The 6-foot-tall aluminum-and-steel kiosk was bolted down on the northeast corner of Downtown Plaza on Aug. 26. It sits a few yards from the roundabout curb near the entrance to Helm’s Ale House, 600 Central Ave.
Eventually, a 3-foot-high touch screen on each side of the kiosk will allow visitors to search a directory of businesses and information on upcoming events in the downtown area.
Amie Mendes, a city economic development management analyst, said a software designer is writing a program to operate the kiosk, and the city hasn’t decided when it will be turned on.
The $48,000 to build and install it came from redevelopment funds the city used to build the Downtown Plaza and roundabout.
According to Mendes, the information provided by the kiosk will be similar to a mobile application for smartphones and tablets available from Tracy City Center Association, a group of downtown business and property owners. She mentioned a map showing nearby shops and restaurants and a list of events in downtown Tracy and near City Hall.
Dino Margaros, president of TCCA, described the electronic kiosk as one of the last touches for the plaza.
He expects it to promote activities sponsored by the city, the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, TCCA and Tracy Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s another tool we can use to get the word out, another tool to market events and another tool for the Grand Theatre,” Margaros said.
Andrew Malik, city director of economic development, sees the kiosk as a valuable addition to the downtown scene.
“You’re competing with all the other shopping areas in town,” Malik said. “The more downtown business owners can come together and market their business, the better.”
Information at the kiosk will likely be updated monthly, using a Wi-Fi connection, to reflect upcoming events and current specials, Mendes said.
She said there had been some discussion about the placement of the kiosk and whether it might distract Central Avenue drivers in the roundabout.
“It is interactive,” Mendes said. “We want people to stand there and look for information. It’s not an advertising billboard.”
The kiosk joins existing technology to get the word out about downtown, including the Downtown Tracy app and the TCCA Twitter and Instagram accounts, which can be found at www.tracycitycenter.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tracycitycenter.
•Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.