I am very excited about the renovation and the revitalization of our Downtown. Our downtown is one of the ways that we define our community character and as such, it is very important that the downtown acts as an economic, social, civic, and recreational hub.
In 2004, Novato completed the restoration of Grant Avenue, which eliminated the crown in the street, re-built our sidewalks and corrected drainage problems – resulting in a $11 million beautification project and a community investment that is the largest capital improvement project in Novato. We completed the renovation of Novato’s icon – our historic church in 2009 which is now the Council Chambers and home for community events. And, in 20__, we finished the construction of our City Offices which brought our city staff back downtown. After working with Copperfields for several years, they found a home at 999 Grant Avenue and are glad to be in Novato. Currently, we are working with our downtown businesses to draw more shoppers downtown by having events and initiating the “Shop Novato” campaign.
There are some catalyst projects that will help continue the downtown revitalization that is in the works: Now that we own the old historic train depot on Grant and Railroad Avenues, I am proposing that we start a conversation on how we can get it restored and brought back into use. If you have ideas, please contact me. Also, we have supported the renovation of the Novato Theater – which is being led by a community group. Just this month, the old Pini Hardware site on Grant Avenue has closed escrow – there is a new owner who will be reaching out to the community soon. This building has been shuttered for almost 14 years when Pini Hardware moved to the Nave Shopping Center on South Novato Blvd. All of us are anxiously awaiting the reuse of the significantly strategic building in our downtown – bringing the West side of Grant Avenue more life!
We need to continue to bring high quality, diverse businesses and entertainment venues to our downtown, including restaurants, and other retail businesses. I am fully committed to making our downtown lively, prosperous and truly the heart of the Novato community.