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PDA finalizes lease for city building on Division Street

Downtown organization moving into PPIE's former home next week

The Pleasanton Downtown Association is moving its headquarters into a familiar, city-owned building just off Main Street.

The City Council last month approved an agreement for the PDA to lease the property at 333 Division St., a site that for years was the home of the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation.

When PPIE left Division Street last year for a space in the Pleasanton Unified School District administrative complex, the city's property downtown sat vacant -- and PDA officials decided now was the right time to jump on the chance to lease that building.

"This is a great move for the PDA and something we have been hoping for and working towards for many years," PDA executive director Laura Olson told the Weekly.

"The location in the heart of downtown will make our office more accessible for our businesses and the public," Olson added. "It will provide us with more space, and thanks to the generosity of the city of Pleasanton, we will enjoy a much lower rent which will allow us to pour more of our limited resources into marketing and programs for our wonderful downtown."

The PDA plans to start moving into its new home next Monday. The PDA has spent nearly $20,000 in recent weeks to renovate the interior to meet the needs of its staff, board members and public, Olson said.

An organization tasked with promoting downtown Pleasanton and enhancing its viability, the PDA is funded through annual assessments paid by for-profit businesses within the Downtown Pleasanton Business Improvement District, as well as through sponsorships and fundraising events such as its Concerts in the Park, Forkful and springtime Wine Stroll.

The PDA also receives financial support -- direct and indirect -- from the city of Pleasanton, and offering a below-market lease for 333 Division St. (under $1,000 per month) is seen as another example of that support, according to Pamela Ott, the city's economic development director.

"The (lease) terms, which are similar in nature with terms that were applied to previous tenants, are not intended to recover the full cost of operating the building or to profit from rent charges. Rather, the use of the building is seen as part of the city's commitment to work cooperatively with the Pleasanton Downtown Association," Ott wrote in her staff report to the council.

The city building will help offset rising expenses incurred in recent years by the PDA, including from increasing rent at its current headquarters in the Civic Center Station building on First Street -- the PDA's home since January 2011.

The 333 Division St. site, a former house converted into a commercial building behind the Museum on Main, is also more centrally located in downtown compared to the current PDA office at 4725 First St., Suite 200, which is on the far south end of downtown between Bernal Avenue and Abbie Street.

The lease with the city calls for the PDA to pay $974 per month in rent from March to December 2019, after which the cost would go up based on the Consumer Price Index on an annual basis.

The PDA will be responsible for utilities, interior maintenance based on daily use and maintaining insurance, as well as providing its own furniture, fixtures, equipment and computers, under the lease. The city will be responsible for upkeep of the grounds and landscaping, the roof and exterior walls, and the security system, as well as major maintenance such as exterior painting and HVAC.

During 2019, the city expects the PDA to receive approximately $75,000 worth of assessments from downtown businesses -- a total that the city will match with funding.

The city also contributes indirect funding to the PDA including staff time to administer PDA assessments, support for events and business initiatives, cleaning sidewalks, maintaining planter boxes and picking up garbage, Ott said.

The lease agreement was approved on Nov. 6 as part of the council's consent calendar, a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once unless pulled for separate consideration.

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