Capturing the Rhythm of
Downtown Santa Monica
Santa Monica Centric
City leaders reflect on 2017, look ahead to an inspired future at Downtown Santa Monica Annual Meeting
By Kevin Herrera

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. revealed its 2017-2018 Annual Report during its annual meeting last month at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. During the meeting, city leaders and executives shared an overview of the state of the downtown, a review of City Council priorities and initiatives, and the vision for the future of Downtown Santa Monica's world-renowned Third Street Promenade and surrounding areas.


Mayor Ted Winterer kicked off the annual meeting by spotlighting key points of interest, including community challenges such as mobility, homelessness and public safety. He also reaffirmed the city's commitment to facing these challenges head on, noting actionable steps the organization has taken already, such as the Community Toolkits available at, and plans for the future. Winterer then turned the meeting over to Kathleen Rawson, chief executive officer at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.


"Our downtown, like many community centers, is a beloved resource with wide and varied demands," said Rawson, prior to presenting the annual report. "It is absolutely challenging – and it is the reason that Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. exists."

For more information, and to view the full 2017-2018 Annual Report, visit

Highlights from the 2017-2018 Annual Report include:



More than $1.15 billion dollars in taxable sales revenue for the city; $427 million dollars stem from the Third Street Promenade alone
More than 27,000 employees in thriving industries such as accommodation and food service; retail trade; professional, scientific and technical services; and information services
Forty-nine filmings in Downtown Santa Monica and 46 special events hosted on the Third Street Promenade


An estimated 4,367 residents in an estimated 3,096 households
A residential occupancy rate of 92.8 percent; an increase of more than 1.5 percent year-over-year
An approximate three-block average of 28,658 daily pedestrian impressions at the Third Street Promenade, and more than 14 million total impressions for the year


City Manager Rick Cole then presented the vision for the Third Street Promenade and what the beloved outdoor space will look like for the next generation of residents and visitors amid the changing retail environment. Specifically, Cole introduced five key elements that will help ensure that the Third Street Promenade, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2019, remains a premier destination for residents and visitors alike: remembering that it is a public place for gathering; renewing the public-private partnership; embracing the spirit of reinvention; continuing to emphasize placemaking; and connecting the many different points of interest in Downtown Santa Monica, including the Third Street Promenade, for a seamless and organic experience.


"The Third Street Promenade is the beating heart of Downtown Santa Monica, and we must seize this opportunity to bring people back to it," Cole remarked. "I encourage local business owners, residents and citizens to dream big. Have guts. And have a vision for a better future for this special place."


Recipients of Downtown Santa Monica's annual Eclipse Awards, which celebrate local business people who make a significant impact on the community, were also recognized at the annual meeting.


Winners include:

Envision Award: Laura Avery, supervisor of Santa Monica Farmers Markets, was honored for her dedicated service to the community.
Evolve Award: James Beard award-winning chef Dave Beran, and Dialogue, his intimate tasting menu restaurant, were honored for the progressive efforts that motivate and steer the innovative culture in Downtown Santa Monica.
Essence Award: Earl Clarkson, lead recruiter for Pacific Park, was honored for being a devoted partner whose progressive, inspiring, authentic, vibrant and friendly character is essential to the community.
Eclipse Award: Steaven Jones, developer at Steaven Jones Development Company, Inc., was honored for his dedication and willingness to lend a hand and support programs that benefit the community.

(Santa Monica Farmers Market Supervisor Laura Avery (center) and her colleagues pose for a group picture at the Downtown Santa Monica Annual Meeting.) 



"Our downtown, like many community centers, is a beloved resource with wide and varied demands. It is absolutely challenging – and it is the reason that Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. exists." — DTSM, Inc. CEO Kathleen Rawson

Kevin Herrera is a former journalist turned marketing and communication expert, beer enthusiast, cyclist, cultural observer/commentator and expert on all things Downtown Santa Monica. He is currently the sr. marketing & communication manager for Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.