Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

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By an edhat subscriber

There is an article in the Independent about the results of a retail survey for the Downtown Organization where they are trying to figure out why there are so many vacancies downtown. The Downtown Organization hired a consultant to do an "autopsy" and the report cited too many businesses catering to the young and tourists, too many chain stores, as well as the homelessness problem. 

One thing that popped out was the "the average household income of this resident population" stated as $103,000 a year. That number, if true is really off, which would mean that other things are likely off too. The Housing Task Forces Community Profile, dated 3/20/17, outlined our owner occupied (40%) and non-owner occupied (60%) homes and the incomes.

The numbers they had were:

  • $104,896 - Median Income of an owner household
  • $49,684 - Median Income of a renter household

It doesn't seem like the report could be valid if this number is so out of whack. Thoughts? 

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LocalsOnly Jun 23, 2017 02:56 PM
Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

I certainly agree with the sentiment "that banks, offices, and discount knock-off shops be discouraged," but also:

1. Stop trying to cling so hard to a certain bland "downtown aesthetic" and allow more public art and general creativity.
2. Stop taking measures that discourage loitering. Whether locals or tourists, people go downtown to hang out. Rather than take ineffective and shortsighted measures that hurt everyone, get the police to actually do their job and move the homeless people. Seriously, if you just moved the homeless people sleeping on State Street at night just one street over it would have a significant effect on the image and smell of the downtown corridor.
3. Stop putting all your focus on high-end retailers. They bring in money, but they do nothing to make our downtown unique or interesting. Move them elsewhere in town. Most people who frequent downtown do not go there for a store where a single item costs more than their rent. The rich people who want to waste their money on tacky things will venture to those stores wherever they are.
4. Stop booting out the local artists and musicians in favor of building more hotels.
5. Remove the ban on amplified music at community centers.

And most of all, start going after the greedy property owners that are demanding insane amounts of money from their tenants! The majority of the blame for our vacant downtown lies at their feet.

therealbebe Jun 23, 2017 08:06 AM
Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

I don't understand the question. What is so out of whack with it? I am assuming that "renter households" include shared bedroom, studio and one-bedroom rentals; then yes, the numbers absolutely make sense.

420722 Jun 22, 2017 08:30 PM
Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

SB is going down the tubes quick. On the outside she looks good but she's really not doing that great when you read between the lines. I thank our mayor for about 50% of our downfall. I really hope she plans on leaving this town after her term is up. See ya!

a-1498188286 Jun 22, 2017 08:24 PM
Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

Might the difference between "median" and "average" explain it?

"The terms average, mean, median and mode are commonly confused with each other because they all describe ways to talk about sets of numbers. To look at how each term works, let’s say that nine students took a quiz, and the scores were 91, 84, 56, 90, 70, 65, 90, 92, and 30.

When someone asks for the average of a group of numbers, they’re most likely asking for the arithmetic mean, a synonymous term. An arithmetic mean is calculated by adding several quantities together and dividing the sum by the number of quantities. For our example, we need to add the nine quiz scores together and then divide the sum by nine. So, the rounded average, or mean, score is 74.

The median is another form of an average. It usually represents the middle number in a given sequence of numbers when it’s ordered by rank. When the quiz scores are listed from lowest to highest (or highest to lowest), we can see that the median, or middle, score is 84."

Hope I'm not misleading in this post. arithmetic was not my best subject.

SBCountyLocal Jun 22, 2017 03:45 PM
Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

The incomes don't look right to me. Have you seen who shops downtown? - You can't tell me the residents who support the Downtown have that kind of income even years ago...

The report seems to be pure fantasy as is the statement that rents are about right... Just wait until the new zoning ordinance is adopted. Restaurants and the wine bars will start moving to other areas of the City because they have relaxed the parking regulations. (Watch what happens to the Haley Corridor...) Stores will be moving out of the Downtown area and they will start talking about putting housing, that will be turned into short term vacation rentals, and it will cater to retires who can afford the rents while the workforce will continue to be driven out of town...

Meanwhile, look what's happened with our housing stock. Our middle class has been replaced by tourists on the weekend and they've moved to Ventura, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Maria and elsewhere. - They are spending their disposable income there, not Santa Barbara...

Garth Jun 22, 2017 12:56 PM
Incorrect Incomes on Downtown Survey?

The Downtown Organization could have saved their money had they just read Edhat comments during
the last year. We've been griping about out-of-touch store management/inventory, catering to the tourists at the expensive of locals, the homeless problem, aggressive panhandlers, non-responsive mayor and city council, ad infinitum.

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