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REQUEST FOR COUNCIL ACTION

DATE March 14, 2000 

ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT CITY MANAGER’S

AGENDA ITEM : Approve Phase I of Economic Development a contract with Downtown Revitalization Consultants

PREVIOUS ACTIONS: None

RECOMMENDED COUNCIL ACTION: Authorize the City Manager to execute Phase I, a Feasibility Study, of a contract with Downtown Revitalization Consultants to assist in the establishment of a Business Improvement District under California SB 1424

COMMENTS: Brentwood is fortunate to have a relatively compact and contiguous Business District that borders Brentwood Boulevard from north of Lone Tree Way to south of Balfour Road. This District has provided the City’s residents and outlying communities with goods and services by businesses in Shopping Centers, the historic Downtown Core, Business Parks and general thoroughfare locations.

Generally business has been good as witnessed by the City’s increasing sales tax base. Business, however, could be better. Many of Brentwood’s newer residents commute to other communities for work and shopping patterns often follow. Newer residents also may not know which businesses in town provide certain goods and services. There is also apprehension in our business community about the big box retailers that are currently locating on Lone Tree Way in Antioch and probably will be interested in Delta Expressway locations in the future.

Business promotion and institutional advertisement in conjunction with physical beautification and improvement are the best methods to stabilize and strengthen our existing business community. Commercial marketing and promotional programs are best funded and administered by the businesses that they represent. California SB 1424 provides one of the most useful funding mechanisms available to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a commercial marketing program through the establishment of a Business Improvement District (BID). A BID functions as a self-initiated economic development program funded by an annual benefit fee. This fee is traditionally based on type of business, size and location as a means of determining the most fair and equitable charge method possible. The fee, or assessment, is established by the City Council and is traditionally collected by the City in conjunction with business licenses. The fee is then distributed to the business association created to manage the BID. Additional information regarding BIDs is attached.

The City’s Economic Development program invited several local business owners to attend a seminar about BIDs held at the California Downtown Association’s autumn conference held in Davis. Representatives from two local businesses attended the seminar presented by Dave Kilborn of Downtown Revitalization Consultants (DRC). Conversations afterward indicated that the Brentwood business community might be agreeable to the formation of a citywide BID. I requested that DRC prepare a two-phase proposal to the City of Brentwood to sponsor the formation of a BID. The first phase of the attached proposal is a feasibility study that will determine the specific mechanics of a Brentwood BID and evaluate its acceptance by the business community. The second phase of the contract would provide the legal and technical documents necessary for the actual formation of the BID.

Several local business owners held a meeting on October 13, 1999 to discuss the potential formation of a citywide BID. Approximately eighteen owners representing a variety of business types, size and location attended the meeting. There was unanimous consensus that first phase of the BID formation should be pursued. The Economic Development Sub Committee discussed the topic and it was decided that, due to the expense the City would incur for a Phase I feasibility study, it would be appropriate for a larger segment of the business community to express interest in investigating the subject. The Sub Committee requested that a petition signed by at least 100 businesses be submitted before the City Council consider the request.

The holiday season, a very busy time for retailers, was at hand and the subject was suspended until the new-year. A group of businesses reconvened in January and have collected the requested signatures and at this time ask the City Council to fund the Phase I feasibility study.

DRC, having formed over 100 BIDs, is the most experienced consultant on the subject of forming Business Improvement Districts in California. They have provided a very thorough scope of work explaining the process of forming a BID. Phase I of the contract costs $22,956 and will take three months to complete. A Public Hearing would be held at the completion of Phase I to determine the acceptance of the idea by the business community. The actual formation of the BID, if there were business support, would cost $15,324 and take three months to complete. The City Manager will determine the best source of funding this project if the Council wishes to proceed.

City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
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E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov