South Park BID Seeks A Renewal for Five More Years
Los Angeles Downtown News
By Nicholas Slayton
June 15, 2017

The South Park Business Improvement District, which for more than a decade has been providing clean-and-safe services to the area, is looking for another five years. In the coming months the property owners who fund the BID will be asked to continue to dig into their wallets to pay for services beyond what the city provides.

The BID is set to expire at the end of 2017, and like all business improvement districts in Los Angeles it must be renewed every five years. BID staff have begun the process of getting the green light. If approved, the new term would run through 2022.

The BID provides services for a 52-block area that has seen tremendous growth, with even more change coming as projects such as Circa and Oceanwide Plaza are under construction. The BID operates safety patrols on bike and foot 24 hours a day. It also orchestrates a cleaning campaign, with Los Angeles Conservation Corps staffers keeping sidewalks and public areas tidy.

According to BID statistics, its workers removed 508,000 pounds of trash and cleared more than 85,000 square feet of graffiti in 2016. The BID also helped install a parklet on Hope Street in early 2016. Most recently, it worked to renovate the Pico/Chick Hearn Metro rail station, adding new signage and improving accessibility.

The BID has five people on staff and a $1.8 million budget. BID Executive Director Ellen Riotto said that if the BID is renewed, the budget would increase to $2.4 million.

BIDs must be renewed by people who own property inside the district. The process started on May 15 with a petition phase, which required a majority of property owners to support renewal.

The renewal process is now in a formal balloting phase. In this instance, land and building owners who collectively control more than 50% of the assessed property must vote in favor of renewal (while individual condo owners vote, here they carry less weight than a company such as Anschutz Entertainment Group).

South Park technically has two business improvement districts. The first, covering 32 blocks, formed in 2005, while South Park II was formed in spring 2015 and added 20 blocks.

The renewal would merge the two entities into a single BID. It would run approximately from the 110 Freeway to Broadway, and from the 10 Freeway to Olympic Boulevard and parts of Ninth Street.

“Renewal gives the organization an opportunity to restructure and see how we’re allocating things and see what our community is looking for from us,” Riotto said. “It’s a hectic process but very rewarding. We get to define new programs and really look at what the current needs and future needs are.”

Riotto said that the BID is focusing on the expected rapid growth of South Park’s residential population. She added that the BID plans to expand the size and scope of the clean and safe teams in the future.

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