Published December 15, 1997
Volume 5, Number 12

New Downtown Association Director Has a Vision for the Future

Craig Sharton
The Pleasanton Downtown Association's Craig Scharton at the Veteran's Memorial Building.

Craig Scharton, the new executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association (PDA), has a vision for downtown. 

"I'd like to see a large number of uses down here so that it's as interesting as possible, so that every time you turn the corner you're surprised by something new and fun," he says. "One night you might come down for dinner, the next night for an art gallery opening, the next night for a play We have a really good looking Main Street, but there's some work to do here."

Scharton is the man to do that job. As executive director, he oversees the actions of the PDA, which is a non-profit merchant's association set up in 1984 to promote and market Pleasanton's downtown. His background, as an entrepreneur involved in the purchase and renovation of historic downtown properties, gives him a unique perspective on Pleasanton.

A California Main Street
The PDA uses the California Main Street program as a blueprint for its activities. These programs focus on the following four areas, each of which are implemented through a volunteer committee:

  • Promotion: The PDA encourages cooperative marketing efforts between downtown businesses. A series of seminars is planned on merchandising, window displays, creating a marketing plan, and more.
  • Design: The Design Committee focuses primarily on planning issues. "The Downtown Specific plan hasn't been revised since 1987 and we're going to ask the City to do that next year," says Scharton. 
  • Economic Restructuring: This committee will catalog and analyze a variety of economic data, including sales taxes, rent rates, property values, and vacancy rates.
  • Organization: Creating the administrative infrastructure of the PDA. 

Scharton is eager for the participation of Hacienda tenants in the committees. 

"I'm soliciting participation from anyone interested in the committees," he says. "If they'd like to volunteer for a jazz night or community concerts, or even if they just want to get their business some exposure by being involved in an event through sponsorship, they're welcome," he says. 

For more information on the PDA, call (510) 484-2199.


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