A woman with more than a decade of experience helping Los Angeles County’s Business Improvement Districts will be the first program manager for the newly formed Uptown Property Business Improvement District, the Uptown Property and Community Association’s Board of Directors decided at its January 27 meeting.
Lorena Parker has worked with property owners and the City of Long Beach over the last year to help form the Uptown PBID and will now spearhead the development of programs that aim to provide neighborhood benefits to the corridor not available through the City. Previously, she has worked in improvement-district operations for 13 years, mostly in Studio City, and has five years of experience in forming and renewing such districts.
Parker’s first step, she says, is to develop a five-year plan for the PBID area, which covers properties on Atlantic Ave. between Artesia Blvd. and Market St. and also along Artesia Blvd. between Atlantic and Orange Ave. Conversations about priorities for the five-year plan could begin as early as the Board’s February meeting with programs beginning to be implemented in the coming months.
“I see an enormus potential for the Uptown PBID,” Parker told the Post. “That potential will come to fruition through collaboration with the local residents, businesses, property owners with the support of the City. The Uptown renaissance will involve a combination of many things including the Uptown PBID programs, other City programs, the rennovation of Jordan High School and more programs that will be planned out in the coming months. It will be exciting to see all of these things come together in 2014.”
The Uptown PBID was established in October last year with 56.6% of voting area business and comercial property owners in favor; it officially began its initial five-year term January 1. Paperwork filed with the City shows the PBID will have an annual operating budget of $188,367, which will go towards special services such as “security, maintenance, marketing, and economic development” for the businesses that pay into the fund.
Long Beach now has nine improvement districts with the nearest to Uptown’s being the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association. Parker says that although the Uptown PBID will remain independent, she will be collaborating and sharing information with both the BKBIA and the Downtown Long Beach Associates on a regular basis.
“I am very excited to be working with the Uptown PBID. I have seen over the years the transformation BIDs can have over downtowns and how they transform the quality of life for a community,” Parker said. “This community is thirsty for the transformation. It’s the momentum that is building that will transform the Uptown PBID.”
The Board also selected local commercial property owner Yanki Greenspan Chairman of the Board. Greenspan is president of Westland Real Estate Group, a company with numerous holdings in North Long Beach.