North Park Main Street: Who We Are

North Park Main Street Mission

To promote development that supports arts, culture, and entertainment, while preserving the historical integrity of North Park.  To create a pedestrian-friendly destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment that supports our local businesses.

Business Improvement District and National Main Street Association

North Park Main Street wears two hats. It is a business improvement district established by the City of San Diego, and a Main Street program affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As a volunteer-based, 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, North Park Main Street (NPMS) advocates for North Park’s downtown business community, administers the North Park Business Improvement District (BID), and champions development that preserves the community’s historic integrity, supports its Arts, Culture & Entertainment District, and promotes an urban, pedestrian- friendly shopping/ dining environment.

The North Park Business Improvement District (BID) was formed in 1985 which was the second BID formed in the San Diego area, after the Gaslamp District. Businesses located within BID boundaries pay an annual fee to enjoy the benefits of upgraded services such as enhanced infrastructure, security, and graffiti removal, street and sidewalk cleaning, business assistance programs, and marketing campaigns. The BID boundaries are legally defined and center around two primary corridors – University Blvd and 30th Street. The original boundaries were expanded in 2008 and currently encompass University Avenue from 28th to Florida Street, and 30th Street from Howard to Redwood. File – (See BID Map)

North Park Main Street was established in 1996 when the City of San Diego selected the North Park BID to be the pilot project for the national Main Street program in the San Diego area. NPMS is part of a coast-to-coast movement overseen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation which promotes the revitalization of historic commercial districts and supports their small, independently-owned businesses. The national Main Street program advocates a philosophy of local empowerment and the preservation of unique assets including distinctive architecture and pedestrian-oriented environments. The program uses a four points approach which incorporates the creation of a volunteer Board of Directors composed of local business owners, plus four volunteer-based committees which focus on : 1) Design (land use planning & architecture) ; 2) Economic Restructuring (business support and recruitment); 3) Organization (goal setting & volunteer coordination); and 4) Promotion (marketing & PR). More than 50 local volunteers with a passion for the North Park community are actively engaged with NPMS.

The Greater North Park community (See Greater North Park Locator Map) and the Main Street business district have experienced a triumphant rebirth within the last ten years. This North Park Renaissance has flourished with the emergence of a thriving new creative element. In 1998 North Park Main Street declared itself an Arts, Culture & Entertainment District to celebrate and promote this new economic and cultural trend. Over the past several years, a new professional class of artists, designers, musicians, writers and entrepreneurs, and a broad array of imaginative cultural events have transformed North Park into a widely recognized “Creative Community”.

The North Park Main Street organization has approximately 500 members – businesses located within the BID district. Funding for the North Park Main Street program is generated from membership dues, City of San Diego grants, San Diego Redevelopment Agency contracts, foundation and other governmental grants, special events, and sponsorships.

North Park Main Street Activities at a Glance

North Park Main Street’s Board of Directors and Committees, working with NPMS staff and the City of San Diego, the City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency, and other key partners, have been a driving force for major improvements and signature events within the North Park community, and in particular within the University Avenue/ 30th Street downtown commercial core.

Key NPMS Activities:

  • Galvanizing local business leadership and enhancing communication and collaborations
  • Hosting annual North Park events such as the Taste of North Park, Toyland Parade and the North Park Festival of Arts, as well as the weekly North Park Farmers’ Market
  • Promoting preservation of business community’s historic character
  • Marketing downtown commercial district to attract investment and customers
  • Actively supporting North Park Art, Culture and Entertainment District
  • Promoting urban village style planning principles and ensuring quality development
  • Acting as liaison between community, City Departments/ Redevelopment Agency and developers
  • Assisting developers, business owners and tenants navigate regulatory requirements and access available resources
  • Installing improvements, e.g. lighting, street trees, sidewalks, bike racks, refuse cans
  • Coordinating efforts to address downtown transportation and parking issues

Highlights of Recent NPMS Achievements:

  • Hosted 14th Annual North Park Festival of Arts
  • Hosted 2nd Annual Taste of North Park
  • Hosted 46th Annual North Park Toyland Parade
  • Installed 25 new tree grates along University Ave and 30th Street
  • Assisted with the installation of 15 bike racks throughout the district
  • Installed 90 Farmers’ Market banners throughout the district
  • Re-launched and increased size of the North Park Farmers’ Market
  • Planted 50 new trees along 30th Street and Upas Street
  • Assisted with the Art on the Garage Project completed in Jan. 2011
  • Expanded North Park Business Improvement District (BID) to serve more businesses.

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