Tracy Talks: Downtown success tied to region?
by Anne Marie Fuller
Jan 17, 2014 | 3340 views | 8 8 comments | 131 131 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the past couple of weeks, Tracy Talks has focused on the expectations community members have for this new year. Today’s topic is revitalizing downtown.

“We need more local businesses to attract people to come downtown,” said Elizabeth Garcia, owner of My Best Friend’s Closet, 821 N. Central Ave. “Many people don’t even know we are here. Some only come downtown for the parades and events. I know many people like to do one-stop shopping, and if they don’t know what’s downtown, they go elsewhere.”

Could this be a simple case of needing more aggressive advertising, or is it something else? Are there enough amenities downtown to attract people to support local businesses?

“I think advertising is key to have people shop local,” Garcia said. “Not just advertise within the downtown area, but throughout Tracy and in nearby cities. Also, bring in an anchor store that will help bring people downtown.”

I personally think shopping locally is the key to helping preserve our town as we know it and keeping our tax dollars right here.

What are your thoughts? Could downtown Tracy become the destination spot in 2014?

• Anne Marie Fuller is the host of the television show “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie,” which can be seen locally on Channel 26. Contact her at

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February 04, 2014
Late comment, but Tracy leaders should take a look at Livermore's First Street for ideas. Livermore turned its little downtown area around from nothing to a place always busy.
January 18, 2014
I don't get the obsession the city leaders have with trying to push folks downtown for shopping. If they really want to achieve that then they need to put in ample parking and a nice large mall. The mall over on Grant Line has everything anybody could possibly need with many reasonably prices options. Downtown on the other hand has mostly pricey boutique stores nobody has ever heard of. If you actually want shopping traffic downtown bring target, walmart, penny's, etc. there.
January 18, 2014
Another good example of a local city doing a great job in revitalizing its downtown is Lodi. They have a very good retail presence that isn't swamped with hair salons and real estate offices, and some nice restaurants as well. The key to its success is that their City fathers and mothers, instead of sticking their movie theater out in some mall in the boonies, put it right smack in their downtown, creating a magnet for foot traffic and retail activity. Look at Central and 10th Street here in Tracy after 5;00 p .m. on the weekdays and after 3:00 on Saturday, and all day Sunday- it's dead, and compare it to downtown Lodi those same times, which is vibrant. At the end of the day, it boils down to not just spending $, but how the leadership of a city spends that money. Lofi's leadership in the arena of downtown development blows ours out of the water.
February 02, 2014
You people have it all wrong. I lived in Lodi. They only added a few restaurants and chased the hookers and winos - away at the old hotels, just one street south of the downtown.

As for the shopping it's mostly antique stores and banks. People go downtown for restaurants. A downtown could happen one of two ways.

1. By trial and error where restaurants come and go until some succeed as we are seeing.

2. Local businesses come for lunch or cafe as we are seeing.

It takes time to get to Lodi or Pleasanton. Have patience. Lodi doesn't have as many food snobs and restaurant owners know that Tracy residents are snobs who will spend ten dollars in gas driving to Livermore for a four dollar cup of coffee, rather than going to their own downtown.

Any business owner seeing these type of people who come only for a stroll would think twice. But things will eventually change. It eventually did in Lodi.
January 17, 2014
I think the main reason people don't go downtown, is they don't feel safe. Some of the stores are nice, the 6th street area with the plaza looks better. There are some nice businesses on 10th, but the rest not so much. If I need to go shopping, I need to go to a place with a big selection. I don't want to waste my time at the 2 boutiques downtown and the mall I shop in Pleasanton or Walnut Creek. The mall needs to be re-invented or added on to or I don't think it's going to survive. That's a lot of revenue to lose. Because once it's gone it's gone. With a town this big, Tracy should have a decent mall with decent stores, not the junk that is there now. I know the businesses downtown are trying, but another problem is everything closes at 5 or 6pm, maybe they should try to stay open longer. Another store I went to visit over the Holidays was closed for Christmas, before Christmas! Maybe look at other cities that have successful downtowns and malls and see what they do.
January 17, 2014
Broader advertising might help,but I think mutually beneficial marketing would be another strategy. Grand Theater goers would probably combine a show and meal downtown if given a dinner discount, or half-price drink, free desert etc. at one of the downtown eateries. Coffee discounts for parents who wait for their child to finish a lesson at the music store next door. The old JCPenny's store is a prime spot and facility for a Delta class, computer training site etc. This would bring an abundant, young, repeat clientele.
January 17, 2014
Getting the event news out to the other businesses in town might be a little hard. For instance, January 31st at the Grand Theatre local TBNA (Tracy Business Networking Association) is having an event loaded with free food from local vendors, wine, networking opportunities, door prizes galore, and a motivational speaker CLARA CHORLE. Ticket $25 at the Grand Theatre, $35 at the door.

Runs 11:00 to 3:30 PM Friday, Jan. 31st. Some of us are really trying to having fun events downtown to bring attention to businesses that ARE here. Mark your calendar and come on down for a really fun event.
January 17, 2014
We all know there is a downtown area. Just as we all know there is a mall and an outlet mall. Here is the problem they are boring, boring, boring. If I want to go downtown or to a mall I go to Pleasanton. The outlet mall in Livermore is fantastic. Let's be clear our downtown has way to many banks, hair salons and relators. The only place I spend my money is at 2nd Avenue because it's next to the coffee shop. The mall is full of clothing that should be sold at Wal-Mart. Now that Areopostale and American Eagle is gone my 15 year old daughter says all that's left for her at the mall is the Movie Theater.

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