Media Contact: Liz Faris, Communications Manager, (619) 527-6161 ext. 376, lfaris@jacobscenter.org

March 3, 2015 – SAN DIEGO – On February 26, residents of southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods, representatives from community-based organizations, community leaders and the staff and members of the board of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation gathered at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center, Celebration Hall, 404 Euclid Avenue, to celebrate the Jacobs Center’s strategic plan for 2015-17 and the community input that created it.

The Town Hall event was the first in a series of meetings that will keep residents engaged in projects and programs aimed at revitalizing District 4. The next Town Hall will focus entirely on redevelopment projects planned for the area and will take place later this spring.

“Tonight residents came together to take the first step in the rest of our shared journey to revitalize this area. The Jacobs Center is committed to strengthening this community through physical developments, educational programs, and rich cultural experiences that bring artists, performances and visitors spending power to the Diamond.” said Reginald Jones, President and CEO.

The evening began with a lively drumline performance by the Heartbeat Music Academy. Students of all ages took to the stage and brought guests to their feet! A program followed that included members of the community who had participated in the strategic planning process. They shared the four goals that guide the foundation’s work. They include: “Personality,” “People,” “Place,” and “Programs.” Personality, relates to creating a sharpened brand identity for the JCNI and improving communications and accountability. People, means increasing the number of engaged stakeholders. Place and Programs aim to improve the area’s quality of life through physical redevelopment and enhanced human development programs.

The program also included an update on the Jacobs Center redevelopment projects. It was announced that the highly anticipated Walgreens being built near the corner of Euclid Avenue and Market Street is scheduled to open on April 3. Among the upcoming projects is a facelift for Market Creek Plaza which will consist of a newly painted exterior, re-striped parking lot and landscaping. The Chollas Creek Restoration Project will break ground in April. This project will restore the natural beauty of a portion of Chollas Creek near Market Street and Guymon Street and will invite activity through the addition of art and a trail system. A Community Facilities District is being planned to fund infrastructure improvements in the Market Street and Euclid Avenue corridors. Improvements will include wider sidewalks, street lights and other infrastructure improvements. These features will help to attract developers, increase property values and establish Market Street as a vibrant activity corridor. The foundation will issue tax exempt bonds to pay for these necessary upgrades.  These bonds will only be applied to properties owned by the Jacobs Center and will be paid back through nominal property tax increases to their tenants.

The program ended with an inspiring spoken work performance by new Jacobs Center artist-in-residence Gill Sotu that captured the essence of community. Sotu called upon residents to work together to be part of the change in the Diamond Neighborhoods.

Before and after the program residents learned about resources provided by community-based organizations related to workforce development and family strengthening, education, arts and culture.

To learn more about the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s work and to sign up to receive email updates on upcoming Town Hall meetings visit www.JacobsCenter.org

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The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI) is partnering with resident teams in southeastern San Diego to transform nearly sixty acres into The Village at Market Creek, a LEED-certified neighborhood and vibrant cultural destination. Through a network of nonprofit and for-profit partners, locally-owned businesses and national tenants, a community and conference center, and a portfolio of social enterprise projects, JCNI is creating assets that will become economic engines for the community when the foundation sunsets in 2030. Under the banner of “Resident Ownership of Neighborhood Change,” the people who live and work in the community create the vision, lead the implementation, and own the change in their community. Learn more at www.jacobscenter.org.