINAL STRATEGIC PLAN

Best Practice/Case Studies

Market Assessment

Online Survey

Draft Strategic Plan Final Plan Development

Stakeholder Interviews/Roundtables

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MAY MAY 18-20 Site Visit DTP Board Meeting

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MARKET SNAPSHOT Based on interviews with market and real estate professionals, the overarching sentiment was that the Downtown Tucson market was on an upward trajectory pre-COVID-19. Similar to downtowns across the county, Downtown Tucson was impacted across all market sectors during the pandemic. Acknowledging that the pandemic is not over and that uncertainties remain, below are general impressions by sector. Long-term, market and real estate professionals are optimistic about the future of Downtown Tucson.

Office Market The office market has historically been a challenging sector in Downtown Tucson and is now arguably the sector with the largest question mark nationally. Opportunities to work from home have become more of the norm but companies are increasingly eager to get back to more collaborative environments found in shared physical spaces. Management of some companies wonder whether the productivity that largely upheld during the early stages of working from home is beginning to wane. Downtown Tucson has relatively few corporate headquarters with large floorplates, which in light of office trends during the pandemic has helped to insulate the market. In general, larger office tenants in high-rise vertical spaces have been more likely to vacate space than smaller office tenants. Smaller firms, with local decision makers, can be nimble in the current market and take advantage of opportunities and spaces that meet both the needs of safety and collaboration. While the larger office market is hesitant to make moves, especially in light of new pandemic variants, the smaller office market remains more fluid and may be an opportunity for Downtown Tucson. That said, some office tenants chose to move during the pandemic and learned to enjoy perks, like ease of parking, in their new locations. Downtown has tremendous value to offer, and maintaining a clean and safe environment and a vibrant storefront economy will be all the more important for maintaining downtown’s appeal for office tenants.

Retail and Restaurant Market Retail and restaurants were hit hard during the pandemic, and while some have closed for good, others have held on and some have even had record sales. Arguably, the restaurants and retailers that survived the pandemic are stronger than before and have adapted with new business centers, whether that be a retailer expanding its online presence or a dine-in restaurant adding take out and/or outdoor seating capacity. It is anticipated that, outside of an unknown change in course with the pandemic, retail and restaurants will come back strong, not only because of pivots and innovations made on the business side but also the pent-up demand for in person experiences that cannot be replicated online. Downtown Tucson has a unique and strong restaurant scene, which will likely continue to grow as it becomes more widely recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Local restaurants feed off of the rich culture and history of the region. According to market interviews, and stakeholder interviews in general, retail has been more sluggish in downtown. Nearby Historic Fourth Avenue has a strong retail scene, which captures the student market from the University of Arizona, among others. Downtown still needs to find its retail niche. Additionally, a number of residential stakeholders cited the need for amenities like a full-service grocery store and pharmacy, which market experts say may not be possible until there is more housing downtown, although that may not be far off.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Housing Market The multifamily housing market was soaring in many downtowns pre-COVID, including Downtown Tucson, where housing has grown tremendously over the past decade. While COVID-19 slowed some projects, many continued to move forward through the pandemic and the overall outlook is optimistic for continued growth. RendezVous Urban Flats, a 6-story luxury apartment building with price points previously not found in downtown, opened in fall of 2020. So far in 2021 there are eight housing projects under construction, which would deliver a total of over 700 units in downtown in 2022 and beyond. While the market is delivering high-end units, and there is some stock of affordable housing, there is a missing middle. According to conversations with stakeholders, many young professionals in a variety of fields would like to live downtown but cannot afford the price points of new developments. Increasingly, developers are aware of this missing middle and considering housing types that would support downtown’s workforce. Supporting continued affordable and workforce housing development will be an important balance to the new market-rate units. Depending on long-term demand shifts in office space, there may be opportunities to convert former office space into more affordable types of housing.

Hospitality Market The downtown hospitality market has been sluggish in past decades but is picking up significant steam. When the AC Hotel opened in Downtown Tucson in 2017, it marked the first hotel built in downtown since the 1970s. Since then a DoubleTree and Hampton Inn/Home2 Suites have opened, collectively adding more than 350 rooms. There are also plans for a new Moxy hotel, a brand that caters to Millennials. Brand name hotels aren’t the only ones calling downtown home. Downtown just welcomed a new 10-room boutique concept, The Citizen Hotel, in the historic Tucson Citizen Building and, of course, the downtown story is not complete without Hotel Congress, the iconic anchor built in 1919. The recent growth in the downtown hotel market, is seen as advantageous for attracting additional events to the Tucson Convention Center.

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT SUMMARY An important component of the strategic planning process was to engage a variety of stakeholders to understand the current strengths, challenges, and future opportunities for Downtown Tucson. These inputs were used to inform DTP’s priorities and overall work program. The P.U.M.A. team sought to engage with stakeholders in a number of different formats, including both virtual and in-person options. In total the team held 15 one-on-one interviews, nine roundtable discussions that included approximately 100 participants (with five to fifteen attendees each), and an online survey that collected 963 responses. Roundtables were grouped by similar interests including: merchants, property owners and developers, City department heads, arts and culture, education, young professionals, market and real estate professionals, and residents in and adjacent to downtown.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Interviews, Roundtables, and Interactive Activities The following themes were heard from stakeholders about Downtown Tucson’s strengths, challenges, and ideas for improvement.

DOWNTOWN TUCSON STRENGTHS

CHALLENGES

IMPROVEMENTS

Community Connection

Pedestrian-Friendly Scale

Hyper Local

There is a strong sense of community, connection, and familiarity among people living and working in Downtown Tucson.

Downtown Tucson has a pedestrian scale environment that sets it apart from many other downtowns. Additionally, its compact size and walkability were noted by many stakeholders.

Downtown’s retailers and restaurants are a source of pride for the community and offer a point of differentiation, with the large majority being unique, local concepts.

Creative Food Culture

Historic Depth

Arts, Culture, Entertainment

Downtown has a thriving food scene that is a strong driver for visitors. The City recently became the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy designated in the United States.

Tucson is one of the oldest continually inhabited places in North America, and its populations of Native American, Mexican, and Spanish people shaped its character. Historic architecture throughout the downtown was noted as a strong asset by many stakeholders.

Downtown Tucson has many beloved art and cultural museums, like the Tucson Museum of Art, and live music venues such as the Rialto and Fox Theatres, which draw international visitation.

Transformative Investment

Hip & Quirky

Downtown Tucson has experienced catalytic new investment over the past decade. The opening of the Sun Link streetcar was considered one such investment. More recently, significant new housing is being developed in downtown, making the adage “live, work, play” a reality.

Downtown stakeholders have used words like hip, quirky, and eclectic to describe the authentic nature and feeling of Downtown Tucson.

DOWNTOWN TUCSON STRENGTHS

CHALLENGES

IMPROVEMENTS

Safety

Growing Homelessness

Mental Health & Drug Use

A number of stakeholders voiced concern about safety in downtown; with particular concerns related to speeding, late night bar fights, theft, and slow response times by police. Additionally, safety issues were felt at the Ronstadt Transit Center and downtown parks.

Downtowns across the country are struggling with growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness, and Downtown Tucson is no different in this respect. Stakeholders are eager for solutions.

Many stakeholders cited challenges with populations openly using drugs and people experiencing mental health challenges, not necessarily one and the same. Some of these individuals are also experiencing homelessness.

Limited Retail & Vacancies

Streetcar Reach

Parking Perception

While the restaurant and bar scene is robust, downtown’s retail (soft goods) market has struggled. Stakeholders have expressed a desire for more retail in downtown and to fill vacant storefronts, whether that be through retail or another concept.

While the streetcar has been an important asset and in many ways a catalyst for new activity in downtown, many stakeholders wish the Streetcar’s reach would be extended. The airport was mentioned specifically.

There is a perception, and perhaps reality, among some visitors to Downtown Tucson that it will be a challenge to find parking. This was cited as a potential deterrent to come downtown.

Loss of Community

Visitor Awareness

New investment in downtown has raised concern about gentrification and subsequent displacement of longstanding residents and businesses. Mistrust and fear remain palpable in adjacent neighborhoods where portions of historic barrios were replaced with new developments.

A number of stakeholders spoke about confused visitors – those who come downtown but don’t know what to do once they arrive. There is potentially a need to help curate the downtown experience.

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON STRENGTHS

CHALLENGES

IMPROVEMENTS

The following improvements were commonly suggested by stakeholders during interviews and roundtable discussions.

Fill storefront vacancies; add more (nonrestaurant) retail.

Increase services for people experiencing homelessness; including mental health services.

Improve safety, especially during the late evening hours.

More multi-modal options to access downtown.

Add family-friendly amenities (e.g. ice rink, bowling), expanding what people can do downtown beyond going to restaurants and bars.

Need missing middle housing; housing for the workforce that is attainable and inclusive.

Improve elements of the parking systems including signage, cost, and meter duration.

More employment/jobs in downtown.

Activate parks and add amenities such as shade, hydration, restrooms, etc.

Value historic buildings and help preserve downtown’s character.

Restart events/programming to bring people together and have things to do in downtown.

Need more amenities for residents, specifically a full-service grocery store, drugstore.

Embrace the idea of an outdoor downtown; create enjoyable outdoor spaces for people (seating, dining).


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Downtown Tucson Partnership Impressions The following themes were heard from stakeholders about the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement within the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

STRENGTHS

CHALLENGES

• Overall, DTP’s staff are seen as a great strength of the organization • Many stakeholders highlighted the organization’s clean and safe program and the visibility, friendliness, and responsiveness of the Ambassadors, often referred to as ‘Purple Shirts’ • Relationships and communications with downtown merchants are strong; in particular with respect to keeping stakeholders informed and providing forums to develop solutions to challenges

• The need for board restructuring was commonly identified; board size, engagement, and diversity were among the issues noted • While DTP staff are seen as doing a “Herculean” effort with the resources they have, budget is limited and the organization is under-resourced • Continue to work toward breaking down any silos between partners working for the betterment of downtown

• DTP is seen as an innovative organization, willing to learn from best practices and continually try new programs • The organization has a strong drive and proactive approach to caring for downtown

IMPROVEMENTS The following improvements were commonly suggested by stakeholders, not listed in order of importance.

• Expand funding sources for the organization

• Increase marketing; tell the downtown story

• Grow revenue through the BID (fill gaps, expand)

• Play a larger role in storefront activation

• Expand diversity on the board of directors

• Understand and disseminate information on the downtown market (data, surveys etc.)

• Refresh the organization’s committee structure • Better communication and collaboration with partners, including the City, County, and residents adjacent to downtown

• Provide merchants with training, expertise, deescalation techniques

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Online Survey An online survey was broadly distributed through the month of July 2021 and received 963 responses. Respondents included downtown employees, residents, businesses, property owners, students, and those who visit downtown for work and play.

Vision for the Future Survey respondents were asked to provide three words to describe their vision for Downtown Tucson ten years from now. The word cloud to the right shows which words were used most frequently. The top five words were: Safe (203), Vibrant (193), Clean (129), Diverse (125), and Friendly (109).

Improvement Priorities Respondents were asked to prioritize future improvements for Downtown Tucson by selecting just one action that they deemed most important. This question was asked for the near term (next 18 months) and longer term (next five to 10 years).

Near Term Priorities

(next 18 months)

• Fill vacant storefronts in downtown (20%) • Increase services for people experiencing homelessness (20%) • Restart events, festivals, and other in-person programming (15%)

Long Term Priorities

(next five – ten years)

• Improve safety with a focus on reducing criminal activities (13%) • Increase services for people experiencing homelessness (12%) • Create a pedestrian-friendly “outdoor downtown” (11%) • Fill storefront vacancies (11%)


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

KEY TAKEAWAYS Based on the internal and external assessments completed as part the strategic planning process, the following takeaways influence the strategic plan for DTP. In line with the trend of rising mid-sized markets, the City of Tucson is gaining national attention, evidenced by the growth of the housing market and investment in general, creating new opportunities for downtown.

1

Downtown’s significant transformation has prompted some concern, especially from residents of adjacent neighborhoods, about affordability and the loss of community history and diversity. Strategies to mitigate these impacts should be considered.

2

Safety is a top concern among property owners and merchants in downtown, with specific references to late night activities, bar fights, speeding, and police response times. Some of the concerns became more intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic but many are longstanding and lingering.

3

Similar to many downtowns, Downtown Tucson has a population experiencing homelessness and individuals struggling with mental health issues. These are growing national concerns and downtown organizations across the country are looking for ways to partner in providing support and solutions.

4

Downtown Tucson has a robust dining scene, contributing to Tucson’s unique designation as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy, which can be further leveraged as a point of differentiation.

5

Downtown struggles to define a market niche for its retail scene, in contrast to nearby Historic 4th Avenue. A lack of retail, and vacancies along Congress Street, was commonly cited by stakeholders.

6

Visitors to Downtown Tucson could use more guidance on what there is to do and see once they get to downtown, in order to enhance their experience.

7

While events continue to be important for downtowns, the pandemic has allowed time and space for many downtown management organizations to rethink their role in events and shift from a production to facilitation role. Now is an opportune time for DTP to evaluate events it has produced in the past and potentially step away from those where the cost, staff time, and effort no longer make sense.

8

9

The working relationship between the City and DTP could be strengthened by building relationships at all levels.

The DTP Board of Directors is too large for meaningful engagement and should be gradually reduced to align with national best practices in BID-based organizational board management.

10

Stakeholders are largely complimentary of DTP but staff is stretched thin and additional resources would help the organization to be even more effective.

11

The formation of a new non-profit 501(c) (3) affiliate could help diversify revenues and further support stakeholder priorities for downtown in areas like the arts, physical place enhancements, and initiatives to support the health and safety of the community.

12

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

GOALS, OBJECTIVES, TACTICS Goal 1 Continue to provide high-level enhanced services and outreach in downtown Improve the perception and reality of safety in Downtown Tucson, with a focus on evening hours • In collaboration with property owners and merchants, explore funding off-duty police officers or other personnel to support Ambassadors during hours that are most prone to disruptive behaviors • Support the new Safety Summit group with outreach to downtown merchants, property owners, and other stakeholders and collectively brainstorm solutions • Continue to build relationships with staff at downtown bars and encourage them to employ protocols to prevent overserving patrons • Continue to support the City’s effort to provide de-escalation training for merchant employees through the Safety Summit • Take an inventory of existing cameras in downtown and whether property owners would be willing to provide access to footage • In collaboration with property owners, merchants, and the Tucson police department, consider implementing a surveillance camera network, which would supplement existing cameras with additional surveillance in key areas

Actively engage with partners to support the unhoused population in Downtown Tucson and those with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges • Reactivate the DTP Connects program, seeking participation from social service agencies to provide a Community Outreach Specialist to accompany DTP Ambassadors in connecting individuals experiencing homelessness, and/or those with mental health issues, with services • Create a Services Guide for those experiencing homelessness, on where to find food, water, shelter and other services in and around downtown • Advocate for permanent supportive housing (housing with wraparound services that can include mental health, job placement, etc.) in downtown and throughout the City • Distribute Resource Guide for downtown businesses, residents and visitors explaining the complexity of the issue and who to call for homeless advocate support • Research the pros/cons of supervised use sites that have been implemented in other downtowns as a way to prevent fatalities and disease

Continually seek ways to improve cleanliness throughout downtown • Create a Resource Guide for downtown businesses, residents, visitors, and others, that includes contact information for specific maintenance, security and sanitation concerns • Work with the City to promote use of their SeeClickFix app for reporting maintenance and cleanliness issues in downtown • Advocate that the City establish higher frequency of cleaning and hours of operations at public restroom facilities at Armory Park and the Ronstadt Center • Maintain standards for the timely removal of graffiti • Establish new technology for crowdsourcing maintenance issues • As a climate action measure, initiate a conversation with partners to understand barriers and consider solutions for using reclaimed water for plantings and power washing


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Goal 2 Curate and support a vibrant storefront economy Activate and populate vacant storefronts in downtown • Help entrepreneurs identify and move into downtown spaces that best fit their needs • Encourage property owners with vacant space to help incubate new businesses by offering small spaces, below market rate, for a period of time. Property owners who participate would be recognized for encouraging innovation in downtown • Encourage temporary uses of vacant storefronts (e.g. seasonal market, pop-up concepts) • Create a window vinyl program to advertise available spaces and what they could be used for (e.g. This could be a bakery!”) • Explore a partnership with the City, County, and/or Rio Nuevo to provide small business grants that could be used for tenant improvements, or other identified uses • Develop a retail recruitment program for downtown • Encourage the reuse of historic properties through education on tax credits, identifying preservation grants, and encouraging use of local subsidies

Work with partners to attract jobs and employees downtown that help support a vibrant storefront economy • Work with partners to market Downtown Tucson to remote workers • Assist property owners with more traditional office spaces in understanding post-pandemic trends, reconfiguring spaces, and converting standard formats to more creative spaces that are attractive to tenants • Collaborate with the City, County, Rio Nuevo and others to package and pitch incentives, and tour prospective large employers around downtown

Proactively recruit diverse businesses to Downtown Tucson • Per guidance in the Strategic Diversity Plan, understand and work with partners to remove the barriers that exist in the current recruitment process • Identify partners and build relationships to connect with business owners and entrepreneurs within historically underrepresented communities • Assist businesses owned by people of color, and/or other diverse backgrounds, in identifying and securing space in downtown

Provide ongoing support for existing businesses • Develop a formal welcome package for new businesses opening in downtown (this could include information on DTP, other resources, and cross promotion of a grand opening event) • Continue weekly drop-ins with existing businesses to build relationships and understand current needs • Connect and market existing partner trainings of interest to merchants (e.g. growing a social media presence, website development, etc.) • Annually survey downtown employees and residents to understand their likes, dislikes, and suggestions for improvement • Explore student partnership programs with local colleges and the University of Arizona to connect students with downtown businesses and jobs

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Understand and proactively disseminate downtown market information to partners • Create and maintain an inventory of downtown properties (sq. footage, type of property etc.) • Collect and disseminate downtown market data to property owners, developers, brokers, and prospective tenants through annual development reports • Stay informed of national and local trends that impact Downtown Tucson and share information with partners • Develop an annual “State of Downtown Tucson” report to help tell the story of downtown to partners and stakeholders • Cross-promote existing Tucson Trolley Tours to familiarize brokers, investors, and potential new residents from the surrounding region with the downtown market • Partner with the City, Rio Nuevo and others to encourage ground floor retail in new developments that provide everyday amenities desired by downtown residents and employees (e.g. pharmacy, groceries)

Goal 3 Activate and maintain a physical environment that is beautiful, fun, accessible, and encourages people to spend time and explore downtown Green and shade downtown • Continue the partnership with Desert Survivors to maintain plantings throughout downtown • In pursuit of climate action goals, work with partners to enhance the downtown tree canopy; develop a plan for new plantings, funding, and ongoing maintenance of current trees, and responsibilities of each party • Work with partners to explore creative ways, outside of trees, to add shade in downtown (e.g. colorful awnings, solar panels)

Enliven public spaces through culturally sensitive placemaking • Support the City in creating a simplified ordinance for parklets and streateries and encourage utilization by downtown property and business owners • Intentionally seek to partner with artists of diverse backgrounds, race and ethnicities • Work with Rio Nuevo and other partners to implement ideas from the Project for Public Spaces “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” report (e.g. interim street painting to widen sidewalks) • Complete an alley audit to identify a space that can be used for unique activations by partners (e.g. temporary closures for an event like a night market, a local musician showcase, festive lighting, etc.) • Partner with cultural institutions to increase the prevalence of outdoor art in downtown (e.g. Downtown Tucson “Art Trail”)

Enhance the downtown streetscape • Work with partners to develop and implement unified streetscape design standards for the core of downtown • Partner with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility to support and augment pedestrian improvements planned for downtown streets (e.g. Church, Court, Toole, and potentially others)


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Activate downtown parks to provide an enhanced sense of place • Establish an agreement with the City to allow DTP to implement simple, inexpensive activations at Jácome Plaza, Armory Park, and other public spaces – and work with partners to identify funding for the same • Explore locations for a dog park with Parks and Recreation and potentially owners of private property where a temporary access agreement could be utilized • In coordination with Parks and Recreation, identify community priorities for more permanent fixtures in downtown parks, which could include shade structures, hydration stations, seating, interactive play structures for children, etc.

Goal 4 Market and promote downtown to Tucsonans Elevate and promote businesses in and near downtown • Work with Pima County Attractions & Tourism to market their mobile informational kiosk at area hotels, gathering places, and events • Use social media, newsletters, emails, and earned media articles to highlight downtown business owners; putting faces and stories behind the businesses • Develop a membership program for businesses, located in proximity to the BID, that would like to be part of DTP marketing, promotions, and select programs like the Downtown Tucson Gift Card

Rethink DTP’s role in downtown events • Shift the overall mentality of DTP as an event “producer” to an event “facilitator,” helping smaller, culturally diverse events to be successful and make their home in downtown • Evaluate all DTP events and determine which events DTP should continue to produce and which events the organization should stop or transfer to another entity • Seek another entity to take over production of the Parade of Lights • Identify partners and content experts to cross-promote a cultural educational series

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Encourage Tucsonans to visit and explore all that Downtown Tucson has to offer • Develop a marketing campaign to entice the greater Tucsonan community to come downtown • Utilize the DTP storefront to promote things to do in downtown; scan QR code to learn more • Provide information to hotel concierges and ride-share companies on what there is to do in downtown • Partner with Visit Tucson to extend downtown marketing regionally and nationally

Improve signage and wayfinding throughout downtown • Work with partners to develop a comprehensive wayfinding program • Install digital kiosks in key downtown locations that provide information on merchants, community services, and information on current promotions, events, activities and things to do in downtown

Increase connection and communication with residents in and adjacent to downtown • Create a downtown residential database for targeted communications • Connect with the recently formed Downtown Residents Association (DRA) to build relationships • Periodically engage with residents in and around downtown through surveys, focus groups, or other engagement to understand their needs and what would improve their perception and patronage of downtown


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Increase awareness of DTP as an organization • Seek ways to drive more visitation to the DTP website and its many resources • Increase the number, and engagement, of weekly e-blast subscribers • Continue to grow social media presence, content, and followers; partner with local influencers for original content, Instagram Takeovers, etc. • Implement a biannual CEO briefing for ratepayers and members, with emphasis on DTP initiatives, programs and staff, and pertinent downtown trends

Goal 5 Be a thought leader and champion to guide the future of Downtown Tucson Advocate for policies and resources that support a vibrant and sustainable downtown • Advocate for permanent supportive housing solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness • Provide education around the need for workforce housing and affordable housing in downtown • Per the Tourism Master Plan, advocate and partner with Visit Tucson to facilitate a central outdoor gathering place in downtown where visitors and locals can celebrate art, music, multicultural events, and other activities in the heart of Tucson • Explore with partners if and where new public restroom facilities are needed in downtown

Encourage long-term initiatives to plan for the future of downtown • Be a voice at the table in the design and redevelopment of the Ronstadt Transit Center • Partner with the City, County, Rio Nuevo to initiate a Downtown Tucson Master Plan • Further the conversation with partners about expanding the reach of the streetcar and identifying funding sources

Identify, and encourage, sources of funding that can be used to support community benefit • As part of a non-event-based sponsorship program, seek sponsors for initiatives and programs that support the arts, storytelling campaigns, pedestrian improvements, and service providers • Based on the 2021 Equity and Sustainability Assessment, support the City in modifications to the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) program to support affordable housing, cultural preservation, green building practices and/or other contributions to equity and sustainability • Form a non-profit 501(c)(3) affiliate to be a conduit for grants, sponsorships, and other dollars that can be used for charitable initiatives in downtown (a more detailed plan for this entity will need to be developed) • In concert with Rio Nuevo, explore using tax increment financing (TIF) to support community benefit (e.g. amenities like grocery, pharmacy, childcare, or workforce/affordable housing)

Be a conduit to share stakeholders’ voices around important topics impacting downtown • Help to convene groups of merchants, property owners, residents, employees and other downtown stakeholders to share perspectives with the City on significant issues impacting downtown • Work with developers and property owners of catalytic sites to help engage the downtown community on what they would like to see for the future

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

ORGANIZATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS Staffing The Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP) has a small but effective staff that includes the President & CEO, Deputy Director, Downtown Safety and Maintenance Director, and Office Manager. Additionally, DTP employs a clean and safe team of 14 Ambassadors and a 14-member Clean & Green Team contracted through Desert Survivors Inc. To fulfill the objectives of the strategic plan, and to meet the evolving needs of Downtown Tucson, modest growth in DTP’s office staff is recommended.

Near Term The COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain small businesses that have to navigate changing policies, consumer preferences, and health concerns on a near-daily basis. While business recruitment and retention has historically been a business center for DTP, this strategic plan suggests an even greater focus on supporting the storefront economy as Downtown Tucson moves through ongoing COVID-19 challenges, recovery, and beyond. This new emphasis would include: • Acting as a liaison to small businesses, providing hands on, ongoing support, and troubleshooting issues; • Collaborating with partners on recruitment strategies for downtown, with a special focus on retail; and • Tracking, packaging and disseminating downtown market and trend data to interested parties. Existing staff have the skill sets needed to play a larger role in this area but would require relinquishing some current responsibilities to allow for this capacity. It is therefore recommended that an additional staff member be hired to backfill existing staff’s marketing and communications duties.

Marketing and Communications Manager This position would be largely responsible for implementing the tactics for accomplishing the objectives of Goal 4. Specific responsibilities could include: • Assistance in developing and marketing a new Affiliate Membership program • Helping to facilitate and support culturally diverse events throughout downtown • Developing a downtown marketing campaign and working with regional partners to spread the word • Proactive communications to seek and provide information to businesses and residents in and near downtown • Continually looking for ways to build awareness of the organization, increase utilization of the website, and grow participation in DTP programs

Longer Term As resources allow, a second position for consideration is an individual who could act as a “Special Projects Coordinator” to support the organization’s ongoing initiatives and programs. This position could support many of the objectives of Goal 3, involving physical place enhancements, as well as future planning initiatives that may arise from Goal 5.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Governance The DTP board of directors has 42 voting members, in addition to 14 non-voting members, for a total of 56 board members. Compared to other downtown management organizations with comparable characteristics, the DTP board is large. A reoccurring theme from stakeholder outreach was the need for adjustments to the board of directors in order to maximize members participation, sense of purpose, and overall effectiveness.

DTP Board Adjustments 1. Reestablish, and enforce, board expectations Current: DTP requires board members to attend at least three (out of the six) meetings a year. Those who do not meet this threshold, and who do not have an excused absence, are not to be re-elected. Proposed: Remove the excused absence protocol and require attendance at a minimum of three meetings a year. Directors who do not meet this threshold will not be re-elected. 2. Require committee participation Current: DTP has several committees within the board of directors and is affiliated with two councils. Board members are not required to participate in a committee or council. Proposed: Establish an expectation that board members participate in a committee or council of their choice. This change is intended to elicit greater participation from board members and utilize their expertise at a deeper level to help accomplish the organization’s goals. 3. Implement term limits Current: DTP board members serve two-year terms but there is no limit on the number of consecutive terms a director can serve. Proposed: Maintain two-year terms but instate a policy whereby directors can serve a maximum of three consecutive two-year terms. Following a 1-year break, an individual may be considered for the board again. Term limits are a common best practice among BID-funded organizations. A healthy circulation of members keeps ideas fresh, maintains strong levels of engagement, and maximizes the opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to be involved in the organization. 4. Consider reducing the size of the board and adjust meeting frequency Current: DTP bylaws allow for up 42 members, including 16 Standing Directors and 26 At-Large Directors. Additionally, the board has 14 Ex Officio members. In the past several years, the board has discussed challenges associated with the large board, including uneven participation among board members and keeping board members engaged in a meaningful way. The board meets every other month, with the executive committee convening in between. Proposed: Set clear expectations for board members and engage the board in meaningful discussions on strategy and policy. Consider reducing the total size of the board over the five-year duration of the strategic plan. This will bring the board in line with other comparable downtown management organizations and help to ensure that all board members feel they are making a meaningful contribution.

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

In addition to board involvement, there are a number of other ways for stakeholders and supporters to continue to be involved. This could include participation on a committee, seeking appointment on the board of a new 501(c)(3) affiliate as described on page 23, or for legacy board members, joining the Emeritus Council described on the following page. Additionally, the strategic plan recommends instating a biannual CEO Briefing that would be sent to all ratepayers and members as a way to keep stakeholders informed on the organization’s progress and pertinent issues impacting Downtown Tucson.

Downtown Organization Downtown Colorado Springs BID

# of Board Members (total) 11

Downtown Boulder BID

12

Downtown Santa Monica Inc.

13

Olde Pasadena Management District

16

Downtown Reno Partnership

17

Downtown Tucson Partnership

42/56

In DTP’s existing bylaws, “standing directors” provide designated seats for stakeholders and partners, many of which have changed over the past 20 years. The composition and role of the Standing Directors should be re-evaluated. Executive committee appointments should be drawn from and approved by the board. With 16 members, the Executive Committee is similar in size to the operational board found in most BID-based organizations. Moving forward, the Executive Committee should meet monthly to address operational and day-to-day management issues. In addition to better defining board member expectations (i.e. committee involvement, attendance, etc.), the board meetings could explore ways to more fully engage members in discussing and setting high-level strategy and policy. The notion of “strategic agendas” for board meetings should be considered. Meetings of the larger board could move to a quarterly frequency, with meetings providing a mix of operational updates and strategic decision making. The composition of the board of directors and executive committee should be evaluated to be representational of BID-based organizations and property owners. This maximizes accountability to BID ratepayers and keeps the organizational focus on championing downtown interests. 5. Increase diversity on the board Current: A recent Strategic Diversity Plan conducted for the organization recommended strategies to diversify the board so that it is better reflective of the community. Proposed: Based on findings from the Strategic Diversity Plan, develop a strategy for increasing board diversity, including identifying alternate recruitment techniques and resources to yield more diverse candidates. Increasing diversity can coincide with reducing the number of directors on the board but will take a concerted effort to identify intersectional candidates. The board should seek authentic diversity, both within the Executive Committee and the full board, that encourages power sharing with historically marginalized, excluded, and underserved populations2. 2

This considers diversity along the lines of race, age, gender, sexuality, class, and disability, among others


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Board, Staff, and Committee Roles In BID-funded organizations, the role of the board is largely centered on policy and helping to set the strategic vision for the organization. Staff is tasked with implementing this vision on a day-to-day basis through the organization’s programs and services. Staff brings new ideas to the board, based on their expertise, and solicits the board’s strategic input, or support, when necessary. Committees are the meeting ground, where board and staff members both roll up their sleeves to work on specific issues. Committees are also a platform for inviting participation from members of the community, who are not on the board, but have relevant experience and/or expertise to contribute. In this way, committees can help foster the next generation of leadership by creating pathways to board service via committee participation. Committees, and the board overall, should be reflective of the diversity of the Tucson community.

COMMITTEES

DTP has several existing committees with a variety of meeting frequencies ranging from monthly to as needed. This strategic plan proposes the following guidelines for committees. • Align standing committees with strategic plan goals 1 through 4, meeting bimonthly unless more frequent meetings are necessary. Goal 5 (advocacy) can be addressed through the Executive Committee. • The existing Social Justice Committee could remain as a stand-alone given the work cuts across all committees. This Committee will provide feedback and guidance on the organization and its initiatives and programs through the lens of equity. • Make a distinction between a standing committee (ongoing) and a task force, which is temporary and designed to address a specific issue, within a standing committee, and then be dissolved. Some of DTP’s past committees, such as the Jácome Plaza Park MOU Committee, were more task force in nature. • The Finance Committee could continue to meet monthly and the Governance Committee as needed. The Governance Committee should also lead an annual discussion on skills, influence, organizational partnerships, and other needs for the organization before embarking on recruitment. • Consider positioning the Governance Committee as a task force that develops a slate of new board candidates. • Overall, DTP board and staff should be mindful of the number of committees and task forces created as each one takes an amount of staff time and oversight. COUNCILS

DTP is also affiliated with two councils, the Downtown Merchants and Retail Council, and the Downtown Neighborhood and Residents Council. The Downtown Merchants and Retail Council meets quarterly. A DTP staff or board member should be present at these quarterly meetings to provide pertinent updates to the group. Merchants who are interested in further participation with the organization should be encouraged to join one of the standing committees most aligned with their area of interest. The Downtown Neighborhood and Residents Council (DNaRC) meets monthly. The DNaRC chair has a seat on the board and provides monthly updates to members.

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Funding Sources & Budget The primary source of revenue for DTP comes from private property owners within the BID as well as in lieu contributions from government-owned properties that are exempt from assessments. In FY 19/20, BID assessments and in lieu contributions account for 73% of the total budget, with the remaining 27% coming from grants, sponsorships, and other revenue sources.

FY 19/20 Summary Revenue Private properties

$544,232 29%

Enhanced Services Agreement (City)

$365,000 19%

Rio Nuevo properties

$198,936 10%

Pima County properties

$276,164 15%

Sponsorships, Grants, Other

$513,661 27%

TOTAL

$1,897,993

100%

Expenses Maintenance & Safety

$978,712 52%

Economic Development

$470,961 25%

Administration

$236,069 12%

Marketing

$212,529 11%

TOTAL

$1,898,271

100%

Revenue Diversification While BID assessments and payments in lieu will continue to be a primary revenue source for the organization, there are ways DTP can diversify funding, described below.

Develop an affiliate membership program Many downtown management organizations offer membership programs for businesses, corporations, and institutions that are outside of the BID boundary but want to be affiliated with the downtown. DTP should seek to develop a membership program for entities outside the BID boundary that want to benefit from benefits other than the clean and safe services provided by the organization, such as programming, marketing, and promotions. Marketing the program should focus on businesses adjacent – or in proximity to – the current BID boundary. DTP could also consider a “Friends of Downtown” distinction for businesses that are farther away from downtown but still want to support DTP’s efforts, as they see the regional importance of a vibrant city center.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

BID Spotlight: BOISE, ID

Downtown Boise Association (DBA) provides businesses outside of the BID boundary the opportunity to benefit from DBA’s marketing through an Associate Membership program. Memberships, ranging from $250-to-$300/year, allow businesses throughout the downtown (outside of the BID) to be listed in events, included in promotions, and on the DBA’s website, maps and directories.

Sponsorships, grants, and donations In FY 19/20, Downtown Tucson Partnership raised over a fourth of its annual budget through sponsorships, grants and other donations, largely due to recovery dollars from local government. To continue to grow revenues in this area, and particularly if DTP shifts its focus away from the production of large events, the organization should seek to grow non-event sponsorships. Sponsorships can be used to promote physical place enhancement projects, smaller scale programming and activations, and initiatives that support COVID-19 recovery and other social benefits. DTP staff should enlist support from board members to find new sponsors, grantors, and donors, and consider creative ways to get them involved. Fundraising targets could be built into each goal’s committee or could be one of the tasks within the Finance Committee.

Fill gaps in the BID boundary When the BID was formed in 1998, there were several parcels that were not included in the district boundary, based on ownership desires at the time. This has resulted in an irregularly shaped district that excludes properties that would otherwise, based on their location, be logical to include as they benefit from adjacent clean and safe services, as well as the general marketing, promotion, and activation of downtown. In the short term, DTP staff, with support of the board, should establish in lieu payments for such properties, ideally that are commensurate with what would be the property’s annual assessment. DTP should begin an education campaign with such properties in the near term, building support for consideration of a formal boundary change when the BID is renewed in 2023.

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Spotlight: AUSTIN, TX

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation was established in 2019 as the 501(c)(3) non-profit extension of the Downtown Austin Alliance. Through solicitation of philanthropic grants, corporate sponsorships and individual donations, the Foundation helps to implement key projects that align with the Alliance’s vision. This includes overseeing the operations, maintenance, programming, and fundraising for Republic Square Park, the downtown’s central gathering place.

Create a new 501(c)(3) affiliate organization Many downtown management organizations have added to their organizational family over time. A common addition for 501(c)(6) organizations is a 501(c)(3) affiliate. Nonprofit (c)(3)s are an attractive investment for corporations, foundations, and individuals seeking to support civic improvement causes, in particular due to their tax write-off capability. Project investments that could be driven by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate in Downtown Tucson could include public art, homeless services and facilities, pedestrian improvements, greening initiatives, mobilizing seed and working capital to advance business ownership by people of color or other historically marginalized groups, and long-term planning initiatives. While staff to support initiatives run through the 501(c)(3) will be housed within the DTP, the new 501(c)(3) will have its own board of directors. Current board members, either whose terms are expiring or who have interest in helping to spearhead this new affiliate, may be looked at to populate this new board. The 501(c)(3) will also likely have ties to social justice work, and may want to seek board members identified through the Social Justice Committee.


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Key Partnerships Understanding DTP does not operate in a silo and needs strong partnerships to accomplish its goals, the organization will continue to maintain its current relationships and nurture new relationships in support of the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. This new strategic plan presents an opportunity to outreach to partners and identify shared goals and ways to best work together moving forward.

GOAL 1 • Tucson Police Department • City of Tucson Environmental Services • Social service organizations • Downtown stakeholders • Other partners with relevant experience

GOAL 2 • City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives • Pima County • Rio Nuevo • Downtown stakeholders • Other partners with relevant experience

GOAL 3

GOAL 4

GOAL 5

• Desert Survivors

• Visit Tucson

• City of Tucson

• City of Tucson Parks and Recreation

• City of Tucson

• Pima County

• Pima County Attractions and Tourism

• Rio Nuevo

• City of Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility • Pima County • Rio Nuevo • Downtown museums, events, event planners • Downtown stakeholders • Other partners with relevant experience

• Downtown Residents Association and DNaRC • Tucson Young Professionals • Downtown hotels • Downtown stakeholders • Other partners with relevant experience

• Tucson Industrial Development Authority (IDA) • SunLink Streetcar • Downtown developers • Downtown stakeholders • Other partners with relevant experience

Timeline for Organizational Adjustments The adjustments and recommendations in this plan pertaining to the organizational structure, staffing, and resources are intended to be implemented over a period of time. The table below offers a phasing strategy that spans the five-year horizon of this strategic plan.

Organizational Adjustments Timeline

Year 1

Year 2

Update bylaws to reflect the recommendations in the governance section (e.g. term limits)

X

X

Align committees with strategic plan goals

X

Understand the barriers to increasing board diversity; examine current practices, recruitment techniques, etc.

X

Create a position for, and hire, a “Marketing and Communications Manager”

X

Develop an Affiliate Membership program

X

Consider forming a new 501(c)(3) affiliate, develop scope of work, and populate the board

Years 3-5

X

X X

X

Diversify the board to include representation from historically underrepresented groups

X

X

X

Consider gradually reducing the size of the board

X

X

X

Consider hiring a “Special Projects Coordinator”

X

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IMPLEMENTATION MATRIX DTP should evaluate the following implementation schedule and timeline and adjust the timing of individual programs/projects as needed. Initiate program or project

Continue and adjust as needed

Goal 1: Continue to provide high-level enhanced services and outreach in downtown Objectives (listed in order of priority)

A. Improve the perception and reality of safety in Downtown Tucson, with a focus on evening hours In collaboration with property owners and merchants, explore funding off-duty police officers or other personnel to support Ambassadors during hours that are most prone to disruptive behaviors Support the new Safety Summit group with outreach to downtown merchants, property owners, and other stakeholders to collectively brainstorm solutions Take an inventory of existing cameras in downtown and explore whether property owners would be willing to provide access to footage Continue to build relationships with staff at downtown bars and encourage them to employ protocols to prevent overserving patrons Continue to support the City’s effort to provide de-escalation training for merchant employees through the Safety Summit In collaboration with property owners, merchants, and the Tucson Police Department, consider implementing a surveillance camera network, which would supplement existing cameras with additional surveillance in key areas

B. Actively engage with partners to support the unhoused population in downtown and those with mental health and/or substance abuse issues Reactivate the DTP Connects program, seeking participation from social service agencies to provide a Community Outreach Specialist to accompany DTP Ambassadors in connecting individuals experiencing homelessness, and/or those with mental health issues, with services Create a Services Guide for those experiencing homelessness, on where to find food, water, shelter and other services in and around downtown Advocate for permanent supportive housing (housing with wraparound services that can include mental health, job placement, etc.) in downtown and throughout the city Distribute the Resource Guide for downtown businesses, residents and visitors explaining the complexity of the issue and who to call for homeless advocate support Research the pros/cons of supervised-use sites that have been implemented in other downtowns as a way to prevent fatalities and disease

Year 1

Years 2-5


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Objectives (listed in order of priority)

C. Continually seek ways to improve cleanliness throughout downtown Create a Resource Guide for downtown businesses, residents, visitors, and others, that includes contact information for specific maintenance, security and sanitation concerns Advocate that the City establish higher frequency of cleaning and hours of operations at public restroom facilities at Armory Park and the Ronstadt Center Maintain standards for the timely removal of graffiti Establish new technology for crowdsourcing maintenance issues As a climate action measure, initiate a conversation with partners to understand barriers and consider solutions for using reclaimed water for plantings and power washing

D. Establish a revised Enhanced Services Agreement (ESA) between the City and DTP during BID renewal Make revisions to the ESA based on the new Strategic Plan; establish a clear delineation of responsibilities, with specific focus on maintenance of the right-of-way, trees, public restrooms, and safety resources in downtown

Year 1

Years 2-5

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Goal 2: Curate and support a vibrant storefront economy Objectives (listed in order of priority)

A. Activate and populate vacant storefronts in downtown Help entrepreneurs identify and move into downtown spaces that best fit their needs Encourage property owners with vacant space to help incubate new businesses by offering small spaces, below market rate, for a period of time. Property owners who participate would be recognized for encouraging innovation in downtown Encourage temporary uses of vacant storefronts (e.g. seasonal market, pop-up concepts) Create a window vinyl program to advertise available spaces and what they could be used for (e.g. This could be a bakery!”) Explore a partnership with the City, County, and/or Rio Nuevo to provide small business grants that could be used for tenant improvements, or other identified uses Develop a retail recruitment program for downtown Encourage the reuse of historic properties through education on tax credits, identifying preservation grants, and encouraging use of local subsidies

B. Work with partners to attract jobs and employees downtown that help support a vibrant storefront economy Work with partners to market Downtown Tucson to remote workers Assist property owners with more traditional office spaces in understanding postpandemic trends, reconfiguring spaces, and converting standard formats to more creative spaces that are attractive to tenants Collaborate with the City, County, Rio Nuevo and others to package and pitch incentives, and tour prospective large employers around downtown

C. Proactively recruit diverse businesses to Downtown Tucson Per guidance in the Strategic Diversity Plan, understand and work with partners to remove the barriers that exist in the current recruitment process Identify partners and build relationships to connect with business owners and entrepreneurs within historically underrepresented communities Assist business owners from historically underrepresented communities in identifying and securing space in downtown

Year 1

Years 2-5


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Objectives (listed in order of priority)

Year 1

Years 2-5

D. Provide ongoing support for existing businesses Develop a formal welcome package for new businesses opening in downtown (this could include information on DTP, other resources, and cross promotion of grand opening event) Continue weekly drop-ins with existing businesses to build relationships and understand current needs Connect and market existing partner trainings of interest to merchants (e.g. growing a social media presence, website development, etc.) Annually survey downtown employees and residents to understand their likes, dislikes, and suggestions for improvement Explore student partnership programs with local colleges and the University of Arizona to connect students with downtown businesses and jobs

E. Understand and proactively disseminate downtown market information to partners Create and maintain an inventory of downtown properties (sq. footage, type of property) Collect and disseminate downtown market data to property owners, developers, brokers, and prospective tenants through annual development reports Stay informed of national and local trends that impact Tucson and share information with partners Develop an annual “State of Downtown Tucson” report to help tell the story of downtown to partners and stakeholders Cross-promote existing Tucson Trolley Tours to familiarize brokers, investors, and potential new residents from the surrounding region with the downtown market Partner with the City, Rio Nuevo and others to encourage ground floor retail in new developments that provide everyday amenities desired by downtown residents and employees (e.g. pharmacy, groceries)

Goal 3: Activate and maintain a physical environment that is beautiful, fun, accessible, and encourages people to spend time and explore downtown Objectives (listed in order of priority)

A. Green and shade downtown Continue the partnership with Desert Survivors to maintain plantings throughout downtown In pursuit of climate action goals, work with partners to enhance the downtown tree canopy; develop a plan for new plantings, funding, and ongoing maintenance of current trees, and responsibilities of each party Work with partners to explore creative ways, outside of trees, to add shade structures throughout downtown (e.g. colorful awnings, solar panels)

Year 1

Years 2-5

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Objectives (listed in order of priority)

B. Enliven public spaces through culturally sensitive placemaking Support the City in creating a simplified ordinance for parklets and streateries and encourage utilization by downtown property and business owners Intentionally seek to partner with artists of diverse backgrounds, race and ethnicities Work with Rio Nuevo and other partners to implement ideas from the Project for Public Spaces “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” report (e.g. interim street painting to widen sidewalks) Complete an alley audit to identify a space that can be used for unique activations by partners (e.g. temporary closures for an event like a night market, a local musician showcase, festive lighting, etc.) Partner with cultural institutions to increase the prevalence of outdoor art in downtown (e.g. Downtown Tucson “Art Trail”)

C. Enhance the downtown streetscape Work with partners to develop unified streetscape design standards for the core of downtown; and design a plan for implementation Partner with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility to support and augment pedestrian improvements planned for downtown streets (e.g. Church, Court, Toole, and potentially others)

D. Activate downtown parks to provide an enhanced sense of place Establish an agreement with the City to allow DTP to implement simple, inexpensive activations at Jácome Plaza, Armory Park, and other public spaces – and work with partners to identify funding for the same Explore locations for a dog park with Parks and Recreation and potentially owners of private property where a temporary access agreement could be utilized In coordination with Parks and Recreation, identify community priorities for more permanent fixtures in downtown parks, which could include shade structures, hydration stations, seating, interactive play structures for children, etc.

Year 1

Years 2-5


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Goal 4: Market and promote downtown to Tucsonans Objectives (listed in order of priority)

A. Elevate and promote businesses in and near downtown Work with Pima County Attractions and Tourism to market their mobile informational kiosk at area hotels, gathering places, and events Use social media, newsletters, emails, and earned media articles to highlight downtown business owners; putting faces and stories behind the businesses Develop a membership program for businesses, located in proximity to the BID, that would like to be part of DTP marketing, promotions, and select programs like the Downtown Tucson Gift Card

B. Re-think DTP’s role in downtown events Shift the overall mentality of DTP as an event “producer” to an event “facilitator,” helping smaller, culturally diverse events to be successful and make their home in downtown Evaluate all DTP events and determine which events DTP should continue to produce and which events the organization should stop or transfer to another entity Seek another entity to take over production of the Parade of Lights Identify partners and content experts to cross-promote a cultural educational series

C. Encourage Tucsonans to visit and explore all Downtown Tucson has to offer Develop a marketing campaign to entice the greater Tucsonan community to come downtown Utilize the DTP storefront to promote things to do in downtown; scan QR code to learn more Provide information to hotel concierges and ride-share companies on what there is to do in downtown Partner with Visit Tucson to extend downtown marketing regionally and nationally

D. Improve signage and wayfinding throughout downtown Work with partners to develop a comprehensive wayfinding program Install digital kiosks in key downtown locations that provide information on merchants, community services, and information on current promotions, events, activities and things to do in downtown

Year 1

Years 2-5

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

Objectives (listed in order of priority)

Year 1

Years 2-5

E. Increase connection and communication with residents in and adjacent to downtown Create and maintain a downtown residential database for targeted communications Connect with the recently formed Downtown Residents Association (DRA) to build relationships Periodically engage with residents in and around downtown through surveys, focus groups, or other engagement to understand their needs and what would improve their perception and patronage of downtown

F. Increase awareness of DTP as an organization Seek ways to drive more visitation to the DTP website and its many resources Increase the number, and engagement, of weekly e-blast subscribers Continue to grow social media presence, content, and followers; partner with local influencers for original content, Instagram Takeovers, etc. Implement a biannual CEO briefing for ratepayers and members, with emphasis on DTP initiatives, programs and staff, and pertinent downtown trends.

Goal 5: Be a thought leader and champion to guide the future of downtown Objectives (listed in order of priority)

A. Advocate for policies and resources that support a vibrant and sustainable downtown Advocate for permanent supportive housing solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness Provide education around the need for and support of workforce housing and affordable housing in downtown Per the Tourism Master Plan, advocate and partner with Visit Tucson to facilitate a central outdoor gathering place in downtown where visitors and locals can celebrate art, music, multicultural events, and other activities in the heart of Tucson Explore with partners if and where new public restroom facilities are needed in downtown

Year 1

Years 2-5


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Objectives (listed in order of priority)

B. Encourage long-term initiatives to plan for the future of downtown Be a voice at the table in the design and redevelopment of the Ronstadt Transit Center Partner with the City and County to initiate a Downtown Tucson Master Plan Further the conversation with partners about expanding the reach of the streetcar and identifying funding sources

C. Identify, and encourage, sources of funding that can be used to support community benefit As part of a non-event-based sponsorship program, seek sponsors for initiatives and programs that support the arts, storytelling campaigns, pedestrian improvements, and service providers Based on the 2021 Equity and Sustainability Assessment, support the City in modifications to the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) program to support affordable housing, cultural preservation, green building practices and/or other contributions to equity and sustainability Form a non-profit 501(c)(3) affiliate to be a conduit for grants, sponsorships, and other dollars that can be used for charitable initiatives in downtown (a more detailed plan for this entity will need to be developed) In concert with Rio Nuevo, explore using tax increment financing (TIF) to support community benefit (e.g. amenities like grocery, pharmacy, childcare, or workforce/ affordable housing)

D. Be a conduit to share stakeholders’ voices around important topics in downtown Help to convene groups of merchants, property owners, residents, employees and other downtown stakeholders to share perspectives with the City on significant issues impacting downtown Work with developers and property owners of catalytic sites to help engage the downtown community on what they would like to see for the future

Year 1

Years 2-5

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DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP

KEY METRICS Below are suggested metrics for each of the strategic plan’s five goals. Establishing baseline metrics and tracking over time helps to ensure accountability and inform the organization if there is a need to adjust programs based on outcomes. The metrics suggested below can be further refined by staff and board input and can and should change as the organization evolves.

Goal

Suggested Metrics

GOAL 1 Continue to provide high-level enhanced services and outreach in downtown

• Ambassador activities (amount of trash collected, graffiti removed, number of power washings, etc.) • Counts of persons experiencing homelessness • Number of individuals connected to services through DTP Connects • Annual clean and safe perception survey among stakeholders • Distribution of the Resource Guide

GOAL 2 Curate and support a vibrant storefront economy

• Storefront occupancy • Number of requests for downtown market data • Number of new businesses, including the number of businesses owned by people of color or other historically marginalized populations • Outreach counts to new businesses • Total number of jobs downtown

GOAL 3 Activate and maintain a physical environment that is beautiful, fun, accessible, and encourages people to spend time and explore downtown

• Number of plantings maintained • Number of new trees planted • Number of shade structures added • Number of parklets/streateries • Count of public art • Number of local artists/creatives engaged; including the number who represent historically marginalized populations • Annual pedestrian counts in key locations

GOAL 4 Market and promote downtown to Tucsonans

• Number of businesses participating in the Affiliate Membership program • Number of residents in the database • Engagement statistics on e-blasts and social media • Website visitation & other statistics • Attendance at events or other programming activities • Attendance at biannual CEO briefings • Annual perception survey to gauge awareness of, and satisfaction with, DTP services • Number of Downtown Tucson Gift Cards redeemed


DOWNTOWN TUCSON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC PLAN

Goal

Suggested Metrics

GOAL 5 Be a thought leader and champion to guide the future of Downtown Tucson

• Number of housing units in downtown, including the proportion considered affordable and/or workforce • Number of sponsorships and/or grants dollars received to support community benefits • Number of conversations convened with groups of stakeholders around downtown topics • Number of plans, studies, or other initiatives where DTP was at the table

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100 N STONE AVENUE, SUITE 101 TUCSON, AZ 85701 DOWNTOWNTUCSON.ORG @DOWNTOWNTUCSON