COMMENTARY: The holiday season brings a special focus to merchants and service providers, as well as those engaged directly in the celebration of the spiritual aspect of this time of year. With additional parking and more businesses along the commercial corridors, Hilltop Campus Village is attaining new vigor.
Small businesses have a great opportunity to compete with larger stores using social media and co-promotional strategies. With a critical mass of businesses now in the area, it makes sense to implement these strategies.
There has been some exciting discussion this year about the local HCV merchants getting together to draw people into the area.
The HCV is looking forward to helping anyone who wishes to develop this effort by serving as a communications conduit. Email us with your interest so we can start this ball rolling.
HCV actions and activities:
o Parking along the west side of Harrison Street appears to be taking hold. After an initial period of uncertainty, it appears the spaces are being used with considerable frequency.
o The 30-space parking lot at 15th and Ripley is nearly completed, with curbs in place and permeable asphalt paving applied. The spaces are delineated by lines and numbered, with the only elements remaining will be the paving of the driveway (first week in December) and the landscaping in the spring.
o Proposed policies for street light installation and maintenance and for new snow removal policies have been submitted to the Department of Public Works for comment and review. The DPW is looking at multiple strategies to remove snow, should we have any this season (any bets?).
HAPPENINGS IN THE HILLTOP
o REMINDER to those with reservations: The Gold Coast - Hamburg Historic District Association is sponsoring a High Tea on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Proceeds from this event will be used to further educate people on the history of the Gold Coast - Hamburg Historic District. Guests will also be entertained by members of the Barley House Band.
o On Thursday December 5, there will be a Grand Opening of the Harrison Lofts mixed use complex at the 1400 block of Harrison Street, across from the Hilltop Plaza Park and the Third Missionary Baptist church. The event will begin at 4pm and a ceremony will start at 5pm.
o A Nova Christmas, an annual holiday concert with the professional vocal ensemble, the Nova Singers will be held at 7:30pm on Saturday December 21 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady Street. Tickets are $15-$18, students free. For information and tickets call 309-341-7038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
o Business/Organization office space now available. Low cost office space within the Hilltop Campus Village office at 601 Brady Street for start ups, small businesses and not for profits. Five private enclosed and secure spaces are for lease at very reasonable rates, utilities included.
o Two stand alone properties have just been made available for sale in the HCV, due to the owner's pending retirement. Both are highly visible commercial buildings, one with abundant parking, the other with an existing income stream of $1000/month. Contact the HCV for contact information on these and other properties.
o A nomination has been made by the HCV to the City's Design Review Board subject to Mayoral and City Council approval. This board is charged with examining and approving issues related to painting, signage and related issues in the downtown, the East Village and in the Hilltop Campus Village.
o The HCV will be announcing a new board member next month. If approved by the board in December the nominee will take office in January.
o Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have made available Business Innovation Challenge Grants. Maximum awards will be for $20,000 and minimums for $5,000. A total of $100,000 will be awarded. A dollar-for dollar local match is required.
Eligible projects include but are not limited to Business Retention, Expansion and Recruitment efforts; Marketing and Promotion programs; Technical Assistance Programs; Innovative or Creative Business Training Programs; and Start up Assistance programs.
Only one application is available per community and all applicants must be within a Main Street Iowa District. Forward ideas to the HCV office or a board member. or call 563-322-8293. Application deadline is February 14, 2014.
o To the four students of Davenport Central High School who were profiled on the front page of a recent issue of the QC Times for their efforts to establish a sustainable urban garden on the CHS grounds. Such an effort has been talked about when discussion of using green space comes up, but these young citizens have made it happen. Congratulations too to Gail Lynn Heninger, their faculty advisor through the Talented and Gifted program.
o Also to St. Paul's Lutheran Church and the First Baptist Church for their respective urban gardening efforts. FBC has done theirs for a number of years, plowing, planting and inviting neighbors to take what they need.
St. Paul's has augmented their gardening ministry by demolishing a house at 2003 Main Street, and dedicating the vacant lot to be used as a community garden, with produce to be given to the needy. A refreshing alternative to other uses.
WORK GROUP SESSIONS: Meetings open to all
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
o Meeting time: Second Wednesday of the month (December 11), 5:00pm, HCV office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301.
§ Board Nomination
§ MSI Business Innovation Challenge Grant projects
§ Volunteer of the Year
o Meeting time: Second Monday of the month (December 9), 4:00 pm., Hilltop Campus Village office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ 4th quarter fundraising strategies
o Meeting time: Third Thursday (December 19), 5:00pm, Hilltop Campus Village office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Hilltop Plaza landscaping
§ Design Review Board nominee
o Meeting time: Second Tuesday (December 10), 4:00pm, Hilltop Campus Village office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Planning for Open House/Business after Hours
ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING COMMITTEE
o Meeting time: Third Wednesday, (December 18) noon, Hilltop Campus office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Marketing availability of retail space, incubator
The Hilltop Campus Village is a not for profit organization dedicated to restoration, redevelopment and revitalization of this area. Questions, comments and suggestions may be addressed by contacting the Hilltop Campus Village office at 563-322-8293 or email@example.com or board members.