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Citizens Committee Report, Business Keyport Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Study Steering Committee Meeting July 19, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Citizens Committee Report, Business Keyport Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Study Steering Committee Meeting July 19, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Citizens Committee Report, Business Keyport Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Study Steering Committee Meeting July 19, 2004

2 Homework Assignments 1.Town-wide business inventory (thanks, KBA) 2.Create a survey instrument. Survey to assess assets and liabilities of downtown location traffic and parking issues from business owners perspective How waterfront can bolster downtown businesses 3.Interview business owners.

3 Keyport Town-wide Business Inventory Antiques6Industrial Real Estate1Taxidermy1 Apparel/Footwear6Industrial Supply2Upholstery1 Appliances/Repair3Insurance6US Post Office1 Assisted Living1Interior Decorators1Variety Store2 Attorney6Jewelers2 Automotive47Laundry3 Bakery/Breads2Liquor & Wine3 Beauty3Machine Shop2 Bicycles1Manufacturing/B-B18 Bridal & Florist1Marine/Recreation8 Business Services13Marketing/Advertising2 Childcare3Medical15 Cigar1Metaphysical Boutique1 Cleaning Services5Metaphysical/Psychic1 Computer2Monuments2 Consignment2Music1 Construction Trades/Nails2 Home Improvement22Novelty Shop1 Convenience Grocery8Optical2 Dental6Pet Care1 Electrical4Pharmacy1 Embroidery1Photography4 Engineering2Printing/Digital2 Environmental2Real Estate4 Fast Food13Rental Equipment Financial Services17Restaurant7 Florist4Restaurant/Catering5 Fuel1Restaurant/Bar/Catering2 Funeral2Restaurant/Bar/Grill1 Furniture1Restaurant/Coffeehouse1 Gift & Specialty Shops5Catering 1 Glass1Security2 Grocery Super Store1Sewing1 Hair7Signs Graphic1 Health & Fitness3Specialty Crafts Home Improvement2Tattoo1 Human Resources2Taverns3 330 businesses. Great diversity. Available online.

4 Survey development process Business inventory review Establishment of survey area –Front Street East & West of Broad –Broad Street North & South of Maple –Division Street –Main Street Survey development Survey alert

5 Alert process Target businesses identified, addresses confirmed Survey alert developed, printed and mailed Personal visits by volunteers to disseminate questionnaires

6 THE SURVEY ALERT Made businesses aware in advance of the project. Alerted them to the upcoming volunteer visit, and the timeline. Requested their participation, and underscored the benefit. Opened the doors for citizen volunteers.

7 Survey Methodology KBA supplied database list Debbie Ackerman managed database, assignments, followups Survey volunteers hand delivered questionnaires, conducted followups and pickups. Jeff FinkDebbie Ackerman Marilyn LaneKathy Shaw Michael NorrisCathy DiPierro Control group (citizens committee) also surveyed Analysis conducted by T Burns, team

8 Keyport businesses responded enthusiastically There are 166 businesses in the target area. Of these businesses, 80 were identified for volunteer visits, followups. Some volunteers returned five times. 76% of the targeted businesses completed surveys. These results are statistically significant. To the committee, they are also deeply gratifying.

9 What did they tell us?

10 Who are they? Questions 1 – 5 tell us about the respondents, their businesses, locations, etc. The details – and all individual surveys - are available, if useful to the project. Here, we make some general observations.

11 67% of respondents rent the property in which their business is located. 73% of businesses who answered occupy a ground floor storefront location.

12 Questions 7,8,9 These survey questions and responses addressed hours of operation, number of employees, and other specifics. Details are available to the project. –Some businesses are less than a year old, some go back nearly 100 years old –The average responder has been in business in Keyport for 16 years.

13 Question 6 As you may know, the town is discussing re-routing American Legion drive, in part to create a new customer entry and expanded retail opportunity for West Front Street buildings where ground floor, rear entrances face the bay. Would you favor such a change? (Y or N)

14 76% of survey respondents favor re-routing American Legion drive. 100 % of control group respondents (citizens committee) agree.

15 Q6a. Would you care to expand on your response? We need to create an image of Keyport from the bay side. The waterfront needs to be redone to attract more people to our town. Anything to clean up the rear of the buildings… looks dingy from the waterfront. Enormous expense by owners Attractive environment --- entrances, space,patios, lighting, etc.

16 Q6a. Would you care to expand on your response? The waterfront is severely underutilized and unattractive. Re-routing American Legion and expanding historic business district will expand the range of shops and increase foot traffic to the scenic shopping district. Keyport has such an advantage with its waterway. This could be enjoyable for everyone, and also help create more customer traffic for restaurants and retail. If the bulkhead and American Legion Drive are rerouted/reworked, and become more aesthetically pleasing to attract broadened customer base, then a rear entrance serving area could prove beneficial.

17 Q6a. Would you care to expand on your response? This could open up an entirely new opportunity to business and property owners downtown and would stimulate growth. I have not seen the re-routing plans, so cannot comment. If the waterfront were made a park area, this would be a great plan. Recreation at the bulkhead … move the street as the master plan suggested, but parking (perhaps diagonal) is necessary.

18 Q6a. Would you care to expand on your response? As a resident, I feel that removing the privilege of driving and parking by the water is a shame. This makes more sense than walking up the path to West Front Street. See Seattles Market for example. With a second level or retail, a promenade and patio restaurants, the waterfront would be great From a residents point of view, it would create more green space and a buffer between the pedestrian walkway and the road. A rerouted AL Drive places the traffic next to the rear of the businesses (which should be developed, or rear entrances opened).

19 Question 6b Would you be interested in special funding to undertake such expansion? (Y or N) –23 said no. –8 said YES (all were owners) –More than half did not respond to this question. Write-in remarks: …grants would be good!financing for whom? Remember, many respondents are renters. This will need further examination.

20 Question 10 Do any of the following factors preclude you from staying open longer hours? Please X all that apply. –75% who provided an answer cited insufficient business/doesnt warrant extended hours –25% of respondents declared that s/he - or the owner – do not want to work the extra time Note: total responses to this question >15

21 Questions 11, 11a, 12 These survey questions and responses addressed business owner and employee parking and commuting habits, and busy- ness throughout the year. Details are available to the project.

22 Question 13 What do you believe is the current business trend for YOUR business? Check only one.

23 Q13. More than 70% feel that the trend is stable or improving for their business 47% feel the trend is stable. The control group believed trend was improving …but teeters between stable and scary.

24 Q14. …current business trend for Keyport businesses overall? By a small margin, more feel business is improving Control group agreed.

25 Keyport biz overall your business The data in the response charts reflect remarks,respondents comments to volunteers.

26 Question 15 How would you classify your customers? –Responses varied by business type. Of retail and service businesses who responded, they reported 50-90% were regular customers returning for goods and services. –Many respondents did not know –% visitors ranged 10 – 35% –day trippers choice usually blank.

27 Question 16 Where do your customers come from? Choices: –Keyport –Monmouth County Bayshore(Aberdeen, Matawan Union Beach, Middletown, Atl Highlands, Highlands) –Other Monmouth County (Holmdel, Colts Neck, Red Bank, Marlboro, Manalapan, other) –Middlesex County (Old Bridge, S River, E Brunswick, S Amboy, Perth Amboy, other) –Staten Island NY –Other

28 Question 16 Where do your customers come from? Results and distribution are quite detailed, and specific to businesses, business types. All data are available to the project. Responses and plotting tell us that customers come from all these places, and in interesting numbers. Some are 5% Keyport, some are 95% Keyport. Some are 50% other Monmouth, some 25% Staten Island, etc. Opportunities?

29 Question 17 Over the past few years, which of these segments have increased or decreased most in terms of sales volume for your business? We asked about: Keyport residents Surrounding communities Residents from more than a 15 minute drive other

30 Q17. Primary responses were no change, slight nod to increase. surrounding communities other

31 Q17. We asked why. Some responses. We dont get a high enough percentage of Keyport residents. Havent been here long enough to tell. Old Keyport residents moved out of state due to rising costs, property taxes. Too new to answer this question. Antique shops closing We do good work. Increased due to Mexican population.

32 Answers are specific to respondents business type, but some themes emerge… Restaurants Starbucks NONE Supermarkets Drug stores, Travel agencies, Pier One Marshalls, Kohls, Target Red Bank Antiques Center The internet Q18. Which major stores or shopping centers are your major competition?

33 Q19. What do other stores or shopping areas have to offer that your business district does not? nicer appearance More group advertising More anchor stores Included in 65% of responses …100% of control

34 Q19. additional responses More turnover in parking spaces (8) Better highway access (7) Perceived to be safer (7) More convenient shopping hours (6) Easier to drive around/navigate (6) More central location (6) More competitive prices (6)

35 Q19. Write-in remarks for other choice what other stores/shopping areas offer that your business district does not… Stores with a common goal Diversified businesses attracting various age groups Necessity stores Collectives Stores that work more closely with one another for shared success

36 Q20. The three most important features that Keyport needs….TOP TEN 8, 9, 10. 4-WAY TIE (4 each) Public restroomsLarge stores Benches/places to sitMore retail stores 7. Stores to stay open more hours, days in week and holidays 5 and 6. 2-WAY TIE (10 each) More parking, year roundGreater variety of stores, goods

37 Q20. The three most important features that Keyport needs….TOP TEN 4. A ferry (12) 3. More restaurants (16) 2. Visual improvements, keeping the area attractive (17) 1. Waterfront redevelopment (27)

38 Q21. 30% of respondents feel waterfront redevelopment is an important feature for Keyport. The focus of the SmartGrowth project appears to align with the wishes of Keyport business. 30% 18% 17% 13% 11%

39 Remarks from Q21 (most important features) We need an attraction, like an amphitheatre Prohibit employees from parking on Front Street Trash receptacles Parking away from the waterfront Better sight lines at intersections Stores stay open Friday nights…at least! The ferry is an important catalyst, but waterfront redevelopment is more important.

40 Q21. The three least important features that Keyport needs…. Improved access from highways (16) More housing or apartments (14) Public restrooms (10) More chains or franchise (9) Outlets (7) Easier to get around by foot (7) Better, easier traffic circulation (6)

41 Question 23 Do you think that, through a ferry service to Keyport, your business would improve? 79% answered yes.

42 Q24. Assessing the Keyport business area Business owners were asked to rank Keyport as excellent, good, fair or poor in twenty characteristics. Their perspectives follow.

43 Q24. EXCELLENT convenience to home highway roadway access walkability friendliness of townspeople and marketing friendliness of retailers safety, perception ofsafety events promotion attractiveness of storefronts convenience of retail hours convenience to public transportation availability of convenient parking TOP TEN BY NUMBER RANK

44 Q24. GOOD convenience to home highway and roadway access walkability friendliness of townspeople safety, perception of safety events promotion and marketing quality of stores and services quality of restaurants, entertainment convenience to public trans places to sit and socialize TOP TEN BY NUMBER RANK openness to diverse communities friendliness of retailers

45 Q24. A few more good responses… each also received minimum of ten good votes convenience of retail hours (13) walkability maintenance of sidewalks, curbs, streets (10) events promotion and marketing quality of stores and services quality of restaurants, entertainment convenience to public trans convenience of retail hours cleanliness (10) attractiveness of storefronts (10)

46 Q24. FAIR utilization of transportation walkability events promotion, convenience of retail hours quality of stores and services quality of restaurants, convenience to public places to sit and socialize TOP TEN BY NUMBER RANK the waterfront maintenance of number and variety of restaurants attractiveness of storefronts entertainment marketing sidewalks, curbs and streets

47 Q24. POOR storefronts friendliness of townspeople cleanliness convenience of retail hours utilization of the waterfront quality of restaurants, entertainment quality of stores places to sit, socialize TOP TEN BY NUMBER RANK maintenance of number and variety of restaurants attractiveness of sidewalks, curbs and streets and services convenience of public transportation highway and roadway access

48 So, what are the business people telling us in Q24? We have a wonderful asset --- convenient to home, walkabable, friendly, attractive and safe. We have challenges and opportunities to optimize the asset: increase number, variety and quality of restaurants and entertainment; utilize the waterfront; focus on convenience of retail hours, places to sit and socialize (public spaces), etc. They get it. And they told us.

49 Question 26 Which of these statements most closely resembles your opinion about future planning for the Keyport business district? First – the top responses (they could choose two). We also asked for remarks. They follow.

50 Q26. Top five responses 1.Redevelopment of the waterfront with business in mind must be a priority; the rest will follow. (18) 2.Restaurants with waterfront dining are very important (16) 3.Attracting new businesses is critical.(11) 4.Keyport should emphasize the heritage of the Bayshore (fishing, boating and water recreation. (11) 5.We must retain and work with the unique small town feeling of Keyport -- no one else has it.(8) 28% 25% 17% 8%

51 Q26. remarks Large retail businesses are needed. Bring in newer life – businesses – into Keyport, not just one kind, but a variety. We must develop a niche business – something Keyport is known for – yet retain a diversity of retail, professional, restaurant businesses. West Front Street should be swept more often, people throw their lottery tickets all over.

52 Q26. remarks Redevelopment of the waterfront, a ferry service, planned marketing and events are a must. Everyone should focus on their own business and its uniqueness; to strive to get ahead. The ferry will not bring business. It doesnt in Belford nor the highlands. It may be good for the towns pockets via fees, though. The waterfront and Main Street have been focus for years – market and utilize these better.

53 Q26. remarks Redevelopment with common sense for our sensitive eco-environment and dont overdo. We cannot win against Mother Nature. There are too many of the same types of businesses. Some feel irrelevant – ex, copy services. Who wants to spend a day browsing copy services? Add to heritage. Performing arts. Concert hall. Income and employment. People come and go home – one time opera house and legit theatre.

54 Q26. remarks Its the water. Dont under any circumstances compromise that view. People come here just to see the water. If you obscure that view, youll kill this town. We find most visitors to Keyport love the quaint small town feel – Keyport needs to provide business, services, leisure activities to keep visitors coming back.

55 Q26. Remarks from Citizens Committee The Keyport downtown business district might profit better by focusing on supporting waterfront recreation and residents. If you dont serve Keyports residents, you dont serve any towns residents! I think we have come a long way in a short time. We can use more shops and restaurants. Evening hours would be nice and bring in shoppers. All businesses should try being open Friday night for one month during summer. Then evaluate results. Years ago, they were open Friday nights. A vision and plan will facilitate the systematic process Keyport needs to implement new investment strategies that complement our traditions and heritage.

56 Question 27 If there were a new parking facility to serve the downtown, where should it be located? Three options were offered, as well as the choices of other, and no opinion, or difficult to choose from above. We also asked for remarks. They follow.

57 Q27. Most chose the Broad/Main garage plan, dont know was second 36% 28% 23% 13% 1.Low profile parking garage in the municipal lot between Broad and Main. (14) 2.Dont know [no opinion, or difficult to choose from] (16) 3.By the waterfront, beneath an amphitheatre (9) 4.Diagonal parking on West Front Street (5)

58 Q27. Parking facility remarks If there were a new facility to serve the downtown, where should it be located? – Let people know where existing parking is! – Dont mess up waterfront with parking – Diagonal one side, straight the other – Cant intrude on waterfront – We need a plan to determine which options are best. – Aesthetically, geographically – Broad and Main is the best choice – Hidden from view, not on the water, with a promenade down to the bay, past the second floor rear level waterfront restaurants!

59 Question 28 In your opinion, what types of stores and other businesses (existing and new) do you think would do well in Keyport? –Fine restaurants –Bookstore, toy store, sports store –High end clothing shops –Nice wine store –Small unique boutiques and cafes –Something besides second hand shops –Waterfront dining restaurants –An excellent tailor –Bed and breakfast There were no shortage of ideas

60 Q28. continued Fine restaurants Kids store Stores like Smithville, New Hope Mom & Pop stores, not franchises…they degrade, make Keyport seem like a strip mall Mini supermarket, small butcher shop More professional offices – doctor, lawyer, mortgage Antiques, restaurants, wine shops, tapas bar Old Navy, Trader Joes – NICE anchor stores Water shows, water sports, water related business

61 Q28. continued Independent record store Quaint, waterfront restaurants Gourmet market, swanky restaurants Womens clothing, day spa Entertainment venues geared toward families Clothing chains – to target younger generation Boating, sailing, family activities Family billiards, theater, batting cages, bowling, golf, mini golf, waterfront activities for families, youngsters

62 Q28. continued Gourmet market, trendy shops Niche businesses that malls dont have Housewares or kitchen shops 99c store, dollar store Specialty shops catering to high end clientele Mens clothing shop Ethnic restaurants, coffee shop Good quality retailers A nice accessory/gift shop Dry cleaners

63 Q29. Do you think that Keyport has gotten better, worse, or stayed the same for business during the past five years? 100% of CC said BETTER (not included)

64 Question 31 What could be done to improve the climate for business here in Keyport? Lots of interesting, thoughtful responses. We eliminated most repeaters (even more waterfront, waterfront, waterfront than are presented here…)

65 Q31. to improve business climate in Keyport… Work together to volunteer to make Keyport better. The Business Alliance already does a great job. Eliminate costs of operating KBA. Attract new business types Waterfront development More parking Bus people from Rte 35. Reroute 35 through W Front. Separate zoning, planning boards. Update master plan.

66 Q31. to improve business climate in Keyport… Usage of waterfront Have more arts and entertainment. Less rentals, more homes converted to single or double family homes. More walking traffic. Promotions, appearance, customer service We need new investment from enthusiastic people – a lot of business owners here seem tired. Improved investment in storefronts, like Red Bank

67 Q31. to improve business climate in Keyport… Need to provide necessity and everyday stores Create things to do on weekends, improve the storefronts, attract locals to come More thought to customer convenience (shops are open while people work, closed when they could shop) Demolish the front 10 of every building so sidewalks can be wider, bordered by green space.

68 Q31. to improve business climate in Keyport… Get customers to come down to the area and see whats here Develop the waterfront Treat customers fairly and they will come More children oriented Parking Get or open up businesses which attract people

69 Q31. to improve business climate in Keyport… Implement our Smart Growth initiative Cleanliness Bars, restaurants Attract families and younger generation to Keyport for shopping, leisure and playtime KBA needs to return to smaller role, reduce taxes Recreational, shopping, movies, theatre Clean up the waterfront and downtown. Everything else will follow.

70 Question 30 If you could change one thing about Keyports zoning and land use regulations related to your business what would it be? Responses were relatively light, but specific.

71 Q30. Zoning…land use…related to your business… No more houses or condos! The town is a mile by a mile and getting cramped. Have more light industrial zoned land Get rid of the BID for businesses not on Front Street. Put back angle parking that was there for 60 years on the end of Broadway before traffic lights were put in. Less licensing fees from building department Separate zoning, planning boards Fewer apartments

72 Q30. Zoning…land use…related to your business… Enforce the present regulations Fewer rentals. Houses that have 3 – 6 apartments are businesses, not homes. They should pay taxes accordingly. Merchants that are landlocked should have passes to park for a period of time without getting a ticket. Change parking to three hours. Get rid of all the small lots and homes in disrepair. Looks like a slum. I love Keyport – but it needs a facelift!

73 Q30. Zoning…land use…related to your business… Bring in other businesses (for second floors), and better/more attractive businesses for ground floors. Parking regulations Increase minimum setbacks Placement of garbage, trash time followed Sensitivity to historic preservation and the costs involved in restoring or renovating old buildings Complete overhaul needed…it functions like 1950, ineffective in todays business climate.

74 We wrapped with an open question If you have any additional comments to share, please include them here. Respondents provided thoughtful, constructive insights

75 Keyport needs newer businesses, more activities and water sports to bring in more people. Love Keyport – but it needs a facelift! Get retailers vehicles off Front Street. Bathrooms. Visitors center with concessions. Too many signs on the street and store windows I feel very strongly about having visible speed limit signs on Front Street, and more speeding tickets given out by the police for speeding through town. No riding bikes on sidewalks!

76 We need a large pier, and a convention center (use Chicago model) I think the town is progressing, but perhaps needs to be updated to the times, eg, ferry and a common goal/look. There should be some enhancement on maintaining property, both commercial and residential. Some areas of town need to be cleaned up. Zoning laws should be enforced. The Sunday flea market in the parking lot on W Front Street is an eyesore. Nowhere to park! Most of the items are garbage. Not worth it. Talk to surrounding towns to clean up messy and abandoned properties off Rte 35 Amboy Avenue exit.

77 If a commuter ferry returns to Keyport, it should also be utilized for pleasure excursions. It can also be good advertising for the town and its businesses..electronic signage, poster frames, etc.. Redevelopment, ferry service, realign American Legion Drive, and follow our planners template. I see no improvement…a store closes, a store opens, were not getting ahead. Since my landlord has raised my rent to accommodate tax hike, show me where dollars are going since beginning. Perhaps special discounts for volunteers would generate business

78 I feel we have a very long way and are on the fast track to being where we want to be, without outgrowing the area. Town ordinances, zoning, and direction should be and will be controlled by the residents, not the businesses. Keyport has the greatest potential of any town on the Bayshore!

79 Home stretch The businesses surveyed, and the control group, seem to agree on several things.

80 Waterfront redevelopment is critical. Re-routing American Legion Drive is a good idea Business in town is stable or improving Restaurants are seen as a critical new business need "high end" businesses are desirable Family activities are encouraged The unique nature of Keyport should be retained The waterfront is a great asset The parking approach at Broad/Main is supported Keyport truly is the Pearl of the Bayshore

81 One final thought. Businesses cared enough to respond thoughtfully. We owe them a thoughtful plan.

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