Buffalo Exchange, Urban Outfitters opening in August
Buffalo Exchange, an eclectic buy-sell-trade thrift store, will be opening its doors at 532 E. Main St. in Ventura on Aug. 8. The chain will join American Apparel and Urban Outfitters to become the third major national retailer to set up shop in Ventura’s historic downtown.
Buffalo Exchange is known for its interactive approach, which relies on customers bringing in used clothing or jewelry to sell for cash or trade for any other item in the store.
Urban Outfitters moved into the 300 block of Main Street this spring, and will open on Aug. 15. Many downtown business owners hope that these two major retailers will bring increased traffic and employment opportunities to the area.
Rob Edwards, director of the Downtown Ventura Organization, hopes that both stores will take advantage of their reputable brand names. “It’s a great sign that in this economy, there’s good consumer perception of downtown and lots of momentum,” he said. “I hope that they will use their marketing power in new ways, which American Apparel has done very little of.”
Both stores offer services not previously available in downtown Ventura. “Beyond surf shops, there are very few options for men’s clothing, and both Buffalo and Urban have that,” Edwards said. “They also have later hours of operation. What we need is a critical mass of 10 stores that stay open until 7 or 8 p.m. Then, downtown Ventura will become a restaurant and shopping district, not just a restaurant district.”
Congresswoman Capps announces approval of Rice Avenue project
Congresswoman Lois Capps announced on Friday, July 24, the approval of $700,000 in budget money for the Rice Avenue interchange project in Ventura County as part of a 2010 fiscal year transportation and urban development bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives the previous evening.
Capps requested the additional federal funds after the City of Oxnard, the Ventura County Transportation Commission and the Oxnard Harbor District expressed concerns about traffic congestion at the busy interchange. The $700,000 is part of a project that will cost $80 million in total, to build an overcrossing structure of eight lanes, new on-ramps and off-ramps, and install irrigated landscaping and new street lights.
“Those of us who drive up and down the 101 freeway know well that the Rice Avenue interchange is a major thoroughfare for Ventura County,” said Capps. “I am pleased that the House has approved this critical federal funding to continue the efforts to improve and expand this busy interchange. ”
Straight Up youth nonprofit enters its fifth year
Straight Up Ventura County, a nonprofit program that uses interactive theater, media and writing techniques to engage youth ages 12-25 about issues related to alcohol use, is opening a new office in downtown Ventura to celebrate its fourth birthday.
Straight Up will be holding an “office warming” celebration on July 31 from 2 to 6 p.m., at 34 N. Palm St., above the Ventura Improv Company’s theater space. Video, writing, theater and podcasting projects that Straight Up youth have completed over the years will be on display.
Becky Newman, marketing and multimedia specialist for Straight Up Ventura County, described the first day of the summer workshop. “When the kids arrive, they wonder why they’re here, or why their parents sent them,” she said. “But they discover that we don’t just talk; we incorporate games and fun into the awareness-raising that we do.” The goal of the workshops is to help youth develop personal and community solutions for underage and binge drinking problems, which are reaching disturbing levels countywide.
The office warming party will be open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to R.S.V.P. by calling 643-5701, ext. 1, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.