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Downtown Sioux City, A Lesson In Service and the Laws of Attraction —

Downtown Sioux City, A Lesson In Service and the Laws of Attraction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown has been for many years an outstanding study. The many city executives and leaders who have at times tackled the issue with various efforts have done well in some area’s and failed miserably in others. Recently $80,000.00 was spent to bring in a group of experienced downtown revitalization experts, the Washington DC based International Economic Development Council http://www.iedconline.org. They toured, questioned stakeholders, interviewed, held meetings and on March 28 gave a brief  to the direction of their findings. As stated by a few, our downtown has much promise, but what has been reported by most of the local media as to what was presented that Wednesday is not entirely complete. Actually if we as a community needed to rely upon being informed fully as to what was mentioned you might as well set the paper down and start twittering those who were there to get the real details.

Now here is how it went down. The expert panel was seated in front, each gave a brief along with a short slide presentation of their findings. As everyone in the room, my ears were listening from the perspective of:

  • What have we heard before throughout the past 20 years.
  • What is new and refreshing
  • What worked for other communities
  • What are the national trends for downtown area’s

Some gave more infastructure related findings and opinion, others gave more detailed recommendations. Here are a few items of Interest:

Economic Development

  • Self employment has grown 15% in a decade
  • Catering to this growing self employed community was suggested and is very successful in other cities
  • Provide an infrastructure to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs
  • A look into how more collaborative or shared work environments could expand these efforts
  • The self employed sector provides for a very eclectic restaurant, shopping and lifestyle environment.

Land Based Casino

  • Will help support local businesses
  • Should be in alignment with additional development
  • Could provide another reason for people to come downtown

Other items of mention

  • Build on what we have. Realize the most successful local companies (IBP, Gateway, Terra) were started by local Siouxlanders, not outsiders.
  • Make the things we have stronger and more attractive
  • Continue the many “art” orientated projects
  • Focus upon the revenue traffic that is working
  • Update the Skywalks
  • Promote exercising in the Skywalks
  • Research “cutting edge” parking management

These and much more will be detailed in the final report coming this summer. It will be interesting to see what politics come into play as an action plan is devised by the city and downtown powers that be. Here is one that over the last 30 years kicks the hell out of any well intended venture. Someone will spend and abundance of time, money and resources on parking. Not sure why this always happens whenever downtown is placed under the microscope, some uninsightful but well intentioned city employee or executive will start thinking “utilities” AGAIN! As if the “laws of attraction” were based upon streets, parking ramps or meters, water and sewer, a perspective which tends to plague city hall. Here is some near term advise directed at those who feel the need to spend more money on parking. If the area becomes a supreme attraction, one that can’t be denied, our downtown guests will find a place to park in one of the four mostly empty parking ramps (Ramps A or B, Martin Luther and Pearl St.). If we need another, I’m sure the Casino (if ambitious enough) will bring that number to five.

Here is our phase 1 suggestion. Now I know it’s hard to justify a salary while you are using very public ideas, but would’nt it be great to listen and provide what the public requests rather than relying upon a “utility” perspective.

Water & Allot Of It

Water Falls, Water Sculptures, Moving Water, Dancing Water, Water with Lights, Spinning Water, Colored Water, Water with Music, Water with Rocks, Water with Fish, Huge Water, Impressive Water, ATTRACTIVE WATER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is one simple feature that will bring the Guests we desire Downtown, it is water. Especially if all is guided by the “Laws of Attraction”. Why not start by placing a very large “World Class” water attraction within the green-space next to the New Sioux City Museum. I am sure the many restaurants, shops, vendors and things we can’t yet imagine will quickly circle around it, actually it is most certain they will. Oh, and while your devising such, please be inventive enough to envision  multi-seasonal ways to utilize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also you can forget about all the expensive feasibility studies and alike, just hire  “local firms” to design and build. Next Monday would be a good time to start. Just use all that money you did not spend on snow removal this year to get it started. Who knows, maybe a restaurant or business would partner with you to further. I can see the 20 year lease documents flowing right now!

Thank You

 

 

 

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