The Evolving Roles of BIDs in Tough Economic Times

24 Aug

Since March 2010, Downtown Colorado, Inc. has been holding monthly forums to focus on issues that affect development and improvement districts (DIDs): business improvement districts (BID)s, downtown development authorities (DDAs), and urban renewal authorities (URAs) in Colorado. 

These informal DIDs meetings not provides a group of expert panelists to address the topic at hand, but also gives attendees the chance to discuss any issues or challenges with their peers in attendance.

We asked Jill Mendoza, Progressive Urban Management Associates, to provide an update on the August 12 forum, The Evolving Role of BIDs in Tough Economic Times.

On August 12, 2010, the session entitled, The Evolving Roles of BIDs in Tough Economic Times, was held as part of the Development and Improvement District (DID) Series.  The discussion was co-facilitated by John Desmond, Downtown Denver Partnership, and Anna Jones, Progressive Urban Management Associates, and Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb.

The session was an open discussion about the value created and the challenges faced by Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).  Many of the participants were BID managers, so they were able to share their real-world experience and perspective with the group.  There was an emphasis on the increasing pressure on BIDs to provide services as municipalities cut budgets and services.  This sparked an interesting discussion regarding the role of BIDs and whether or not they can perform some of these services more effectively than municipalities. 

There was a focus on the challenge of including residential properties in BIDs and the benefit realized by residents living in the district.  There was not a consensus about whether or not to include residential properties in BIDs was something worth pursuing at the state level, given general economic concerns and the notion that now is not the time to take on that issue. There was a consensus however, that as residential increases within the district, those residents put increasing pressure for services on BIDs.

Discussion ensued about the distinct differences among BIDs depending on the district they serve, whether they are urban, commercial or mixed-use.  The issues and challenges faced by BIDs vary widely, as each district is unique.

The next DIDs forum will take place Wednesday, September 8, on Marketing a Suburban District to the Development Community. Attendance is open to DCI members only! Sign up or renew your membership now! Learn more about upcoming DIDs forums now!

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