The North Lamar International Merchants Association began working with the Souly Austin program in 2017 and formally registered with the State of Texas in 2018. Souly Austin is a subsidiary of City of Austin's Economic Development Department that provides an all-inclusive approach to building capacity and consensus in neighborhood business districts. Through robust outreach and education, business leaders are cultivated and relationships and partnerships are developed to support the formation of district merchants associations. The Souly Austin program has so far helped to found 6 districts in Austin, including the North Lamar International District.
The North Lamar International Merchants Association is dedicated to building awareness through the creation of new business and cultural events. In collaboration with Souly Austin and local merchants, the Association also seeks improvements to public and traffic safety, streetscaping, infrastructure repairs, and wayfinding.
Business District Identity
Developing shared events and place branding is important to businesses in the District. We want to reinforce public perception of the District as a local hub for culture and commerce. We have a focus for district-wide night markets that celebrate the variety of local merchants. District logos and imagery in public spaces help further unify the District identity.
Crime and the perception of safety in the District is of top concern. Effective social service provisioning is needed to alleviate the lost of sales and the high security costs due to crime. The threat to businesses and customers can be avoided with planning and community participation.
Traffic and Parking Management
Effective management of traffic and parking resources correlates with a prosperous business district. Safer traffic conditions and adequate allocation of parking for customers and workers is one of our top priorities. We need to improve pedestrian safety and work with the City of Austin on congested, high-volume intersections, as well as connectivity to transit and highway systems.
Public Right of Way Enhancements
To enhance aesthetics and reinforce a shared district identity, improvements to the public right-of-way is a must. This includes pedestrian and bike connectivity and safety, such as sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, better wayfinding signage, and safer pedestrian infrastructure to support foot traffic both in public right-of-way and in retail centers.