Tracy City Center Association hopes to prove relevancy
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 03, 2013 | 2049 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy City Center Association hopes to convince property owners along Central Avenue and 10th Street that the organization has made a difference in the character of downtown and deserves to be renewed in two years.

The group is formed of downtown property owners who have to vote every five years to renew the group.

To get the message across, TCCA President Dino Margaros said he is holding focus groups with merchants and property owners to listen to their needs and desires, discuss goals for the downtown, as well as promote the association.

“It’s another way we can reach out on a personal level, face to face,” Margaros said. “We’re all in this together. We want to go beyond the phone calls and emails. The focus group thing is another component to make things happen (downtown).”

Each week, Margaros said, he will meet with a small group of property owners or merchants who do business along 10th Street and Central Avenue to talk about the TCCA.

The TCCA was created three years ago by the downtown property owners. It operates on a yearly budget of $180,000 derived from fees paid by members based on how much property they own.

TCCA Vice President Dan Schack said the focus groups will make TCCA members and stakeholders aware of what the association and the Tracy Chamber of Commerce does for the downtown and for the larger city. He said they are more than just planners of events, such as the yearly wine stroll or summer block parties.

“What we want is for the merchants and property owners to have an engaged interest,” Schack said. “We want to solicit their input, good or bad. We’d like to have people start talking about the downtown in a positive manner.”

Merchants have expressed an interest in keeping the streets clean and safe, and Margaros said those projects and holiday activities would not be possible without TCCA, as the city and the chamber do not have the money to continue them.

A prosperous downtown reflects the health of the entire community, he said, and prospective new residents or business owners often look at a downtown’s success.

“Without a thriving downtown, the city is hurt by it,” he said.

Margaros plans to meet first with the 45 property owners, followed by the roughly 70 downtown merchants, at the TCCA office, 1003 Central Ave. He said they will likely meet in groups of four or five to get people “engaged” and provide “constructive criticism.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
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