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By Tammye McDuff
A preliminary discussion was held at Council July 13, 2015 relating to the highly anticipated Phase IV of the Pioneer Boulevard Improvement Project, which includes building the downtown entry archway.
In preparation for Phase IV, a selected phrase will be integrated into the preliminary design of a gateway arch for approval.
A “branding phrase” is the next step to identify the entry to the distinctive downtown experience.
City Manager William Rawlings advised Council, “although this seems a bit backwards, we need to agree on a phrase before we can agree on an archway design. We need to make sure that the phrase will fit the archway.”
Staff introduced four possible phrases for consideration:
1. Artesia International and Cultural Shopping District
2. Artesia Downtown Shopping District
3. International Downtown Artesia
4. Artesia International Shopping District.
Councilman Tony Lima suggested that the phrase be something simple and easy to read, such as ‘Artesia International Downtown District or Artesia New International Shopping District or Artesia Cultural Center’. Councilman Ali Sajjad Taj noted that in his European travels there is always a central business district and he would like to something in the form of ‘International Business District’ to cater to all visitors.
Councilmember Sally Flowers pointed out, “I notice that the placement of the archway has not been definitely designated. I believe from 183rd Street to 188th Street would be the ideal area to have the archway. I do like the phrase ‘Artesia International Shopping District’, and would like to see somewhere on the archway or on a plaque nearby state this is the home of Little India. If we miss this branding opportunity to officially name and acknowledge the downtown corridor, it would be a loss to the city and our downtown merchants should another city claim to be the home of Little India.” Lima added that ‘Little India’ should not be added to the archway, but in a directional plague as is the case for with City Hall.
The original vision was to name the area ‘The Artesia International and Cultural Shopping District.’ Flowers noted that the name is too long and not a brand that is easily remembered. Lima inserted the word ‘international’ should stay within the phrase because of the International Fair held annually and to keep the word ‘new’ due to the city’s new construction and facelift. Rawlings requested and encouraged Council to select a phrase that would best capture the essence of the City’s Downtown now and for the future. Mayor Miguel Canales said ‘If we really want a good phrase then in honor and remembrance of Councilman Larry Nelson’s choice phrase ‘Every day is a good day’ would be easy to read and remember as well as being an effect use of branding the City.”
Flowers requested that the official choice of phrases be postponed until Victor Manalo, Mayor Pro Tem, was able to cast his vote.
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