The dues-paying merchants group, representing a 30-block Business Improvement District (BID), includes about 1,300 businesses in downtown La Jolla. La Jolla Village News is the group's independently owned media partner.
Board member Richard Walker, of the group’s Design Division, unveiled a plan to improve public signage throughout the BID. He proposed initially erecting seven wayfinding/directory signs at a cost of $20,000 (about $3,000 apiece), to be financed out of $400 in annual donations from 50 or more merchants each, who would pay for their businesses' names to be included on the signs.
“This is cash positive,” said Walker, noting each sign would be 8 feet tall by 3 feet wide. “These signs would direct folks on how to get around town.”
Walker suggested signs could be located in Scripps Park and near Seal Rock as well as on Prospect Street and Ivanhoe Avenue, Prospect and Girard Avenue, Girard and Kline Street, Girard and Pearl Street and Pearl and La Jolla Boulevard.
“These sites would provide maximum visibility,” Walker added.
Association president Claude-Anthony (CA) Marengo suggested Walker’s presentation could be used to sell the idea of the new signage to the Coastal Commission, which is currently holding nearly half a million dollars from past developers fees in a city fund earmarked for Village transportation improvements, including the notion of establishing a communitywide shuttle service.
Marengo suggested the signage could also be used to delineate cultural, restaurant and retail sub-districts within the BID.
“Maybe a more compact sign would be more inclusive for the community,” said group secretary Krista Baroudi.
“I would suggest we stay on course with this direction,” said board member Nancy Warwick.
“It needs to be usable, it needs to be sustainable,” said Walker of the proposed signage program, adding more signs or lighting could be added later at additional cost should the project prove successful.
In other action:
• Bookstore owner Warwick noted she’s working on the second phase of the Sparkle & Shine fundraising campaign to clean Village sidewalks and is expected to return with more details April 8.
• Board member Claudette Berwin noted planning is in “full motion” for the upcoming La Jolla Concours D’Elegance, set for April 10 to 12 at the Cove. Posters are out for the annual classic car event. Berwin urged her colleagues to pick up event posters at the association's visitor center, adding, “We’d like to see a poster in every single window. We want to bring as many people to the show as possible.”
The association's next meeting will be Wednesday, April 8, at 8:30 a.m. at the Cuvier Club, 7776 Eads Ave.