Oxnard SWOT Analysis
Based on dozens of interviews, research and in-field studies, the following SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis highlights several the key opportunities
and challenges relevant to the revitalization and design of Downtown Oxnard.
- The strong pattern of rectangular blocks – easily walkable in size from 8th Street north – with service alleys for utilities and deliveries, allowing the streets to be renovated as very high quality pedestrian spaces.
- Relatively high volumes of citywide traffic on Oxnard Boulevard, bringing many thousands of potential Downtown visitors, customers and residents right past the edge of Downtown on a daily basis.
- The Oxnard Transportation Center – providing good quality access to the City, the county and the region – within a five-minute walk of much of the Downtown.
- Many existing Downtown businesses and property owners – both long-time and recently established – who are ready to reinvest in the Downtown, particularly if a clear strategy and plan for systematically reinvigorating it is in place.
- Political leadership who are taking a fresh look at the Downtown and the potential for it to become an important civic, cultural and entertainment hub of Ventura County.
- The character and quality of the Downtown’s public realm have been compromised over many years by a combination of disinvestment, neglect and well-intentioned changes that have eroded it as a comfortable, safe, interesting place to spend time as a pedestrian.
- Most recent infill development has missed opportunities to contribute to the public realm of the Downtown through facing the streets with lively, active uses and high-quality urban frontages and architecture.
- Most of the former retail life of the Downtown has been replaced by new retail centers outside the Downtown, and some of the potential residential population for new housing in the Downtown is being accommodated in large new apartment communities in River Park and Wagon Wheel along the 101 Freeway Corridor.
- Probably the greatest near-term opportunity for Downtown is the recent decommissioning of Oxnard Boulevard as State Route 1 – with control of its design and operation being handed from the State to the City – in addition to the legal settlement that provided the City with several million dollars that might be allocated to its improvement from a highway to a Boulevard.
- With this opportunity to transform the Boulevard itself come new opportunities to develop “gateway buildings” at key intersections to make Downtown visible and attractive to its thousands of daily motorists.
- Well-designed incremental public/private improvements to the public realm of the Downtown – including making A Street a primarily bikable route and refreshing the Plaza Park – can help spur private reinvestment.
- With a clear new plan, vision-based development standards, and a comprehensive management strategy in place, the Downtown will be in a position to compete as one of the county’s primary art, cultural, entertainment destinations.
- Failing to follow through in adopting appropriate Downtown development standards for public and private improvements, and continuing to erode the original strong Downtown character with suburban development patterns.
- Failing to competently manage the development review process and downtown operations.