Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District:
2018 Annual Report
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
The 2018 Annual Report is provided to Wilkes-Barre City Council, stakeholders of downtown Wilkes-Barre, and the public pursuant to Section 9, (1) and (2), of the Pennsylvania Neighborhood Improvement District Act of 2000.
On August 1, 2007, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District (DWBBID) began providing supplementary place management, place marketing, and economic development services to the properties and businesses of Downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Following extensive discussion and planning, the DWBBID was created by City Council ordinance following the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Improvement District Act. The DWBBID was renewed in 2012 and in 2018. Its current term expires on December 31, 2028.
The Diamond City Partnership, a 501C3 nonprofit corporation, manages the DWBBID, which serves an area extending from Academy Street in the south to North Street in the north. Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s property and business owners are all partners in the DWBBID: their collective investment makes it possible for the DWBBID to provide these services, and to create a cleaner, safer, and more vibrant Downtown.
Each year, an independent accountant’s audit is prepared, provided to the City Clerk and the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, and made publicly available. See the full 2018 document, performed by Lawrence Cable & Company, LLP, Certified Public Accountants.
SECTION 2: CHANGES IN BENEFITED PROPERTIES
The DWBBID is funded through an assessment on benefited properties within the Business Improvement District, together with voluntary multiyear contributions from tax-exempt property owners.
SECTION 3: DOWNTOWN ACTION PLAN
The DWBBID’s activities align with Wilkes-Barre’s current Downtown Action Plan. The Plan, whose creation was led by DCP, is built around six “big goals:”
SECTION 4: 2018 OUTPUTS AND OUTCOMES
PLACE DEVELOPMENT: 2018
PLACE MANAGEMENT: 2018
PLACE MARKETING: 2018
Downtown Wilkes-Barre was featured in Times Shamrock’s 2018 Outlook special edition, titled “Change in Store: The New Face of Shopping & Retail,” and DCP’s Executive Director was part of the Economic Forum roundtable featured in that publication.
DCP’s Executive Director discussed commercial and residential market activity in Downtown Wilkes-Barre as part of a panel presentation during Penn’s Northeast’s inaugural Real Estate Summit in June 2018.
In all, DCP staff was quoted in 23 different newspaper articles and TV segments dealing with Downtown Wilkes-Barre during 2018.
DCP’s social media presence was anchored by its weekly E-blast, “This Week in Downtown Wilkes-Barre,” which is in its fifth year and boasts 1,227 direct subscribers, with substantial recirculation via traditional and social media channels.
DCP prepared an updated edition of its tear-off Downtown Map/Business Directory, printing and distributing a total of 5,000 maps in 50-sheet pads.
For the second consecutive year, DCP obtained grant funding from the PPL Foundation to undertake a new retail development initiative: the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Shops, which brought 11 regional retailers to two vacant Midtown Village storefronts. The initiative allowed retailers to “test-drive” a downtown location while simultaneously attracting new holiday shoppers to Downtown.
For the second consecutive year, DCP printed 1,000 reusable Farmers Market shopping bags, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, in order to help promote one of Downtown’s signature events.
DCP again served as the Neighborhood Champion for “Small Business Saturday,” coordinating this annual event boosting patronage of Downtown’s small independent businesses through promotional programs and activities that were marketed throughout the region.
DCP managed 2018’s seasonal “Art Block” monthly gallery walk event from April through September, securing $1,254 in Project Stream funding from PA Council on the Arts in support of Art Block.
SECTION 5: SPONSORSHIPS
Thank you to all of our 2018 sponsors:
DOWNTOWN WILKES-BARRE VISITORS MAP/GUIDE:
FLORAL HANGING BASKETS:
HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOPS:
FARMERS MARKET REUSABLE TOTE BAGS:
SECTION 6: BOARD and COMMITTEES
2018 Board of Directors:
SECTION 7: PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITIONS
DCP continues to be Nationally Accredited by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Accreditation demonstrates that DCP meets or exceeds the highest standards for a Main Street program.- – –
Please direct questions or comments to:
Larry Newman, AICP, Executive Director
Diamond City Partnership
4 Public Square
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701