A new public-private partnership in Glendale aims to help the city get reacquainted with its downtown in the short-term, and give merchants a common voice in the long-term.
City officials and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce have agreed to a contract worth a maximum of about $611,000. Now the chamber will hire a manager to develop the city’s historic downtown.
Glendale already has several downtown organizations, said Robert Heidt, the chamber’s president and CEO.
“But none really working cohesively together,” Heidt said. “So I think the overarching message is we want to unite the downtown businesses we have here today. Begin to get them working together from the same platform.”
The new merchant manager should be in place by September, Heidt said. Their job will be to focus on the needs of all downtown businesses, not just chamber members. He or she will spend the first year getting the lay of the land, and learning people’s concerns to identify a path forward.
The idea is for the merchants to own the strategy, said Kevin Phelps, Glendale city manager.
“We don’t have a way, currently, to talk about parking strategies for downtown or marketing strategies for downtown,” Phelps said.
The needs and expectations of the city-chamber partnership will be readdressed every year of the contract, Phelps said.
The deal is good for at least three years, up to a maximum of five.