Civic report: LJ Village Merchants Association, Oct. 10
by Dave Schwab
Oct 17, 2012 | 2551 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The La Jolla Village Merchants Association officially has a new home.

Phil Coller, president of the business improvement district (BID), announced at the group’s Oct. 10 meeting that a lease has been signed for office space beginning Dec. 1 at 1162 Prospect Place near La Valencia Hotel.

“We were lucky,” said Coller after the meeting. “We made a contact with the right person and it came up at the right time. It worked. It was fate.”

Coller said a soft opening for the new center, where the La Jolla Visitors Center — currently at 7966 Herschel Ave. — will move to, will be in late December or early January.

“We’re hoping to have everything finally complete for an official opening before spring break,” Coller said. “We’re going to make it a facility for the entire community.”

Besides housing the tourist visitors center, Coller said the new information center will have a small amount of meeting space to accommodate small community groups.

“We’re going to make this place available for La Jolla interests, both the general population and the businesses,” he said.

MERCHANT NEWS

• LJVMA held its annual board election to fill eight director positions. Before announcing the winners, Coller made a plea for commitment from board members.

“We are looking for passion on this board,” he said. “I don’t want anybody on this board, including me, that is not passionate to make it go forward.”

The top eight of 12 vote getters in the LJVMA election, in descending order, were: Coller, 61 votes; Krista Baroudi, 55 votes; Michael Saler owner of Hennessey’s La Jolla, 51 votes; Scott Levin, 48 votes; Lorna York 47 votes; Trenton Bonner, 46 votes; incumbent Leon Chow, 43 votes and Mark Krasner, 39 votes.

• Sheila Fortune, LJVMA’s executive director, said La Jolla hoteliers will be going all out in January to lodge visitors to the 2013 Farmers Insurance Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Jan. 21-27.

“La Jolla Village Lodge, Cove Suites, Best Western and others will provide discounted room rates, not to capture players and their families, but their caddies, therapists and others in their entourage,” she said.

• James Niebling of the LJVMA’s Design Division asked for, and was granted, a request by the board to move $12,000 out of the BID’s holiday décor budget and transfer it to the landscaping budget to fund ongoing maintenance of Village flower baskets.

“We’re going to install ground planters at various key intersections through the Village,” Niebling said. “We’ll also work with the La Jolla Information Center to do landscaping in front of that, as well.”

Niebling said the amount of roof lighting strung up for the holidays will be confined to Upper Girard Avenue and be reduced this year to 1,000 linear feet, down from 4,000 feet used last year. Once again, he said, Village streetlights will be adorned with shooting stars, gold bows and garland for the holidays.

“It will look more natural and less artificial,” he said.

• Ann Kerr-Bache, who coordinates La Jolla’s annual Christmas parade sponsored by La Jolla Town Council, updated LJVMA’s board on plans for this year’s parade. She said a new, 501(c)3 nonprofit has been established for the parade to allow tax-exempt donations.

“We’d like to get support from the merchant’s association,” she said.

Coller directed Kerr-Bache to Fortune “to see what we can do to support you.”

Asked by Kerr-Bache if the group would be interested in promoting the event in a similar way that it promotes the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, Coller replied that the group hasn’t “discussed it yet,” noting any event the BID promotes “must benefit people who live and work in La Jolla.”

The group’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8:30 a.m. at Cuvier Club, 7776 Eads Ave.
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