Compiled by Kamala Kirk

DTSM Develops Vitality Plan to Revitalize Third Street Promenade

Courtesy Downtown Santa Monica

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM), the urban place management organization tasked with the responsibility of overseeing and advancing the vibrancy and long-lasting vitality of Third Street Promenade, has embarked on a process to develop a comprehensive private space plan to revitalize the iconic public street.

The Third Street Promenade Stabilization and Economic Vitality Plan will endeavor to build upon the Promenade’s legacy as a dynamic and inclusive city center by focusing on the use of private properties and the development of new zoning elements that will create opportunities for modern and attractive uses like experiential retail, live entertainment, nightlife, museums and more.

DTSM has enlisted the help of world-renowned experts in public space environments and retail strategy from MIG and Streetsense to work with the City of Santa Monica, private stakeholders and a project advisory committee composed of longtime property owners and professionals in the fields of architecture and urban design, marketing and hospitality.

Over the next three months, the partners will meet with stakeholder focus groups and the Santa Monica City Council to develop the Vitality Plan. A draft plan of action is expected to be delivered in March with final adoption by the DTSM board of directors in April 2021.

“The last year brought unprecedented challenges to our community and business owners, and while there are still difficult days ahead, we stand at the precipice of reinvention today,” said Kathleen Rawson, CEO of DTSM, Inc. “The pandemic only exacerbated the impacts of online shopping on brick and mortar retail, we have been working on how to best counteract these effects for some time now. This new Vitality Plan concentrates primarily on private uses and creative zoning that will spark the change we need.”

For more information on the Vitality Plan, visit

Culver City Names Armando Abrego Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director

The City of Culver City has announced the appointment of Armando Abrego as the new Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) director. He officially assumed the role on Feb. 8.

Over the past 35 years, Abrego has administered numerous senior, social services and recreation programs; managed facilities and capital improvement projects; and successfully submitted and administered grant-funded programs.

His experience spans several roles within the PRCS Department, including most recently as acting PRCS director, as well as both senior and social services manager, and recreation and community services manager for the past 15 years.

“Since I’ve known Armando, I’ve been consistently impressed by his steadfast dedication to delivering high-quality recreation services to the Culver City community,” said city manager John Nachbar. “He has many admirable qualities including his leadership skills, professionalism, experience and easygoing demeanor. I’m grateful for all his efforts in leading our outstanding PRCS team and collaborating with various governmental entities and community partners to serve residents. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Armando has brought new vital programs to fruition. I’ve come to rely on him throughout the years and know he will be successful in his new official capacity as our PRCS director.”

Abrego came to Culver City with a comprehensive public service career, which includes serving the City of Pico Rivera, the Duarte Unified School District, the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles and the City of West Hollywood.

He has been an active member of and affiliated with the California Parks and Recreation Society, SCMAF, National Youth Sports Coaches Association, Bay Area Municipal Athletic Association, Southeast Municipal Athletic Association, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, and the City of Culver City’s Government and Racial Equity Alliance committee.

“I am proud and honored to lead a group of dedicated staff, volunteers and instructors who work diligently with all age groups to offer lifelong learning opportunities in Culver City,” Abrego said. “Our PRCS team has unique backgrounds and life experiences that come out in their work to improve residents’ lives and contribute to the rich diversity of our community.”