There’s no going it alone to fix downtown

Rick Goucher responded to Monday’s story, Imaging a different downtown, about the vision of Steve Chase at City Hall for jump-starting Stockton’s ramshackle core. Goucher is behind it, and he notes that Chase can’t do it alone.

Goucher, senior manager at CBRE and past president of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, sent this out to a number of local leaders:

…When I read about other people’s visions for Stockton and the downtown particularly it always baffles me as to why they never seem to go anywhere.  As I have gotten to know Steve Chase I believe that he is a person of deep passion and commitment.  The problem isn’t Steve’s idea or vision it is where do we go from here.  If we truly want to proceed on a vision of a different downtown it is time that all of the stakeholder’s get together and support the idea.  No business person that I know would be willing to make an investment into the downtown unless it has the potential for profit.  Part of the problem will be if we are successful in getting one of the universities to come to Stockton and to have the student housing downtown we must figure a way to get shops, restaurants, brew pubs, etc. to come downtown also.  The problem here is the economics as these retail establishments will more than likely lose money until the area reaches a critical mass.

Safety is a huge concern downtown and with the passage of Measure A & B it will be critical that the Bike Patrol Officers be restated at the levels prior to the cutbacks at the Police Department during the day and evening hours with regular vehicle patrols at night.  With the condition of many of the older buildings being in such poor condition we need to engage Save Our Stockton and come to a conclusion that all of the buildings can’t be saved.  I believe the ones that can’t be saved should come down.  I also believe that we must consider a different approach to the building and fire codes as they relate to the existing inventory of building downtown, otherwise renovation won’t be feasible.

I guess where I’m going with this is if we want to make this happen it is time to get all the players on the same page and to make it happen, even if it is only one small project to get the ball rolling.  Let’s get the Chamber of Commerce (all of them), the Downtown Stockton Alliance, the Stockton Visitors Bureau, the non-profits, the Building Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, Save our Stockton and private business people together and make Stockton “Someplace Special.”

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