TCCA President Dino Margaros returned to those themes several times during the State of the District event Tuesday at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.
“We want downtown to be the go-to place for dining and entertainment,” Margaros told the assembled group of about 50 business owners, property owners and city officials. “Our ultimate goal is to stop that leakage out of town, over the hill.”
TCCA was formed in 2010 and gets money for streetscape improvements, events and marketing from grants, money made at events, and assessments on property owners along Central Avenue and West 10th Street.
According to financial statements released by TCCA, the district lost $13,791 supporting events between July 1, 2013, and June 30 but drew upon existing reserves to make up the gap.
Sofia Valenzuela, CEO of the Tracy Chamber of Commerce, said that TCCA’s efforts to make downtown a destination had not gone unnoticed.
“The chamber has seen significant improvement in the downtown area,” Valenzuela said Tuesday, referring to the farmers markets, concerts on the Downtown Plaza, the annual wine stroll and other events. “The downtown is the heart of any community. The activities that are going on create opportunity in the downtown.”
Margaros admitted that not all of TCCA’s efforts had been successful. He announced during the State of the District that the group had canceled the remaining Wednesday farmers markets for this year.
“It just wasn’t working with our expectations,” he said.
Margaros did add that the markets on Saturdays had been more successful than expected, drawing 2,500 to 3,000 people every week.
The TCCA president also said the seven Friday Block Parties at the Downtown Plaza at Central Avenue and Sixth Street drew an estimated 5,350 people, many of whom went into restaurants and shops after the concerts.
“We want it to be the best downtown we can make it, and we want it to be Tracy-based,” Margaros said.
Margaros said that TCCA would face an important decision in 2015. According to the California Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994, no district can be formed for more than five years without a renewal from property owners.
In 2015, property owners within TCCA will decide whether to continue to charge themselves to pay for TCCA and the events it sponsors. Margaros had a message for the assembled business and property owners.
“Without the district renewal, this stuff goes away,” he said. “This stuff stops.”
People can learn more about TCCA, events downtown and the district’s renewal at the Tracy City Center Association website.
•Contact Michael Ellis Langley at email@example.com or 830-4231.