Capitol Hill Business Improvement District
Annual Report – FY14 July 2013 through June 2014
Below is a narrative of the services provided to Capitol Hill Property Owners during Year 5 of the Business Improvement District.
Administrative responsibilities for the Capitol Hill BID remain under the guidance of Jorge Hernandez and Donna Cervantes.The Board of Directors welcomed four new members this year: Gene Lavastida (Prime Architects), Gloria Torres (OCCC Capitol Hill Center), James Elkins (Home Depot), and Peter Evans (Police Athletic League). The Board currently has 13 members and meets monthly at the organization’s new office in the first floor of the CAA building at 319 SW 25th Street. The new office space, provided through the generosity of Mr. James Sconzo, Director of Community Action Agency, offers convenient access for visitors and provides a conference room for Board meetings.
This year’s Annual Business Meeting was held February 20th at Community Action Agency. Mr. Hernandez presented the prior year’s accomplishments as well as plans for 2014. The slide show featured pictures from all of the new events held in 2013 – “Taco Truck Thursdays” throughout the summer, “Haunt the Hill” in October, and the “Navidad on Calle Dos Cinco” Christmas concert in December.
The BID Advisory Committee was reestablished this year. Headed by Board President Randy King, the committee consists of five property owners: Brett Fisher, (Dean’s Pawn Shop), Jim Hunter (Hunter’s Battery), Armando Lopez (Capitol Hill Graffix), James Sconzo (Community Action Agency), and Mike Wise (owner of 2613 S. Robinson). The Committee met in June to review the FY15 BID budget and will continue to meet quarterly to provide oversight for BID expenditures.
Advertising and Promotion
After the Board adopted the “Calle Dos Cinco” brand in May 2013, the Promotions Committee along with staff focused on various implementation strategies. Our website was updated with a bold look and now offers easy access from a mobile device, an improved events page and social media links. The new vision for the district was promoted at the Hispanic Chamber Expo in August and many new business supporters were contacted resulting in three Gold-level sponsors.
The 8th Annual Fiestas de las Americas was held at the end of September but had to be moved to Cox Convention Center due to the threat of heavy thunderstorms. Since a major goal of the community event is to promote businesses in the district, the decision to move it downtown was made only after much consideration. Despite the venue change, all aspects of the eventincluding the community parade went on as planned. This important fundraising event continues to attract a range of sponsors and community participants and achieved a 14% increase in revenue this year.
The first “district-wide” Commercial District leader’s meeting, organized by the Planning office, was held at Grill on the Hill restaurant on October 15 and on December 5 a group of visitors from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) enjoyed a presentation by Jorge Hernandez and Gene Lavastida about the district and the revised plans for the Plaza. Both meetings were a great opportunity to showcase “Calle Dos Cinco” to those who had not been in the Capitol Hill area for years.
In partnership with the Capitol Hill Library, OCCC, El Nacional, Community Action Agency, and John Ireland Funeral Home, the organization hosted the first “Haunt the Hill” event as a safe and fun Halloween event. Attendance exceeded expectations as over 1000 kids and families attended, and many district businesses also participated in the community outreach. In December, the committee worked with the Library, Boys and Girls Club, and Templo Alabanza to offer a community Christmas concert featuring local talent and other soloists.
In February, a Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon was held to thank our district sponsors and showcase upcoming events in 2014. The new Historic Capitol Hill district brochure, featuring a business directory and event calendar was distributed.
In March, the South Oklahoma City Chamber and Historic Capitol Hill hosted a reception at the Grill on the Hill restaurant to honor David and Gay Sellers for fifty years of service as publishers of the Capitol Hill Beacon. And an after-hours networker has held in March at Pouring Art Ceramics to showcase this unique local business while celebrating their one-year anniversary.
The summer Taco Truck Thursday events began May 15th. This year the event found a new home on the NE corner of SW 25th St and Walker thanks to community partners at DHS. The kick-off featured entertainment by the Capitol Hill High School dance group and music by the Salsa Shakers band. This family-friendly event continues to grow and generate interest and bring visitors to the area.
All events are promoted on social media and pictures are featured on our Facebook page – Calle Dos Cinco in Historic Capitol Hill OKC. We are also now spreading the word about the district on Twitter.
The Board of Directors met November 14th at Metro Tech Business Center South office to view the latest Plaza drawings as prepared by Prime Architects and to view possible building materials. The project was also well received at a public presentation to the local ULI group in November. Board members and staff are working with city representatives on possible funding sources and on ways to enhance the impact of the project with historic building plaques and an informational visitor’s kiosk.
Landscape maintenance is provided by U.S. Lawns under a contract that runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. 15 landscape beds are maintained as follows: SW 25th and Robinson – 4 beds; SW 25th and Harvey – 4 beds; SW 25th and Hudson – 4 beds; SW 25th and Walker – 3 beds.
This December, holiday decorations returned to the district as tree lights were placed at SW 25th and Harvey and festive garland and wreaths were hung on poles at each intersection from SW 25th and Walker to SW 25th and Robinson.
For the past two years, a “SHINE” cleanup day has been held in the spring to bring community volunteers together working on various projects to beautify the district. This year’s cleanup day was held April 5 as part of the “OU Big Event” and 20 enthusiastic young women came to Calle Dos Cinco on a Saturday morning to pull weeds, plant flowers, and add mulch to the landscape beds on SW 25th. As part of the SHINE beautification effort, a crew from Dean’s Pawn Shop also installed seven additional trashcans along the street.
Unfortunately, prior to the cleanup day the irrigation system service crew found that four sprinkler valves had been stolen. Efforts are underway to have the equipment replaced and reinstalled in a secure manner.
Street Clean Up
Trash removal is provided on a weekly basis by Event Productions along 25th St. from Walker to Broadway, as well as the portion of Harvey, Hudson, and Robinson from 24th St. to 26th St. and crews respond to calls for graffiti removal as needed.
The City completed a greatly needed storm water improvement of over a 3-day period in June. The intersection of Walker Ave. and SW 25th was closed during the construction and created some traffic snarls, but the inconvenience was worth it to reduce flooding in the area.
Randy Quiroga-King, Board President
Historic Capitol Hill Council