Vallejo Main Street program searches for identity
Posted in the Napa Forum
#1 Jul 20, 2013
Vallejo Main Street program searches for identity
What makes downtown Vallejo unique and special? Is it the area's history? The nearness of the waterfront? Cultural amenities, such as the Empress Theatre and JFK Library or community events like Farmers Market and Fourth of July parade?
The Vallejo Main Street Program has set on an ambitious course to gather as many opinions as possible to try to answer that question.
The goal is to come up with a brand identification for downtown Vallejo, Main Street board president Gregg Goins said.
"Once we establish a marketing strategy everyone will be singing the same song," Goins said. "We can start putting things all together. It's not a negative for the downtown, but a positive."
Finding a name, slogan or description for the downtown has long been on Main Street's "to do" list, said prior board president John Sylvain.
With little funding and no paid staff, board members will take on that task as volunteers.
One possible slogan could be "Downtown Vallejo, the Heart of Vallejo," Sylvain said. Such a slogan could refer to the area's civic center, historical origins and place for community gatherings while also instilling some affection for the area, too, he said.
"If we could up with a description, like the "Heart of Vallejo," then people could start to believe in (the downtown) and quit looking at it as a problem area. We could focus attention on the positive," Sylvain said.
As part of the first step in finding a branding identification for the downtown, Main Street board members, under Goins' direction, have taken this idea a step further. They have developed tailored surveys which will soon be sent out to 16 different groups with a stake in the downtown.
Some of those groups include artists, property owners, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, schools, nonprofits and others. Survey questions are designed to gather opinions on the opportunities and challenges of the downtown and what can be done to help market the area.
Ultimately a branding identification can be developed for marketing purposes and also to instill pride in Vallejoans in what their downtown has to offer, Goins said. Time is of the essence, he added.
"There is momentum in the downtown," Goins said, referring to the new Temple Art Lofts project, the Virginia Street capital improvements, the Soltrans bus transfer station, new parking garage and businesses.
"All of this creates a lot of positive energy down there," Goins said.
After completed surveys have been collected results will be tabulated, studied and discussed among stakeholders and others. Goins said a brand for the downtown will emerge and then be developed for use in advertisements and other marketing campaigns.
Cooperation and participation from all downtown stakeholders and businesses is vital to make this process a success, Goins said.
Fred Menard of Indian Alley Antiques said he supports the effort, though he added surveys have been done over the years and then forgotten. However, he added, "anything you want to try to do to promote the downtown is good."
He said his suggested slogan for the downtown is: "Vallejo, Jewel of the Bay."
A downtown Vallejo businessman for nearly 20 years, Goins is a technical recruiter and placement specialist and also an artist. He helped establish Mare Island Technology Academy and has served on the Main Street board of directors since January.
Since he assumed the board president position, Goins has also helped get a new and updated downtown Vallejo walking brochure developed, printed and widely distributed.
One of the chief aims during his term is to find ways to bring positive attention to the downtown so that Vallejo residents will want to come down to the area. "We only have one downtown and it's a very unique area," he said.
#2 Jul 20, 2013
The tax payers should not be forced to spend one more dollar on the downtown rainbow believers, this city needs more " POLICE "
no Police, no peace
#3 Jul 20, 2013
Home of the "Contraptors Rally". THE OBTAINIUM CUP
#4 Jul 20, 2013
Vallejo does have the best Village Idiot on the west coast with Sam Kurshan . However his idiocy has been tainted when it was revealed that Kurshan is a crack head
#5 Jul 20, 2013
They're kidding; Right?
#6 Jul 20, 2013
I read the article this morning on getting the downtown area an identity.
If you want people to feel apart of things, include them. It's their town after all. Have a naming contest. The more input you have from people, the more choices you'll have to choose from. Just post the contest in the paper. Prizes could include a gift certificate from various businesses on main street. Or have a naming event. Feed them and they will come. Make it a potluck. The money you spent on surverys and people to read them could be used for the potluck. I would happily volunteer to read questionnaires. Let us name our own downtown.
#7 Jul 20, 2013
It already has a name, Downtown Vallejo, it used to be an All-America City before the grifters killed the golden goose and stole the eggs
#8 Jul 20, 2013
#9 Jul 20, 2013
"Jewel of the Bay",.....Ha! The Jewel was destroyed back in the sixties when the democrats wiped out the old Vallejo; Urban redevelopment they called it. There's no difference now, just a bunch of egotistical, two-bit politicians and small-time grifters trying to resuscitate and dead dog. It's hopeless and no amount of money will bring back the original charm and friendliness as long as the left-wings rats are making the decisions. The Vallejo Housing Authority has and will continue to maintain it's policy of harboring the lowest of our society, and as long as these culls are located near "downtown" decent people will never stop. ANYONE who is supporting more money being thrown at "downtown" has a personal interest, not OUR interest. Those property owners must have to make their own investments and keep their hands of OUR taxes.
#10 Jul 20, 2013
What more do we need? Who could not take us seriously?
#11 Dec 20, 2013
All of these comments are so negative for citizens of a town that has such potential for revitalization. Why not reach out to the Main Street program and be a part of building something positive instead of nay-saying those who are trying to do so?
Don't think there are enough police officers? Join the force.
Too many grifters downtown? Try thinking of solutions to eradicate them.
Crooked politicians? Vote them out or run for office yourself.
Sherry has wonderful and positive ideas and I believe they'd have a great effect.
#12 Dec 20, 2013
a lot of people still are just not comfortable being in the downtown area these days. it will take a real police presence as a regular beat to deter criminal conduct. theirs the solution, and with cheaper police maybe now we can afford to restaff that beat.
#13 Dec 20, 2013
#14 Dec 21, 2013
Knock down all subsidized housing and come up with a plan to make Vallejo rents go up. A 20% increase in rent will have a corresponding decrease in crime. Right now Vallejo is so cheap , a working class family can afford to buy. The absence of ghetto people would cause home prices to rise and make it so working and middle class would opt to rent.
The city is too committed to subsidizing crime through section 8 and ghetto housing to improve the city .
The Farmers Market , Empress theatre etc did not come from the city. The city actively undermines anything that would lower crime and improve quality of life.
#15 Dec 21, 2013
"Right now Vallejo is so cheap; a working class family can afford to buy."
Is that not what we want, people with a "job" that allows for a mortgage to be paid by them alone and not taxpayer funded housing for people that have neither prospects nor incentive to make something of themselves? Why would the middle class, if it still does exist here in V-Town, rent instead of buying? For the quality of life Vallejo offers housing is far from cheap! A recent home in my neighborhood, 23 years-old, 2019 sq. feet, run of the mill nothing special, second owner home sold for $400.000 within a week.
Great for those willing to sell, not so good for those wishing to buy, because like I stated before, what does Vallejo really offer that would make me chose it over other more with-it communities?? Oh yes, it is the climate.......
Subsidized housing will never be removed at least not in my life time, the contracts guaranteeing steady income for those that invested in them are for 50+years and I am not going to live that long. So I resigned myself to the fact that those in the know when they approved them will continue to get their money's worth on the backs of the taxpayers who will have to put up with the unruly ones!
I also would like to respond to those that believe that our very important history will be a draw for buyers and visitors alike.
Those that cherish a historical community will also look into what the place has to offer, i.e. what is being done to preserve that history(???) along with education, shopping, dining, entertainment opportunities,...and how safe is the place, after all a home is an investment and we all want to preserve it without losing our shirts in the process.
Branding the "DownTown"! If we had an actual downtown with all amenities usually associated with that name, people would already use it to its full potential.
The core of a town is usually called downtown, with everything in it a resident will need to conduct business, may that be the municipal buildings, library, shopping and entertainment....
Keep calling IT downtown until we actually have all that in place begin building on the remaining history without destroying what remains, then we can talk again!
#16 Dec 21, 2013
get rid of the "main street" name since there is no main st in vallejo
#17 Dec 21, 2013
Trying over and over to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. No matter what phrase someone comes up with you still have an uninviting look to downtown. There's not a lot of pretty in downtown. Downtown needs a serious facelift. Statistically, people draw a visual conclusion in 30 seconds. The first thirty seconds of looking at downtown is not appealing unless it's nighttime when you can't see all the flaws.
There has to be more revitalization before you can brand it. Otherwise your beating a dead horse and wasting time. There's nothing but ugly displays in the windows except for a few who do it right. Need to find a way to get real viable businesses first, and good luck with that. How about Vallejo's downtown getting it's make up on before it has suitors. A phrase is not going to help downtown until it changes it visual image. That's what other cities have done. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and look to what other cities have done to breath new life into their downtowns. There in lies the solution. FACE LIFTS WORK!!!
#18 Dec 21, 2013
Vallejo has major impediments to improvement:
1.A huge population of low class people incapable of good employment and prone to crime. White trash speed freaks and ghetto blacks, we have the worst of everyone.
2.No meaningful jobs. Outside of a few hospitals, there are no good paying jobs for educated people. Why pay to commute when you might as well pay more to live close to work? Vallejo is still far from jobs and nice restaurants etc. Commuting to SF costs hundreds a month in gas, tolls and parking. Why not just pay more to have more free time and not be next to the low life in Vallejo?
3.Horrible schools due to no. 1
A major demographic shift is already slowly happening and creating a culture clash. A neighborhood of people who are slobs resent someone coming in and making it nice with just a broom and a coat of paint. People who fix their homes up make the neighbors look bad.
But GEE is right. The city has long term leases that guarantee lowlife to be here for the forseeable future. As long as there is a large population of poor , uneducated people, crime will be up and Vallejo will be a bad place to live. Will gentrification ever happen? Maybe in 20 years.
Bad schools, no meaningful jobs, no nice restaurants ( if you know what good food is), no nice parks, no fun things to do, high crime, lots of stupid people. Why would you move here unless you are forced out of SF or another city and want to stay in the Bay Area? People move to Vallejo because they have no other choice economically. It's the only reason there was a bump in home value and a drop in crime.
My mortgage is cheap enough that for less than I could rent an SF apartment, I can save up to buy a new home away from Vtown and pay the bills. That's the only attraction Vallejo has. That's it.
#19 Dec 21, 2013
ok then, you use your own money and leave the taxpayers alone, how about that ?
#20 Dec 21, 2013
the weather is nice
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