New signage for visitors to downtown Grass Valley |

New signage for visitors to downtown Grass Valley

Dave Brooksher
Staff Writer

Mock-ups of the new signs coming to downtown Grass Valley.

The Grass Valley Downtown Association wants to help tourists and visitors find local businesses by improving directional signage in the downtown district.

This would involve a total of nearly 20 new signs directing visitors to museums, restaurants, shops and other local landmarks.

"What we hear from our businesses is that when you get beyond Mill and Main, people aren't sure what else exists," said Julia Jordan, executive director of the association. "We have 13 blocks of our district, and some of it is underutilized."

The association says they expect the full cost of the signage project to be nearly $20,000. The city of Grass Valley recently approved a community funding request for $10,000 — but the Grass Valley Downtown Association is also putting its own money into the project, according to Jordan.

“What we’ve seen in other downtowns and throughout California Main Street, they’re going with more generic signs. They’re not really event or building specific, it’s just a generalization.”
Julia Jordan
Grass Valley Downtown Association

"We're not just asking the city for a handout, we're asking for a partnership," Jordan said. "We've already allocated $13,000 of our own budget to see this project go through."

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But that money alone wouldn't cover all 19 planned signs. The organization has enough funding to put signs up in the downtown "core," but other signage outside the downtown area would have to wait.

"By partnering with the city, we'll be able to do the entire project," Jordan said. "Without the city's partnership, we would have only been able to do nine."

The new signs will be larger, but also more vague. Jordan says that's a good thing.

Since businesses move, or sometimes close, signage with specific names and locations might have to be revised on a frequent and costly basis.

"What we've seen in other downtowns and throughout California Main Street, they're going with more generic signs," Jordan said. "They're not really event or building specific, it's just a generalization."

In the past, this project would have been funded by the city of Grass Valley's Redevelopment Agency but that funding dried up in 2011 after the passage of Assembly Bill X126, which forced the dissolution of redevelopment agencies across California.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.

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