"Florida's Greatest Place" Just Keeps Getting Better—DIB Announces Latest Projects and Enhancements

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 6:16 PMUpdated: Mar 14, 2019 8:59 PM
Parking dollars from City-owned lots and spaces managed by the Downtown Improvement Board are being used to launch several new projects that will make "Florida's Greatest Place" even cleaner, safer and more vibrant, DIB executive director Lissa Dees announced recently. The DIB has hired a “cleaning ambassador” team, completed the installation of LED lights atop the Jefferson St. Garage and recently begun removing worn out parking meters on downtown streets. The changes are the latest on a long list of district-wide maintenance and improvement projects funded by parking revenues collected by the DIB. 
 
DIB Clean Ambassadors
You may have seen them in their green DIB “Clean Ambassador” shirts: three individuals diligently working along downtown sidewalks and streets, stopping to assist visitors when needed. They were hired locally through StreetPlus, a 25-year-old cleaning, maintenance and hospitality service company that maintains more than 70 business improvement districts in the U.S. Each completed an extensive, 80-hour “Ambassador Academy” training program that included tracks on topics such as emergency response, cultural diversity and extreme customer service, and a session on the history, culture and current events of Downtown Pensacola.

Lighting Up the Jefferson St. Garage
The top floor of the Jefferson St. Parking Garage is much brighter now thanks to the installation of new LED lights, a project that was recently completed by the DIB. The DIB plans to begin landscaping and pressure-washing the area around the garage, as well as painting three of its exterior walls, in advance of a planned alleyway “makeover” of the unused space behind the garage. “The safety and appearance of the garage and the surrounding area are important to downtown visitors and to us,” said Dees, “And we love the challenge of turning an asset such as a parking garage alleyway into a creative public space we can all enjoy.” 
 
Goodbye, Guard Shack. Goodbye, Broken Meters.
A number of other improvement projects are currently in the works by the DIB, each designed to create a better experience for people who live or visit downtown. On March 16, the guard shack standing at the entrance of the Jefferson St. Garage will be demolished, making way for public art and friendly way-finding signs. The DIB has also set a plan into motion to remove all of the broken and out-of-service parking meters from downtown streets, a labor-intensive project that is expected to be completed before summer, said Dees.

[PHOTO CREDIT: LAURA BOGAN]