Penny for Your Thoughts
Downtown Tracy Facade Improvement Program
The City of Tracy is pleased to announce the release of grant funds to assist in the restoration, renovation, and repair of commercial buildings in Downtown Tracy. The Façade Improvement Grant Program aims to encourage private investment in the visual improvement of commercial storefronts, signs, and awnings, while restoring the original character of historic buildings and providing a catalyst for others to improve the visual appearance of their privately owned buildings.
The program eligible boundaries in the downtown area include commercial properties fronting Central Avenue between 6th Street and 11th Street, commercial properties fronting 10th Street between A Street and Central Avenue, commercial properties fronting B Street between 10th Street and 11th Street, and a portion of the commercial properties fronting 6th Street between C Street and D Street. These areas mirror the Tracy City Center Association Community Downtown District boundaries.
Grants funds are available as part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. Grant funds may be used to reimburse program participants for up to 50% of the actual costs of improving the exterior of their owned or occupied commercial building up to a maximum grant award of up to $2,000 for sign and awning projects and up to $50,000 for full exterior renovation projects. Private matching funds are required for program participation. Storefront façade improvements can include, but are not limited to: painting, stucco, masonry, awnings and canopies, affixed signage, exterior lighting, commercial storefront replacement, and accessibility improvements.
“Our entire community benefits from this public-private investment approach to revitalizing our downtown,” said Barbara Harb, Economic Development Analyst. “Last year, ten downtown businesses participated in the program. The total investment into the downtown will be nearly $200,000 upon completion of these projects, immediately improving the visual appeal of the area. Improved building aesthetics, combined with high-quality shopping, dining, and entertainment uses, are helping to create a sense of place in our downtown that invites more residents and visitors to experience what Downtown Tracy has to offer. We are excited about creating partnerships that continue to drive the economic development of Downtown Tracy.”
Property owners and business tenants are encouraged to apply with the City of Tracy Economic Development Division to take advantage of the opportunity to improve the visual appearance of their building and continue the overall effort to revitalize downtown Tracy as the heart of the city.
An informational workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 from 5:00 -6:00 p.m. in Room 109, City Hall. Applications are due to the City’s Economic Development Division, Tracy City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza, Tracy, CA 95376, by 5:00 PM, Thursday, September 24, 2015. Interested parties should contact City of Tracy Economic Development at (209) 831-6490.
Joshua Ewen, Management Analyst
Water Use Restrictions
DOWNTOWN TRACY REVITALIZATION CONTINUES AT RECORD PACE
Community Benefit District Renewal, Steady Leasing Activity Points to Positive Growth Trend
Tracy, Calif., May 15, 2015 - Downtown Tracy and the Tracy City Center Association (TCCA) had a banner year in 2014 with the notable accomplishment of a 10-year renewal term of its Downtown Community Benefit District (CBD), coupled with a high level of retail and restaurant leasing activity.
The CBD was renewed by Downtown Property Owners at a public hearing during the City Council meeting on November 18, 2014 by an overwhelming majority vote of approval (87.7%). City Council’s endorsement and recommendation for renewal was critical for the additional 10-year term. TCCA contracted with New City America, a consulting company that has formed over 70 similar districts nationwide (and the current Downtown Tracy CBD), in February 2014 to initiate the steps for renewal of the CBD. The new term coincides with the start of a new fiscal year on July 1, 2015.
TCCA Board President Dino Margaros says he is extremely pleased with the rate of progress in Downtown Tracy. “Over the past two years, TCCA has been successful in attracting new restaurants, businesses, and investment at a greater pace than at any time in the last 25 years,” he said. “With the foresight of leadership at the City of Tracy, capital improvement projects like the Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street, a recipient of the San Joaquin Valley Councils of Governments Blueprint Award, helped pave the way for downtown revitalization. Other examples include the Tracy Transit Station, Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, downtown streetscape project, public/private partnerships for downtown parking lots, and various examples of commissioned public art. All demonstrate the City’s commitment and vision that help identify Downtown Tracy as the key City Center in a 20-mile radius. We are proud to be a part of this success story.”
Margaros went on to explain that the renewed CBD will help to increase commerce and economic development through strategic business attraction/expansion within the District, build a positive image of Downtown Tracy through targeted marketing and advertising, fund enhanced services related to maintenance, beautification and capital improvements, and host/co-host a variety of events to draw both new and returning customers into the area.
The boundaries of the renewed CBD were expanded on Central Avenue to include the portion between 11th Street and Grunauer Alley, using exactly the same assessment methodology as was originally adopted in 2009. The improvements and activities for the first year of the renewed and expanded Downtown Tracy Community Benefit District include benefit services based in five general areas; District Identity, Business Attraction, Sidewalk Operations, Administration, and long term Contingency/Reserve.
Downtown Community Benefit District Formation – A Look Back
In December 2009, Downtown Tracy property owners voted to fund special benefit services through a self-assessment, with the goal of jumpstarting and expediting the revitalization of Downtown Tracy. At the time, the national, state, and local economy were all exiting from a severe recession, and Tracy was one of the few cities statewide to take on such an initiative. By state law, new Property Improvement Districts, here named the Downtown Tracy Community Benefit District, had a maximum allowable first term of five years. Tracy City Center Association was formed as a 501(c) (3) non-profit public benefit corporation in 2010 to oversee and administer the operations of this new assessment district. The creation of the Downtown Tracy CBD and Tracy City Center Association in 2010, fostered an unprecedented partnership between the City and committed Downtown stakeholders to take the District to the next level.
Strong Leasing Activity
The Tracy City Center Association, via the Community Benefit District it administers in Downtown Tracy, has helped to galvanize leasing activity in the downtown area. Following is a list of leasing activity leading into and through the first quarter of 2015.
Oak Valley Community Bank
Valley First Credit Union
Law Offices of Sidney Alegre
First Class Service Travel
The Look Hair Salon
Bank of Agriculture & Commere
Notre Dame de Namur University
Mia Bella’s Boutique
Main Street Music
Blast from the Past
The Owl Box
All Occasion Gift Baskets
EMOS Korean Restaurant
I Live for Dessert
About Downtown Tracy
Downtown Tracy is a unique and authentic downtown, built upon strong community ties. It combines historic charm with contemporary interest, showcases a pleasing variety of restaurants, shops, services, & entertainment, and serves as the center of local activity for residents, businesses, and visitors. The Tracy City Center Association is the driving force behind the continued revitalization of the Downtown area. TCCA, a 501(c)(3) Community Benefit District, advocates on behalf of its district stakeholders (property owners, merchants, local government) and the Tracy community at large, through its focus and support of economic development, events, public safety, and beautification. To learn more about Downtown Tracy and TCCA visit www.TracyCityCenter.com.
Tracy City Center Association
Downtown Businesses Expand to New Locations
(March 20, 2015) - Four retailers: My Best Friend's Closet, Bellissima Boutique, 2nd Avenue, and Mia Bella's Boutique are all relocating into new larger spaces on 10th Street. Exciting new retail, restaurants, and more are coming to a two block area of what is quickly becoming a hotspot in Downtown Tracy.
New Businesses Open Downtown
A number of new businesses have recently opened and expanded downtown with more on the way for 2015!
The Commons Gastropub (49 W. 10th Street), Delta Brews Craft Beer Tap House (47 W. 10th Street), E-Mo's Korean Fusion BBQ (31 W. 10th Street), Thai Jasmine Restaurant (29 W. 10th Street) , MJ's Bar & Lounge (809 Central Ave.), and SweetArts Bakery (1020 B Street) are all open. I Live for Dessert (807 N. Central Avenue), and a new Italian Gelateria are being worked on with openings anticipated later in the year.
Main Street Music has relocated to 45 W. 10th Street after an extensive remodel and the addition of private lesson rooms to its new larger space. The Owl Box and a Yoga Studio have signed lease agreements to relocate into the former Tracy Press Building location in Downtown Tracy. New retail offerings downtown include Mia Bella's Boutique (110 W. 10th Street), Origins Books (33 W. 10th Street) and Blast from the Past (76 W. 10th Street) memorabilia/collectibles.
Oak Valley Community Bank recently opened its 15th branch at 1034 N. Central Avenue, and Valley First Credit Union purchased/relocated into a former bank building at 1003 N. Central Avenue. The Law Offices of Sydney Alegre (1015 Central Ave.) are a new addition to our District as well. First Class Service Travel now occupies a formerly vacant space at 618 N. Central Avenue, The Look Hair Salon expanded into a larger location at 840 N. Central Avenue, and the CMV Service relocated midblock at 51 W. 10th Street.
Grand Theatre Center for the Arts - Events
The Grand Theatre is a gem in Downtown Tracy. It is truly an amazing facility due its thoughtful development as a professional arts organization and educative center within City government, as well as an important public resource as an economic redevelopment project. Hundreds of community leaders, arts patrons, educators and parents contributed to the planning process that ultimately designed the amenities and programming of the Center.
This municipal interdisciplinary arts center is the only one of its kind in the state of California offering professional and community-based fine arts programming through arts education, exhibitions, and performances of all kinds, and is one of only a handful of similar facilities in America.
The 37,000+ square foot facility opened in September of 2007 and is celebrating its 8th Anniversary during the 2014-15 Season. The Center is owned and operated by the City of Tracy and managed by the Cultural Arts Division in the City Manager's Office.
Information on Events, Exhibitions, Shows, and Programming
Downtown Tracy Welcomes You
When planning a visit to Tracy, you’ll want to come early and stay late! Shop, play, and dine in Downtown Tracy!
Once you arrive…relax and enjoy our warm temperatures and even warmer hospitality in our beautiful historic downtown.
Tracy is known for its many hometown events including the annual Farmers’ Market on Saturdays (April 4th-November 21st/10th Street), Block Parties (throughout the summer) in the Downtown 6th Street Plaza, Girls' Nights Out (twice per year), and the Fourth of July Day-In-the-Park (sponsored by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce) which is a taste of true small town Americana with hot air balloons, arts and crafts, and a spectacular fireworks display.
A new event for 2015 is the Taps on Tenth Craft Beer Tasting (April 17th). Tracy City Center Association’s signature Fall Wine Stroll (September 26th) marks the end of the summer event season. You won’t want to miss the Holidays in Downtown Tracy to kick off a fun filled holiday season. Do not forget to visit the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts website for entertainment and programming information throughout the year.
These events and more feature food, fun, great shopping and live entertainment for the entire family in a warm and welcoming setting …. For more information, click on the “Event” tab at the top of our home page!