Tracy downtown revitalization honored
by Glenn Moore
Oct 10, 2012 | 3555 views | 9 9 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street at Central Avenue received a Blueprint Award for Downtown Revitalization.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
The Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street at Central Avenue received a Blueprint Award for Downtown Revitalization. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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One of Tracy’s final redevelopment projects is being hailed as an example to other valley cities.

Tracy’s newest community gathering spot, the Downtown Plaza on Sixth Street, has garnered an Award of Excellence for Downtown Revitalization, one of the honors handed out in the 2012 San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Awards.

The award for the plaza, which opened May 1, was announced Sept. 21 by the Fresno Council of Governments, one of eight regional transportation planning agencies throughout the San Joaquin Valley that created the award program.

The Blueprint Awards honors projects that are deemed to fit the spirit of the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint process, an effort that began in 2006 to coordinate sustainable growth between different valley cities and counties.

Fresno Council of Governments Associate Regional Planner Rob Terry said Tracy received the top downtown development award over 15 other applicants.

“More than anything else, (the plaza) embodies the 12 principals of the Blueprint Award,” he said.

Terry said FCOG looked at 12 different criteria — the “blueprint principles” — to judge the projects, including location, public transportation access, enhancement of the economic vitality of the downtown, to how communities worked to plan them.

Although Terry said he was not one of the scoring judges, he echoed their sentiments regarding the winning design of the plaza.

“It provides a vibrant place for people to gather at,” he said. “It’s a very open, a very inviting space. A good, comfortable place for people to meet. It really gave the downtown an attractive area.”

Terry said the plaza’s location near the Tracy Transit Station and the Grand Theatre Center for Arts counted in its favor, as the synergy of those features all bring more activity to the downtown area.

Tracy has been honored before in the Blueprint Awards, receiving an award of merit in 2009 for the city’s general plan and an honorable mention in 2009 for the city’s growth management guidelines.

Assistant City Manager Maria Hurtado said she was pleased the city was honored.

“It’s a great recognition and well deserved,” she said. “Tracy has done some great things to refurbish downtown. The plaza will make a difference to businesses in downtown.”

The $3.8 million plaza — paid for through Redevelopment Agency money just before California abolished those agencies to absorb the money into the state budget — opened after nine months of construction.

It features open space with grass, benches and an interactive water feature. It has already played host to a Cinco de Mayo, movies on the plaza and a wine stroll event, among others.

Hurtado hopes it will be a hub for the community for years to come.

“The plaza is one of several efforts to make a better place — it’s one of the amenities that help us build downtown and make it a thriving place,” Hurtado said.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel will accept the Blueprint Award on behalf of the city at a luncheon on Friday, Oct. 15, in Lemoore.

Comments
(9)
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ChrisRoberts
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October 10, 2012
Biggest thing was not the development of this that has helped down town.

Not even close. This just made traffic weird and made a few local developers money.

What has helped downtown was the closing of the corner store.. Now if only the city had a movie theater downtown instead of in a mall (downtown livermore ring a bell???).

And for the love of god will somebody do something with that helms ale house site. Bulldoze it and turn it into a sandbox for toddlers or something, I don't care, but do SOMETHING.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 10, 2012
Who do you want to "do something?"

A "developer to "get rich""?
rayderfan
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October 11, 2012
Here's an idea for the corner of 10th and Central CR. How about someone opening up an ............

"Ale House"

I know, it could be called ....... "Helm's Ale House".

That would work because the window's are already painted.

Just a little sarcasm on Thursday morning.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 11, 2012
CR

Ya are aware, aren't ya, that once ya had a movie theater down town called th Grand Theater.

It was left ta decay an was, fer quite some time, one of them thair evil apartment houses that no one here seems ta like.

So some bright people though, "Wouldn't it be grand if we restored th Grand," an set about ta do it.

They quickly found out they couldn't afford it so some of th more influence members of that group devised a scheme an convinced th City ta contribute ta thair project which morphed from a simple restoration ta somethang th Grand never had, namely side wing loges that were allegedly gonna be bought up by th more affluent citizens of Tracy fer thair social entertainment.

Th promise then was this new modernized theater would attract both entertainment an people an pay fer itself. Unfortunately Tracy ain't exactly on th beaten track an entertainers would much rather perform ta a larger house ta garner more money frum th ticket receipts.

Ta keep th place open, since th City has such a large stake in it, th City now is forced ta fund it. It's either that or let it go under an die.

scottpro
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October 11, 2012
Agreed, Chris. I think Tracy is ready for a second movie theater, and put it downtown, just like Livermore did, and just like the one in Modesto. As much as we might hate to admit it, night life is what breeds economic activity in many downtown areas.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 11, 2012
scottpro

Ok, so who do ya want ta build it an who do ya want ta pay fer it? Also, what vacant land do ya wanna put it on or who's buildin da ya wanna tear down ta build it?

If someone thanks thair's money ta be made with a downtown movie theater I am certain they will do it. But considerin how th other theater group in town struggles ta keep thair doors open, along with others in th mall durin this present economy, it don't seem ta me th movie theater business is really doin all that well.

If ya take on this project ya might engage Cose since he has experience as a developer that builds thangs like that.

Oh right, we don't want somethang tacky now do we? :) How about Serpa, would he do? If neither will do I can probably come up with some more.
rosa62
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October 11, 2012
Why not put the Grand Theater up for sale and let a professional and private business owner operate it for a profit rather than the City operating it for a loss?
scottpro
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October 11, 2012
Gumfudger,

In no way was I suggesting anyone but a private entity build a theater there, I'm not sure how you jumped to the conclusion that I wanted local government to build it.
ChrisRoberts
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October 11, 2012
Scott pro Ornly's responses can more or less be summed up with "Don't drink and drive, or swallow your chewing tobacco".


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