FUNDING THE FUTURE – A BID for all
The North Boulder Art District is committed to strengthening North Boulder and the city designated North Boulder Art District for artists, businesses and the local community. Through the possible development of a local taxing district, we hope to gain a sustainable funding stream to operate and manage desired improvements in a new Business Improvement District (BID). Our goal is to empower the neighborhood to thoughtfully shape its own future. The aim is for NoBo to proactively plan for and respond to the needs of artists, creatives, and small businesses and establish a sustainable revenue stream and organizational management structure that will ensure the continued vitality and prosperity of the area. The NoBo of tomorrow is a thriving creative district that preserves the best of today while providing for the needs of future generations.
Purpose of BID
The BID in North Boulder will benefit the entire community. The vibrancy and accessibility in the business corridor on North Broadway and the surrounding area will be strengthened through the promotion of diverse art and cultural activities. North Boulder will become a more interesting and accessible place for culture, business and local community life.
The BID will empower the local community to generate a more creative, walkable, livable and economically viable place to live, work and play. The BID will consist of a Board composed of local business owners and tenants that will work closely with the NoBo Art District board and other stakeholders, to fund needed improvements. . Through stronger and more unified marketing and communications, we will strengthen NoBo as a local, grassroots-driven destination. We believe that the BID will increase a flavor of creative localism desired by NoBo and the broader Boulder community.
The North Boulder (NoBo) Art District, started in 2009, is a vibrant community of artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, and property owners that increasingly attracts attention and visitors. Following the non-profit designation and the official recognition of the Art District by the Boulder City Council in 2017, the NoBo Art District has partnered with civic agencies and local leaders to empower art, culture and community. As of 2018, NoBo has grown to include 176 member artists and a budget of $28,000. Programming includes monthly First Fridayart walks, artist showcases and exhibitions, community events, artist mentorship for local students, placemaking and signage programs, and public art installations. Building on this momentum, the NoBo Art District is now working with Centro and Weilworks consultants to develop a unified vision and sustainable strategy for growth, cooperation, and funding.
Our Hopes and Dreams
A robust community engagement process verified the community’s desire to establish NoBo as a premier creative district and recognized that the district could gain numerous benefits from a more stable income stream derived from a BID.
- Step up advocacy and policy to preserve and promote artists in the district
- Provide placemaking, lighting and wayfinding that improves locals and visitor’s opportunities for memorable experiences through special programs and events, shopping and dining
- Generate vibrant programming that facilitates collaboration among community members and local businesses
A Proposal for a Business Improvement District
The primary objective of the NoBo BID is to provide a sustainable funding stream to the NoBo Art District so needed improvements that reflect the desires of the local community can be implemented in an efficient manner. The RiNo Art District’s BID is an example of a successful improvement district that provides a sustainable funding stream that can be invested in artist support, infrastructure enhancements , public space improvements, policy and advocacy, and marketing of the area.
The current budget and influence of the NoBo Art District is extremely limited. It relies solely on voluntary membership contributions, volunteer staff, and small, one-off projects. The BID would be able to provide staff, branding and marketing support, public space and safety and wayfinding improvements. This support would increase foot traffic to artist studios, galleries and businesses and should enhance NoBo’s influence on processes and projects that go before the City of Boulder.
The primary option considered is to use the existing NoBo Art District boundary designated and approved by the City. This boundary focuses on the businesses along the Broadway corridor with extensions into the surrounding blocks. This 37-property boundary would enable the district to gradually evolve based upon the needs articulated by the future BID partners.
A future NoBo BID budget would need to address the following key service areas: policy, public space and placemaking, marketing and branding, and local economy and entrepreneurship support.
BIDs assess only commercial properties within the district. These funds a reall returned to the district to manage and implement services and projects. The 37 commercially owned entities have an estimated assessed value of $14,969,906. Our aim is to generate funding to support an annual budget of between $75,000 – $150,000. Beyond the tax, additional revenue sources could include a membership structure, branded merchandise, tours, crowdfunding/donations, and partnerships public funding of projects.
NoBo BID Governance and Management Structure
The Governance Board will consist of 5-11 members made up of electors (likely property owners and or tenants). This Board would work closely with the NoBo Art District Board to ensure continuity in achieving the goals and priorities for NoBo. The BID could contract directly with the NoBo Art District to carry out the work plan of the BID. The NoBo Art District would continue as the front-facing community organization, and the BID would function as a sustainable funding stream focused on meeting the needs and desires of the district and surrounding entities.
How You Can Help!
Please consider becoming a member of NoBo or making a donation to the initial seed fund for “Funding Our Future”.