A Special Improvement District (SID) is a public/private partnership in which property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development, and promotion of their commercial district.
The idea for the SID is modeled on the shared maintenance program of many suburban shopping centers. Tenants of a mall pay a common area maintenance fee to underwrite services that enhance the appearance of the common areas and provide cooperative advertising for the mall and its stores.
A SID works in much the same way. However, because a SID has multiple property owners (not one as in a mall) they agree to the extra fee (assessment). Thus, stakeholders in a commercial district can align themselves in much the same way to improve their area as does a mall operation.
Several advantages from this arrangement are:
- A cleaner, safer and more attractive business district
- A steady and reliable funding source for supplemental services & programs
- The ability to respond quickly to changing needs of the business community
- Potential to increase property values and decrease commercial vacancy rates
- A district that is better able to compete with nearby retail and business centers