State of Manhattan
The State of Manhattan (formerly the State of the City) was held on February 10th at the Joslyn Center with more than 180 local community and business leaders in attendance. Building on previous years the state of Manhattan afforded not only Mayor Mark Burton to update the community on the initiatives the City is working on for 2016 but invited several local civic organizations to do the same. Presentations by President of the Board for West Basin Municipal Water District, Dr. Mike Matthews Superintendent of MBUSD, James O’Callaghan President/CEO Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Stroman Executive Director Downtown Manhattan Beach and Professionals Association, and Kyle Ransford Commercial Property Owners Association provided insight into the direction of each organization.
Mayor Burton’s forward looking address expressed commitment to addressing funding, quality of life, infrastructure, and services for the City. Some of the revenue generating ideas shared were the focus on growing the number of hotel rooms in the city and cementing the success of existing businesses while recruiting new businesses. He provided insight into the timeline of not only the completion of the downtown specific plan but the focus on starting the same process for Sepulveda and Rosecrans corridors. These plans are designed to address zoning issues as well as beautification and infrastructure. With completed plans it will provide a thorough understanding of what the City will be doing in these specific areas, as well as provide clear direction for interested parties coming to town.
The participants also had an opportunity to hear about how each of the other organizations is working to build on the quality of life we have come to enjoy. Dr. Mike Matthews shared the tremendous successes the district has had while explaining the need to improve on some aging facilities. The chamber shared insight on how it works to help businesses navigate the development and civic processes, as well as how it advocates for business both locally and regionally. Kelly Stroman shared some tremendous data collected about what the make-up of visitors to downtown has been and discussed important needs surrounding parking and other improvements. Kyle Ransford shared why the commercial property owners have organized and how a united front can help facilitate many of the positive changes being discussed.
With the overwhelmingly positive reception this new format has received we will look to build on it in future years. Serving as a centralized clearing house of information and voice for the business community, The Manhattan Beach chamber of Commerce is dedicated to bringing community leaders together.