As many of you know, the City of Madison has hired a consultant to prepare a retail and market analysis of downtown Madison to better inform policy decisions related to the future of the downtown business districts. The consultant, Tangible Consulting, is conducting an online survey of downtown residents (which all Capitol Neighborhoods members recently received a link to via email) and is also conducting a series of focus groups with downtown residents, businesses and other interested stakeholders.

On Thursday, August 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Madison Municipal Building, the consultants will present their data and initial findings. On Thursday, September 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Overture Center, the consultants will receive feedback on their initial ideas, strategies and recommendations. And on Thursday, October 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Madison Municipal Building, the consultants will present their draft report. All meetings are open to the public and all downtown residents are encouraged to attend.

The study is intended to provide a better perspective on how changes in the downtown Madison business market compare with national trends and with trends in similar cities. There has been much discussion in recent years over changes observed in the mix of downtown businesses and several theories on the cause and effect of such changes. I encourage everyone to participate throughout the study process to make sure the voices of downtown residents are heard in the process.

At our annual meeting in June, we heard from Tiffany Kenney, the Executive Director of the Central Business Improvement District (BID) on how the BID is adapting to changing market trends, a renewed vibrancy in the downtown and the growth in the number of downtown residents. I encourage you to take a few minutes to browse the BID website. to get a better sense of the work the BID does and the new initiatives they are working on.

Strong residential and business communities downtown lead to a stronger, more vibrant and more livable downtown for all of us. Capitol Neighborhoods has worked more closely with the BID and Downtown Madison, Inc. (DMI) in recent years to further shared goals for our downtown. Let’s keep working to make downtown Madison a great place to live, work and visit.

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