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Downtown Santa Monica Offers Parking Ad Ops

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Melonie Magruder
Staff Writer

July 26, 2013 -- The wait to exit Downtown’s public parking structures is about to get a lot more interesting and informative. Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) and the City of Santa Monica are launching a pilot program this summer to place advertising at the end of exit rows in the area’s nine structures.

The City Council approved the proposal — which will bring a much-needed new revenue source — in 2010, and contracts are being finalized between the City, DTSM, Macerich and Van Wagner, the agency selected through an RFP process to handle advertising sales.

“The paid advertising also allows the City to have much-needed space to display public service announcements,” said Debbie Lee, DTSM’s vice president. “The program launches this summer with a conservative number of panels in each of the nine structures Downtown.”

Two types of ads will be featured in the parking garages: large-format panels (approximately eight feet by ten feet) and smaller, movie-poster-size ads for “whatever would appeal to anyone in Santa Monica,” said Don Patterson, the City’s assistant finance director.

“We will be using the same ad guidelines as those used for the Big Blue Bus,” said Patterson, who has been working on the plan. “And ten percent of the ad space will be reserved to promote city initiatives.”

Van Wagner anticipates advertising for movies, auto-related products, local retail and dining, events and other Santa Monica-friendly activities, said Patterson, who expects the ads to generate between $150,000 and $400,000 a year in revenues.

Julia Ladd, senior property manager for Santa Monica Place, said the campaign offers the City a chance to promote its sustainability efforts while advertising eco-friendly products, such as Smart Cars.

“This will make the public aware of what’s available in the immediate commercial marketplace,” Ladd said. “It’s good for residents and visitors and the city as well.”

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