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Downtown Santa Monica Advertising Program Paying Off

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and MarkHarding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors BureauWhen one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.

By Jason Islas
Lookout reporter

March 10, 2014 -- Downtown Public Parking Structures are getting a sizable bump in revenue thanks to a new pilot program launched in September that allows advertisers to rent ad space.

As of January, the program -- which is in place in Parking Structures #1 through #9 -- had generated nearly $100,000, according to City officials.

The ads, which are mostly for movies and TV shows, must meet the same criteria as ads placed on Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus fleet.

“They have to be G-Rated and non-offensive to the greatest number of people,” said Don Patterson, the City’s assistant director of finance.

To assure that those standards are met, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) reviews proposed ads in Parking Structures #1 through #6 and #9, while Macerich, which owns Santa Monica Place, gets a say over which ads go up in Parking Structures #7 and #8 connected to the remodeled mall.

If the pilot program continues on track, by the time it goes back to Council for review in July or August, the ads will have generated between $200,000 and $300,000, Patterson said.

All monies generated will go towards improving parking access and circulation Downtown, as long as it’s a one-time cost, such as installing a real-time signage system, he said.

“Instead of the sign outside the parking structure just saying ‘Full,’ it’ll say ‘Full’ and ‘400 spaces up ahead,’” Patterson said, adding that the sign would “direct you to where parking is available.”

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