Job post – (CLOSED) Project Coordinator for Castro & Upper Market Retail Strategy

Job description – CLOSED

project_cordinatorThe Project Coordinator will report to the CBD Executive Director, and is expected to work an average of ten (10) hours a week over twelve (12) months, between July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.

The dedicated Project Coordinator will act as the liaison between the Retail Strategy Consultant and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). In this capacity the Project Coordinator will provide staff support to the TAG and Retail Strategy Consultant to

  1. Improve lines of communication between the Consultant and the TAG.
  2. Schedule meetings.
  3. Schedule presentations.
  4. Assist in identifying all existing relevant research and data.
  5. Recruit, train and coordinate volunteers to conduct a variety of data collection surveys.
  6. Help develop a strong infrastructure for the TAG to be able to continue beyond the life of this grant.

The ideal candidate for the Project Coordinator position will demonstrate

  1. Familiarity with the Castro/Upper Market district.
  2. Expertise in short term project implementation.
  3. Ability to provide staff support to a diverse community-based advisory committee.
  4. Ability to coordinate a pool of volunteers on short-term task-oriented work.
  5. Background in economic development.
  6. Strong organizational skills.
  7. Ability to work independently.
  8. Skills in excel, word, and experience in social media and marketing.

Candidates may be asked to provide general liability insurance with limits no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.

Compensation: $20,000 – $23,000

Background

The Castro/Upper Market corridor is the second most active corridor in San Francisco, coming in second only to Union Square (San Francisco Department of Public Works, 2013.) businesses offering a unique mix of retail establishments, both local and national, dining, entertainment, and personal services that contribute greatly to our status as a destination for tourists and Bay Area citizens alike.

Despite the corridor’s high pedestrian activity and draw as both a tourist destination and as a “gay mecca,” the project area has an overall 6.9% vacancy rate with 28 vacant storefronts along the corridor, representing approximately 50,000 square feet of ground floor retail space (EVNA Castro/Upper Market Business Mix Audit.) Sanchez Streets is highest at 7.8%. Ordinarily, a 6.9% vacancy rate would be commendable, however it is twice that of the City of San Francisco’s overall rate of 3.8% (Llenrock Blog, 2013.) The area referred to as “the corridor” includes Market Street from Octavia Street to Castro Street and Castro from Market to 19th Streets, as well the intersecting commercial corridor at Church Street and retail spaces within a block of Market Street.

The high vacancy rate in the corridor, relative to San Francisco overall, is disconcerting.
In addition, over 30,000 square feet of NEW ground floor retail space will become available on Market Street in the next two years, representing the equivalent of 17 medium sized retail establishments. With the addition of the added ground floor retail space, the Castro/Upper Market corridor’s vacancy rate would increase to 10.6%, significantly impacting Market Street between Duboce and Noe Streets. Local business owners, including members of the San Francisco Local Merchants Alliance (SFLOMA), are concerned regarding the health of the neighborhood’s retail environment.

In response, a coalition of business and neighborhood groups – including Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District (CBD), the Castro Merchants (CM), the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA), and the Castro and Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA) – has established a Working Group to help develop a comprehensive “Retail Strategy” for the Castro/Upper Market corridor (Strategy). Headed by the CBD, the coalition’s primary focus is to address the existing high vacancy rate and develop a proactive plan to fill added new ground floor retail in a thoughtful manner. Our intention is to provide guidance on developing an appropriate retail mix that enables our commercial corridor to thrive, preserving its unique character and draw as a tourist destination, while ensuring the livability for its residents. The working group now seeks the technical assistance of a consultant to help conduct studies and collaborate with neighborhood leaders to develop this Strategy.

Project Summary

The overall goal of the Upper Market/Castro Retail Strategy is to develop a proactive plan which can provide guidance, to property owners, merchants, developers, policy makers, and those who consult with these groups, on developing a successful and thriving retail mix and vibrant community in the CBD’s commercial corridor. The Castro CBD is hiring a Retail Strategy Consultant to implement the objectives outlined below. Primary objectives are identified as follows:

  1. To collaborate with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) composed of key project stakeholders, to ensure these key stakeholders have the opportunity to provide valuable feedback on the process of development and the final Retail Strategy. The TAG will meet at least quarterly. (The TAG will be developed by the project’s current steering committee, and will be staffed by the Project Coordinator, it is not within the scope of this bid announcement to create and/or staff the TAG.)
  2. To develop a market profile of the Project Area including leakage study information, demographics, vacancy rate information and any other relevant data necessary.
  3. To develop and implement survey tools to better understand the users of the Project Area, and how they “use” the project area, including customers, merchants, employees, visitors, residents, etc.
  4. To develop case studies of two or three other neighborhoods in San Francisco and compare the strength and weaknesses of these neighborhoods compared to the Project Area.
  5. To identify those recommendations in the Upper Market Community Vision and Recommendations (2008) which have yet to be implemented, noting challenges and identifying strategies for full implementation.
  6. Through analysis of all data, surveys, etc. create a final Retail Strategy for the Project Area. The Retail Strategy will include a detailed and comprehensive analysis of retail inventory and vacancy in the project area.

About the Author: Orie Zaklad