Past Meets Future at Downtown Development (KRCR-TV)

The adaptive reuse project (dubbed “Bell Plaza”) at the corner of California and Shasta Streets in downtown Redding is progressing. In case you missed this week’s KRCR-TV story, click here for the story: Want to learn more? Here are related posts: Adaptive Reuse vs. Historic Presevation – What’s the Difference?(June 22, 2020) Press Release: Bell […]

Adaptive Reuse vs. Historic Preservation – What is the Difference?

On September 29, 2017, The McConnell Foundation submitted a proposal for an adaptive reuse project at the corner of California & Shasta streets in downtown Redding. Here is an excerpt from the 2017 application: How is an adaptive reuse project different from an historic preservation project? An adaptive reuse project intends to take an old […]

Press Release: Bell Plaza Project Breaks Ground

Bell Plaza Project Breaks Ground – For Immediate Release – May 22, 2020  In 2017, the Foundation made a 10-year funding commitment to Community Vitality, and the Bell Rooms became its first acquisition to help redevelop the downtown area. Early on, in its Community Vitality groundwork, the Foundation commissioned the Shasta Historical Society to create an […]

Sharing Downtown Construction Updates with Redding Sunrise Rotary

At the invitation of Redding Sunrise Rotary, The McConnell Foundation recently shared downtown construction project updates. Program description here: During COVID-19, there are many things out of all of our control. The best thing we can do for the downtown community during this uneasy time is to proceed full speed ahead on those construction projects […]

California Street Parking Structure Murals Documented, Added to Shasta Historical Society Archives

In May of 2018, The McConnell Foundation commissioned artist Alice Porembski to complete an inventory of Art in Public Places within the Redding Cultural District. This includes the art murals on the California Street and Placer Street sides of the California Street Parking Structure (see below). In Fall 2019, The McConnell Foundation arranged for the […]

Construction Update: USPS Finds New Locations for Post Boxes near Parking Structure

Last night our project development team received word that the United States Postal Office has found new homes for the post office boxes that are on the southern end of the California-Market Alley in downtown Redding. The relocation is set to take place no sooner than Tuesday, March 10th. The routines of daily life–like checking the […]

Construction Update: USPS Finds New Location for Post Boxes Along California-Market Alley

Last night our project development team received word that the United States Postal Office has found a new home for the post office boxes that are on the northern end of the California-Market Alley in downtown Redding. The relocation is set to take place on Thursday, November 21st or Friday, November 22nd. The routines of […]

Art from the Ashes Exhibition – open downtown through Nov. 15th

Since opening October 12th, the Art from the Ashes – Seeds of Regrowth has proven a moving addition to the community’s process of Carr Fire recovery. Over 100 works of art enliven three venues within the Redding Cultural District in downtown Redding: Shervan Square (1348 Market Street), Old City Hall (1313 Market Street)  & California […]

Sharing Downtown Updates with Lorenz Hotel Residents & Staff

On November 6th, Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates at the invitation of Jim Fennell, chair of the Resident’s Council at the Lorenz Hotel. Per CCH (Christian Church Homes) which owns and manages the Lorenz, it is “a beautifully restored independent living community offering 59 apartments in Redding, California.  Built […]

What to Expect: Phase 1 Demo to begin 11/11/19

Next week, the northern end of the parking structure at the corner of California and Tehama streets in downtown Redding will close. The southern portion of parking structure will remain available during Phase 1 Demolition. For information on where to park during this transition, go to: https://www.cityofredding.org/downtown. To access the new, free parking that The McConnell […]

Mapping out the Fence Line Plan

On October 24th, the project team walked the Phase 1 Demolition site–the northern end of the parking structure at California & Tehama streets in downtown Redding. The goal? To be thoughtful about how the project site treatment will interface with downtown neighbors–residents, businesses, and organizations alike. Initial fence line treatment to include: Fully-screened fence line […]

Public events in Redding (CPUC Mtng & SB-100 Workshop)

There are two upcoming public events in Redding that link to the vitality of our communities across the 5 counties that The McConnell Foundation serves (Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Tehama & Modoc). We are sharing them here, with the goal of increasing overall awareness of these events: California Public Utilities Commission – Public Voting Meeting Thursday, […]

Invitation: Music Festival in Downtown Redding Oct. 18-19th

See you in downtown Redding next weekend for the inaugural Redding Roots Revival Music Festival. Get your tickets here. Family friendly! Kids 10 and under are free! Per the Enjoy Magazine article about the festival by Jon Lewis, “The Redding Roots Revival Committee’s mission: promote downtown Redding through a weekend of live music by regional […]

Sharing Downtown Updates with Redding Riverview Sunset Rotary

On October 10th, Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates during a downtown walkabout with the Redding Riverview Sunset Rotary Club. Are you involved in a group to that would be interested in a presentation? Feel free to be in touch: rhatch [at] mcconnellfoundation.org. Want to stay in the loop on downtown […]

California Street Development Phasing: Top Takeaways + Video

On Monday, October 7th, hundreds of community members gathered at Cedar Crest Brewing to attend the event, California Street Development Phasing: What to Expect. The event focused on the next 6 months–what to expect, when & why. Here are some of the key takeaways: Here is the full video of the event, for those who […]

Help Make Mosaic Art in Downtown! (Monday, October 14)

Local artist Angie James of I’m Loved Originals is creating a mosaic piece in downtown Redding on California Street. Join this participatory art project by showing up to help Monday, October 10th. Two hour shifts for all helpers will last from 10am until 4pm. Take something ordinary and turn it into something beautiful! Sign up here […]

Join us Saturday for “Art from the Ashes”

Join us Saturday, October 12th for the launch of Art from the Ashes – Seeds of Regrowth Shasta County 2019. Here is what to expect: Over 90 works of art contributed by regional and statewide artists Installations by 90 artist collectives Student projects & collaborative works Fire science exhibit All individual works incorporate materials reclaimed […]

Redding Presents at Chico Affordable Housing Conference

As the City of Chico endeavors to address housing supply in the first year of recovery after the Camp Fire, they invited another fire-affected community Redding share our approach post-Camp Fire. The goal? To share about our successful Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities grant award, and lessons learned so far. Tia Boatman Patterson of California Housing […]

California Street Development Preview

YOU’RE INVITED: Monday, October 7th, 2019 5-7pm at Cedar Crest Brewing (1475 Placer Street Suite B) in Downtown Redding. 5:00-5:30pm Mix & Mingle with others who live & work downtown, food & beverage available. 5:30- 7:00pm Briefing on downtown project updates, with a focus on the mixed-use development by The McConnell Foundation & K2, dubbed […]

March Fourth Concert at California Street Labs in Downtown Redding

On September 20th, the internationally-acclaimed band, MarchFourth performed to a packed courtyard at California Street Labs, a venue in downtown owned by The McConnell Foundation and operated by grantee, Shasta Living Streets. Here is a brief taste of the crowd that gathered to enjoy the concert: California Street Labs is an all-ages venue, including activities for kids […]

Shasta Complete Count Action Team for Downtown Redding

On September 20th, The McConnell Foundation stopped by the workshop for the 2020 Census that focused on the downtown Redding census tract. Early efforts are underway toward ensuring a more complete count for the 2020 Census which will take place April 1, 2020. The census happens only once every 10 years, so this is a […]

Hosting Leadership Redding at IOOF Hall in Downtown Redding

The McConnell Foundation hosted Leadership Redding for a session on September 19th, with an invitation to learn about the history of the place through research by Laura Christman Manuel. The McConnell Foundation owns the IOOF Hall and intends to embark on an historic restoration project there. About Leadership Redding: Through education and encouragement to action, […]

Sharing Project Updates at Downtown Collaborative

On September 18th, The McConnell Foundation shared project updates at the Downtown Collaborative. The purpose of the Downtown Collaborative is to better coordinate and amplify activities happening in the downtown core of our city. More than 21 groups participate on a monthly basis, including Viva Downtown, many local arts organizations, Shasta College and more. This […]

Progress Report: Bell Rooms Purchase Approved

On September 16th,  the second amendment to the Purchase & Sale Agreement for the Bell Rooms was approved by the board of Redding Area Bus Authority. Overview Located at the corner of Shasta & California Streets in downtown Redding. Adaptive reuse project: taking an old building or site, and reusing it for new purposes. Designed […]

The McConnell Foundation sponsors Safety Fair

On September 11th, the City of Redding held its annual Safety Fair, giving community members an opportunity to interact directly with some of the people most responsible for safety in the downtown area and beyond. As Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch wrote in the sponsorship commitment to Redding Police Department Sargeant Sam Llamas, […]

Sharing Downtown Updates at Community Services Advisory Commission

On September 11th, members of The McConnell Foundation and K2 teams appeared before the City of Redding’s Community Services Advisory Commission (CSAC) to share downtown updates, particularly regarding the urban greening components related the mixed use development dubbed “Block 7.” The Community Services Advisory Commission is a five-member board appointed by City Council to provide […]

Invitation for September 20th – Downtown: Stand up & be counted!

A complete count of the downtown community will be important for Community Vitality. Here’s why: Census counts influence funding allocations for our county that will affect our area for 10 years. Per The Funders Network: “Information collected in the census influences the way public officials distribute more than $800 billion in federal funds every year […]

Sharing Downtown Updates with the Trails & Bikeways Council

On September 10th, 2019 Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates at the monthly meeting of the Trails & Bikeways Council of Greater Redding. As a non-profit, their mission is “to facilitate the development of a local world-class multi-use non-motorized trails and bikeways system that will connect Redding neighborhoods with each other […]

Redding Fashion Week – Fashion Show in Downtown Redding

On September 7th, the Redding Fashion Alliance (a grantee of The McConnell Foundation) produced the second annual Fashion Gala, a fashion show in the heart of Downtown Redding. The event featured local designers and the energy in the room was electric–with standing room only. For the full video recap, check out:

McConnell Foundation Sponsors Music Festival in Downtown Redding

The Community Vitality program of The McConnell Foundation is pleased to support the Redding Roots Revival Music Festival, coming to downtown Redding October of 2019. Details in the September issue of Enjoy magazine by Jon Lewis:

Chico Delegation Visits Downtown Redding for “Lessons Learned”

Today a delegation of community leaders from Chico, CA visited downtown Redding. The objective of this meeting was to engage in a peer-to-peer exchange between our two neighboring communities. Both fire-affected cities with an interest in housing, this meeting is an opportunity for a high-level overview of recent downtown Redding revitalization efforts. The Chico delegation […]

Sharing Downtown Updates at Planning Commission

Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates at Planning Commission on Tuesday, August 13th.  Commissioners heard a range of updates on downtown projects from multiple developers which total $300 million of overall investment in downtown during the next few years. Are you involved in a group to that would be interested […]

Funders Briefing on Opportunity Zones

In the follow up from Opportunity Zones 101, The McConnell Foundation was invited to participate in a philanthropic gathering at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, together with representatives from HUD & CalOZ. Top takeaways below:  

Sharing Downtown Updates with Kiwanis Club

Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates with the Kiwanis Club on August 8th. Are you involved in a group to that would be interested in a presentation? Feel free to be in touch: rhatch [at] mcconnellfoundation.org. Want to stay in the loop on downtown grants and investments? Check out The Latest at the […]

Design Meetings with Team for Mixed Use Development

This week, the Design Team for the mixed use development (dubbed “Block 7 Net Zero Housing and Downtown Activation Project“) came to Redding to share highlights of their latest designs. This iterative process is ongoing and we are thankful to be working with a great team who flew in from all over the country to […]

Sharing Downtown Updates at the Elks Club

Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates at the Elks Club today, joined by McConnell Foundation board members, Lee Salter and Bob Blankenship and hosted by Lee Lamp:Are you involved in a group to that would be interested in a presentation? Feel free to be in touch: rhatch [at] mcconnellfoundation.org. Want to […]

Watch what happened at “Opportunity Zones 101: A Primer for the North State”

In May, 130+ people gathered in Redding, a far-northern California community of 91,000 people located at the top of the Central Valley. The reason? To attend Opportunity Zones 101: A Primer for the North State. Watch this 1 minute video to see what you missed: For more, check out: Top Takeaways, including photos & scribes […]

Progress Report: Parking Lot Now Available to Public

As you may be aware, The McConnell Foundation has been engaging in a 3 step process to make additional public parking available at 1313 California Street in downtown Redding. We are excited to share that the parking lot is now complete and available to people who live, work & play downtown. Some key milestones & […]

Indy Cultural Trail – Learning from an Examplar

This week, the downtown Redding community had the opportunity to learn from Karen Haley, Executive Director of Indy Cultural Trail, an 8-mile world class urban bike and pedestrian path in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. During her visit, Karen met with City of Redding staff, bike enthusiasts and community leaders for a series of conversations about “Bicycle […]

Webinar with OppSites – official Opportunity Zones partner with State of CA

Thank you for attending today’s webinar with OppSites; official partner with the State of California to accelerate deal flow in California’s 879 designated Opportunity Zones. We saw great engagement–40 people registered and there were smart questions from the 28 attendees. This webinar was intended as a follow-up to the Opportunity Zones 101 (May 22nd). If […]

Connecting with Downtown Neighbors

Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared Downtown project updates with members of the #downtown Redding Cornerstone Community Bank branch community this morning. Are you a downtown neighbor group that is curious to hear the latest? Please feel free to reach out. No time for meetings? No problem, just sign up for the Downtown Dispatch e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/DowntownDispatch. Thank […]

Top Takeaways from Opportunity Zones 101 event

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Opportunity Zones 101 event May 22nd. In case you missed it, here is a visual recap, scribed by Jack Burgess of Jack Burgess Studio. Presentation materials are also below. Presentation materials can be reviewed here: The foregoing general discussion is not legal or tax advice. Participants are […]

Progress Report: Parking Lot Paving at 1313 California Street

Here are a few updates that might be of interest to downtown neighbors: The week of February 18th, the team from Eddie Axner Construction adjusted the fence-line at the corner of California & Shasta Streets, ensuring better pedestrian access during construction. Thank you, Axner! As is common in projects like this, some hazardous materials were identified […]

“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out” Presentation at 2019 State of Downtown

Watch highlights of the 2019 State of Downtown from Rachel Hatch, Program Officer for Community Vitality. The event–powered by Viva Downtown Redding–included multiple speakers. To watch The McConnell Foundation presentation, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out, click the image below & begin at the 25m30s mark: For previous State of Downtown presentations by […]

Lunch & Learn May 23: New Downtown Health & Care Services

  Join Hill Country Health & Wellness Center & community partners May 23 (12:00-1:30pm) for Lunch & Learn: New Downtown Health & Care Services at California Street Labs (1313 California Street) in downtown Redding. This chance to learn more about the new programs and different services provided by a number of organizations in our community. […]

Opportunity Zones 101

Since tax reform in 2017, developers, economic development professionals, city planners & more have begun to ask: what is the opportunity in Opportunity Zones? How can my community benefit? What are the potential unintended consequences? There are many unanswered questions in this rapidly-evolving space, but one thing is clear: the communities that come up to […]

KQMS interview: The McConnell Foundation’s work in downtown Redding

On Monday, April 22nd, Rachel Hatch (Program Officer for Community Vitality with The McConnell Foundation) joined KQMS for Mornings with Gibson & Bremer for a conversation about The McConnell Foundation’s work in downtown Redding. Listen to the interview here, beginning at the 32 minute mark:

The McConnell Foundation gives Grant to City of Redding for Downtown Street Trees

The McConnell Foundation has provided a grant of $41,500 to the City of Redding to support downtown street trees in Redding. This matching grant will be supplemented by in-kind donations from The McConnell Foundation, bringing the total support to $81,500. This match helped the City of Redding be more competitive at the state level, winning […]

Downtown Redding Parklet Inspires Statewide Policy

Thanks to Caltrans District 2 (headquartered in downtown Redding) and McConnell Foundation grantee, Shasta Living Streets, a downtown Redding parklet on California Street (a Caltrans highway) inspired the establishment of Caltrans’ statewide parklet policy. Here it is: For more, click on these links: McConnell Foundation Grant for Downtown Parklet (July 2018) 2015 Streetsie Award, for Local […]

Redding Downtown Project Featured in California Climate Investments Annual Report

The Block 7 Net Zero Affordable Housing & Downtown Activation project was the sole Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities project featured in the statewide California Climate Investments report. Redding also was spotlighted for our exchanges with nearby fire-affected communities. The full report is here, and key excerpts are below: For more, click on the links for […]

Connecting with Realtors about the Future of Downtown

Realtors spend so much time describing our city to people who are considering moving here. It was great to sync up with them today regarding The McConnell Foundation’s investments in downtown Redding. Per their mission statement, the Shasta Association of REALTORS® fosters advocacy, integrity, and professional standards that promote and protect property rights for the […]

Parking Lot Progress Report: 1313 California Street

Here are a few updates that might be of interest to downtown neighbors: This week, the team from Eddie Axner Construction adjusted the fence-line at the corner of California & Shasta Streets, ensuring better pedestrian access during construction. Thank you, Axner! As is common in projects like this, some hazardous materials had been identified in the […]

Exploring the History of the IOOF Hall in Downtown Redding

Last fall, The McConnell Foundation finalized the purchase of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Hall from Redding Lodge No. 271 on Nov. 15. The Italianate building, built in 1888, is the oldest remaining brick building in downtown Redding.  Today the bricks are covered by stucco. The McConnell Foundation intends to keep the building, and plans to take […]

SAVE THE DATE: September 7th, 2019 Redding Fashion Week Gala

Redding Fashion Alliance just announced the dates for Redding Fashion Week 2019: September 7-13th beginning with a Fashion Show Gala on Saturday, September 7th. Save the date! Designers, models, photographers, and more can sign up to participate here.  Here is a taste of the Fashion Show Gala from 2018: To follow along with Redding Fashion […]

The McConnell Foundation attends the 2019 Funders Summit

⚡️ “The McConnell Foundation attends the 2019 Funders Summit” Follow along  via the twitterstream below…thanks to  Smart Growth California for this informative event. Cover image photo credit: Smart Growth America. The McConnell Foundation attends the 2019 Funders Summit

SAVE THE DATE: Art from the Ashes workshop at California Street Labs March 9th

California Street Labs & Shasta County Arts Council have teamed up to host a Youth Art From the Ashes Workshop (for kids ages 4 -17) Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-from-the-ashes-youth-art-workshops-tickets-56383749312 Art form the Ashes volunteers from Redding have worked with local residents and organizations to reclaim materials from fire sites. Led by resident art therapists, art instructors, teachers, and […]

The Maker Movement & the Future of Downtown

Thanks to all who attended the December 7th talk by Ilana Preuss on Small-Scale Manufacturing & the Future of Downtown, hosted at California Street Labs (1313 California Street). Couldn’t make it? Enjoy this video to come up to speed. For more on the Community Vitality program of The McConnell Foundation, go to: https://www.mcconnellfoundation.org/community-vitality/ Context in case […]

At the Labs: Enterprise High School Pop-Up Art Show

Enterprise High School students and their wonderful teachers hosted a Pop-Up Art Show at California Street Labs and it was a great success. Here are photo highlights:

The McConnell Foundation hosts regional LCTOP Workshop

Today, The McConnell Foundation hosted a workshop about the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, in collaboration with Caltrans Districts 1 & 2, Estolano LeSar advisors and the Strategic Growth Council. Here are highlights:

At the Labs: Fresh Produce from Field to Fork LLC

Thursdays is CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) drop off day at California Street Labs (1313 California Street in downtown Redding. Field to Fork Tehama LLC is providing produce from Tehama & Shasta Counties. Sign-up for the CSA, and pick-up your box noon-7PM. Or stop by and see what vegetables are available for purchase each week. California Street Labs will […]

The McConnell Foundation attends the North State Economic Forecast

Three members of The McConnell Foundation staff–including Program Officer for Community Vitality Rachel Hatch–attended today’s North State Economic Forecast, an event powered by the Center for Economic Development at Chico State University. This year, the event took place in Redding for the first time. Here are some of the key takeaways from this event at the […]

At the Labs: Concert with Buckhorn Mountain Stompers

In case you missed it, the Buckhorn Mountain Stompers played a live concert on December 15th at California Street Labs. The event featured the world premiere video by Jefferson Thomas Creative in collaboration with the band. Check it out!: For Background on California Street Labs, check out these previous blog posts: KRCR-TV: Construction Developments Appear in Downtown […]

At the Labs: Demo of Fire-Resistant Building Materials

The Shasta Builder’s Exchange hosted an event at California Street Labs today. The focus? Fire-resistant building materials, an especially important topic in the wake of the Carr Fire that has affected Redding and Shasta County. The mission of the Shasta Builder’s Exchange is: • To promote economic development • To work effectively with local government […]

Jason Roberts Invites Redding Downtowners to “Build a Better Block”

On November 29th, Jason Roberts (Better Block Project) spoke to a crowd of 500 people at the Cascade Theatre. His invitation to the crowd? Build a better block, right here in downtown Redding. About Jason: In 2006, Jason formed the nonprofit organization, Oak Cliff Transit Authority, to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and later spearheaded the […]

At the Labs: Ilana Preuss on Small-Scale Manufacturing & the Future of Downtown

Thanks to all who attended the December 7th talk by Ilana Preuss on Small-Scale Manufacturing & the Future of Downtown, hosted at California Street Labs (1313 California Street). In 2017, Ilana Preuss co-authored Made in PLACE: Small-scale manufacturing & placemaking, with Smart Growth America. She also authored Discovering Your City’s Maker Economy, with the National League […]

Redding Fashion Alliance Announces Sewing Scholarships & Emerging Fashion Designer Fund

In December 2017, the Redding Fashion Alliance received a grant from The McConnell Foundation to activate an underutilized space in downtown Redding (details here). As a successful year draws to a close, the Redding Fashion Alliance team has done even more than expected. In addition to hosting the first-ever Redding Fashion Week, pop-up retail events, […]

Downtown Field Trip with Leadership Redding Class of 2019

Thanks to the team at Leadership Redding for the invitation to take the Class of 2019 on a Downtown Field Trip during their December 6th session that was focused on Economic Development. Here is a set of photos that give a taste of some of the projects we saw in process, including the K2 Dickers […]

North State Public Radio: Downtown Redding’s Tactical Urbanism

On North State Public Radio reporters Kim Weir, Sarah Bohannon, and Rachelle Parker recently featured California Street Labs on their program, Up the Road. Key excerpt: “Right now, it’s all happening on California Street downtown. This community revisioning process even has a temporary headquarters, in an abandoned warehouse, thanks to a grant from the local […]

Sign up for the Downtown Dispatch to Stay in the Loop!

Wondering how to stay in the loop on downtown projects and Community Vitality grants? Fill out this simple form to sign up for the Downtown Dispatch, which is the best way to stay in the loop. Typical frequency is every 1-3 months or whenever there is a major update on downtown projects. As always, you can […]

The Buzz: Downtown Redding’s Big Week. Here’s Why.

On November 24th, journalist David Benda of the Redding Record Searchlight wrote this piece about multiple efforts in downtown Redding, including The McConnell Foundation’s acquisition of the Bell Rooms and IOOF Hall as well as progress on the K2 Dickers project at 1551 Market Street. Click here for the full story:

Record Searchlight: McConnell Foundation moves to safeguard two downtown Redding landmarks

On November 21st, journalist Mike Chapman of the Redding Record Searchlight wrote this piece about The McConnell Foundation’s efforts downtown. Click the image for the full story:

Foundation Purchases Landmark Odd Fellows Hall & Former Bell Rooms

PRESS RELEASE (November 20, 2018) The McConnell Foundation finalized the purchase of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Hall from Redding Lodge No. 271 on Nov. 15. The Italianate building, built in 1888, is the oldest remaining brick building in downtown Redding.  Today the bricks are covered by stucco. McConnell intends to keep the building, […]

Redding Learns about Business Models to Support Arts & Culture

On November 8th, community members gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Redding for the second annual Redding Cultural District Summit. The focus? Business models to support arts and culture. Here is a photo recap, in case you missed it: The evening began–appropriately so–with a moment of silence for Camp Fire survivors and first responders. It […]

Reserve Your Seat Today! Jason Roberts at Cascade Theatre Nov. 29th

What to Expect Nov. 29th: Join us as we learn from Jason Roberts, founder of The Better Block Project. Hear concrete examples of how other cities have temporarily re-envisioned a single block in order to show the potential for a walkable, vibrant neighborhood. Enjoy a 45 minute talk by this funny, smart, and energetic speaker, followed by Q&A. […]

Sonoma County Housing visits Redding to Learn about Mixed-Use Development Downtown, Tour Carr Fire Areas

On October 24th, Ben Wickham (Affordable Housing Director for Sonoma County) visited Redding to learn about the mixed-use development dubbed “Block 7” that is planned for downtown Redding. Both fire-affected communities (Carr Fire and Tubbs Fire, respectively), the meeting was productive and generated insights on how to best approach growing housing supply in the wake […]

California Street Labs – Join Us!

Watch this 1m10s overview of California Street Labs which is now officially up & running at 1313 California Street in the heart of downtown Redding: With thanks to Sara Oliviera and Tyler Faires of Faires Wheel Films for their work on this video. For Background on California Street Labs, check out these previous blog posts: […]

Save the Date: November 29th – Jason Roberts at Cascade Theatre

SAVE THE DATE – 6:30pm Thursday, November 29th Build a Better Block: Jason Roberts on Improving Your Community Cascade Theatre 6:30-7:30pm Thursday, November 29th (we encourage everyone to enjoy dinner downtown after!) Join The McConnell Foundation and community partners as we learn from Jason Roberts, founder of the Better Blocks Project. Hear concrete examples of how […]

Connecting with Caltrans about the Future of Downtown Redding

Thanks to Caltrans District 1, Caltrans District 2 & Caltrans District 3 for the invitation to speak about “Community Livability & Economy” at the North Region Managers Meeting” on October 3rd. The mission of Caltrans is to “provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability” and the investments that The McConnell Foundation is […]

Representing Redding community at The Future Valley Summit

Regional convenings are key for exchanging best practices with other communities. The October Future Valley Summit was no different. Hundreds of people gathered for the meeting–organized by the San Joaquin Affordable Housing Coalition, which celebrated its 7th year in 2018. Their mission? To provide “regional solutions to promote affordable housing through dialogue among state, federal […]

Recap of California Street Labs Launch Event!

On Friday, October 5th, the warehouse renovation in downtown Redding passed the final inspections! Wasting no time, community members were invited in the very next day for a launch party. This marks the launch of California Street Labs, a place for community members to come together to test ideas and actions that build a vibrant downtown […]

California Street Labs Launches Today in Downtown Redding

Yesterday, the warehouse renovation downtown passed the final inspection! Wasting no time, the Redding community is invited to a Launch Party today! Drop by California Street Labs between 3-7pm. RSVP here. ———– 1313 California Street, Downtown Redding In the warehouses and courtyard of the former police station. Activities Include: ++ Mumblefinger & the Full Funk Band! ++ […]

KRCR-TV: Construction underway as new developments appear in Redding

On October 3rd, KRCR-TV Reporter Sade Brown reports on the forthcoming California Street Labs in downtown Redding. Click below to watch this overview of the new project at a formerly vacant warehouse:

Redding Cultural District Summit Scheduled for November 8th

UPDATED: Due to demand for tickets, this event is moving to a bigger venue–the Sheraton Hotel. Seats are limited, so RSVP via eventbrite here today! The 2nd annual Redding Cultural District is scheduled for Thursday, November 8th. One of the main themes is exploring business models for cultural districts. To learn from other communities, the […]

Jefferson Public Radio Interview: California Street Labs

On September 18th, Jefferson Public Radio’s Geoffrey Riley interviewed Rachel Hatch (Program Officer for Community Vitality at The McConnell Foundation) and Anne Thomas (Shasta Living Streets) regarding the downtown Redding warehouse activation: California Street Labs. Click here to listen:

Bricks Distributed to Law Enforcement

Demolition at the former police station took place in August, thanks to the efforts of Eddie Axner Construction and Richard Huff of The McConnell Foundation.  The bricks were taken offsite for the salvage process and we want to especially thank Jim Huber of Huber & Burton for his work to keep as many portions intact as possible. The masonry […]

Sneak Peek Event: Hard Hat Tour of California Street Labs

Here are photos that give a taste of the hard hat tours to give community members an early taste of the potential for California Street Labs, a project to activate the warehouse located at 1313 California Street (on the Corner of California & Tehama streets. To *activate* means to program the space with people and […]

Record Searchlight: Redding Nonprofit Takes Lead on Former Police Station Project in Downtown Redding

On September 4, 2018, Reporter David Benda of the Redding Record Searchlight interviewed Anne Thomas of Shasta Living Streets about the downtown project, California Street Labs. Click here to learn more:

Announcing California Street Labs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The McConnell Foundation Gives Grant to Shasta Living Streets as Activation Lead for Downtown Warehouse Activation Redding, California (Wednesday, August 29, 2017)—The McConnell Foundation announces plans for the renovated warehouse located at the site of the former police station in downtown Redding. Demolition is nearing completion, and the effort to salvage a […]

Peer to Peer Exchange with Fire-Affected Communities: Redding & Santa Rosa Talk Housing

At the request of California Department of Housing & Community Development and the Strategic Growth Council, the Block 7 team participated in the California Climate Initiatives Planning Charrette in Santa Rosa on August 28, 2018. The goal? To share about Redding’s successful Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities grant effort, and to preview what the application process […]

Downtown Collaborative Tours California Street Labs

The McConnell Foundation participates in a monthly meeting, convened by the City of Redding, dubbed the Downtown Collaborative. As it sounds, this is a group of downtown organizations who help power efforts to move downtown forward. On August 15th, The McConnell Foundation invited the Downtown Collaborative members to tour the site of the California Street […]

Former Police Station – Brick Salvage Process & More

Update as of August 16, 2018 — Demolition at the former police station began Monday and has been proceeding smoothly, thanks to the efforts of Eddie Axner Construction and Richard Huff of The McConnell Foundation. The process at the brick-clad, cement structure is expected to continue throughout this week, and hopefully be largely complete by mid-week. […]

Former Police Station – The Latest Update

Update As of August 11, 2018 — The process of salvaging key elements of the former police station is underway in downtown Redding. Here are photos of Eddie Axner’s Construction team carefully removing the green doors for safekeeping. These form a distinctive and recognizable element of the building and will be incorporated into future projects. […]

Demolition Day Cancelled, but Progress to Continue

The McConnell Foundation has cancelled the Demolition Day event at the former police station, which was to take place this Thursday. We at The McConnell Foundation are thinking of the whole community during #CarrFire. The focus right now needs to remain on crisis response and recovery, and therefore we are cancelling this event. We especially […]

McConnell Foundation Grant for Downtown Parklet

Shasta Living Streets is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Community Vitality program of The McConnell Foundation to support a downtown parklet. Here is the current design: Coordinating Team Anne Thomas, Shasta Living Streets & Lifedek Ryan Russell, Ryan Russell Studio & Lifedek Bryan Crane, City of Redding Jamie Lynn, Property Owner, Building […]

KRCR-TV: Abandoned Downtown Building Gets Repurposed [VIDEO]

Reporter Briona Haney took KRCR-TV viewers on a sneak peek tour of the downtown warehouse renovation. Click here for her story:  

City of Redding Releases 2018 Map of Downtown Restaurants

The City of Redding’s Community Development Department released an updated map of downtown Redding Restaurants. It is helpful for reminding yourself of the range of dining that is downtown, returning to a favorite spot, or trying something new!

Sneak Peek: Renovation begins in Downtown Warehouse

Renovation work is beginning in earnest at the site of the former police station in downtown Redding. Crews have been there to clear brush, inspect the irrigation system and to begin construction. Here is a sneak peek of the early-stage progress: The McConnell Foundation has worked with Ryan Russell of RAD Studio to create plans […]

Jefferson Public Radio: Interview about Downtown Redding

On July 5th, Jefferson Public Radio interviewed The McConnell Foundation’s Rachel Hatch. The conversation included discussion of the way buildings can  catalyze change in the environment, but also the role of community members themselves. As Ed Glaeser puts it in “The Triumph of the City”:   “The folly of building-centric urban renewal reminds us that […]

It’s Official: Redding competes at state level, brings $24 million to downtown projects

The Redding community proves that it can compete at the state level, by bringing home $24 million for downtown projects. This transformational effort wouldn’t have been possible without the voices of many community members who see the *potential* in downtown Redding & want to make a better future together. Thank you! A small delegation of collaborative partners […]

Key Milestone for Project at Site of Former Police Station Downtown

On April 13th, 2018 escrow closed on the former police station in downtown Redding. Right away, The McConnell Foundation team began working with Ryan Russell of RAD Studio to create plans for the warehouse renovation. Architectural historians are taking note of the so-called warehouse renaissance; a tendency toward industrial renovation that is popping up in […]

$20M AHSC funding recommended to be approved and $4M IIG approved for downtown project

Per press release 6/19/18 by the City of Redding: On Monday, June 18, the California Strategic Growth Council released the staff recommendation for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant program. Redding’s Block 7 Net Zero Housing and Downtown Activation Project (Redding project) is recommended for AHSC funding in the amount of $19,959,536.  The proposal for […]

City of Redding Approves Parklet Policy

At the June 19th Redding City Council approved a policy for parklets (see below). What is a parklet? An outdoor seating area–often with planters and lights–that is suited to outdoor dining experiences. A parklet is small; it takes up the space of approximately 2 parking spaces. Sometimes it is also called a StreetDeck. For more […]

Connecting with Young Professionals about the Future of Downtown

It was a full house at RISE, a next generation business leaders program of the Redding Chamber of Commerce, where Program Officer for Community Vitality, Rachel Hatch shared about The McConnell Foundation’s 10-year commitment to downtown revitalization. Thanks to Wildcard Brewing Company’s Tied House in #downtown Redding for hosting, and to all who helped make the event happen. We’ve shared […]

People Who Build Community Downtown

The “community” part of Community Vitality (the name of The McConnell Foundation’s program area focused on downtown revitalization) is driven by the people who care about downtown, invest in downtown, and build a sense of belonging downtown. That is why The McConnell Foundation is featuring the faces of community members in downtown Redding as part of […]

Field Trip to Learn About Bike-Friendly Cafes

This month, we headed to the Bay Area for a field trip of sorts, as we continue early-stage conceptual development regarding the potential development on the site of the former Bell Rooms in downtown Redding. Our objectives of the trip were to: Learn in a first-person way about bike-friendly establishments. Reflect on what might fit […]

The History of the Former Police Station

Ever wonder about the history of the former police station? We did. We were curious about the activities that happened on that parcel prior to its becoming a police station and council chambers. We wanted to understand more about the architecture, the materials, and more. Particularly as multiple analyses have concluded that it is a […]

SCAC-TV: Redding Revitalization

On May 30th, 2018 the nonpartisan community group, League of Women Voters of the Redding Area invited The McConnell Foundation’s Rachel Hatch to speak about revitalizing Redding. The League of Women Voters is a group dedicated to fostering civic engagement, which is one of the 5 focus areas for the Community Vitality program. Here is […]

Street Trees in Downtown Redding

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb The McConnell Foundation is providing a contingent grant to the City of Redding’s application to CAL FIRE’s Urban & Community Forestry Program for the purpose of planting street trees in downtown Redding. If successful, this […]

“What I’m Learning So Far” – Presentation at State of Downtown

On May 22, Viva Downtown hosted their annual State of Downtown at the Atrium. They asked The McConnell Foundation’s Program Officer for Community Vitality to reflect on what she’s learning so far about downtown. Here is Rachel Hatch sharing her reflections [to jump right to it, begin at 40m mark].

The Power of Temporary Places to Catalyze Lasting Change

Here’s what we’re learning about the power of *temporary* places in the process of catalyzing long-term change in cities. This, in preparation for a temporary activation of the former police station in downtown Redding, dubbed The Green Door Project. Watch this video for highlights of this approach to creating “momentary monuments.”    

The Green Door Project in Downtown Redding

On April 17, 2018, The McConnell Foundation closed escrow with the city of Redding on the former Redding Police Station located at 1313 California Street in downtown Redding. The due diligence process of escrow confirmed that the brick building, including the bricks themselves are not salvageable.  Convinced that the building has passed its useful life, […]

Music in the Streets of Downtown – Grant for Buskers

The McConnell Foundation has granted Viva Downtown a grant to help support live music in downtown through a series: Summer Nights with Major Seventh. Viva Downtown is a National Main Street organization. Musicians will include Jacob Akana, Emily Stoltz, Rob Trent, and Daniel V. Lindberg. These local musicians will busk (to busk = to entertain […]

Pop-Up Provisions in Updated Downtown Specific Plan

The newly completed Downtown Specific Plan update includes Pop-Up Provisions which will set the scene for a new approach to downtown revitalization. They were adopted April 3, 2018 in full. Here is a key excerpt:

What we’re learning about parks in cities…

In Year 1 of the Community Vitality work, we’re looking at examples of parks, plazas and open spaces in some of the great American cities. One place to start is by reviewing the impact and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted. Watch this video for highlights about this important topic of parks in cities.

Pasts & Futures of California Street

It is important to look back in order to look forward. So at a time when the community is embarking on revitalization projects in downtown–and specifically along California Street–it is appropriate to reflect on the past, and its role in shaping the present and future. Therefore, The McConnell Foundation hosted Pasts & Futures of California […]

KCNR Free Fire Radio: Interview about Downtown Community Plans

On January 23rd, 2018, Carl & Linda Bott of Free Fire Radio (KCNR) interviewed City Manager Barry Tippin as well as The McConnell Foundation’s Rachel Hatch about downtown community plans. Listen below:

2017 Year in Review Video: Community Vitality & Downtown Revitalization

Watch this video for a quick look at Community Vitality highlights from 2017 and a sneak peek at what 2018 has in store…  

Activation Grant to Redding Fashion Alliance

Redding Fashion Alliance Receives Grant from The McConnell Foundation to Activate Underutilized Space Downtown Redding, California (Wednesday, December 20, 2017) — The McConnell Foundation has awarded the Redding Fashion Alliance a $115,000 grant for the purpose of programming to activate the otherwise-underutilized space in the downtown Redding area. “We are honored that The McConnell Foundation […]

Envision the Future

Kudos to RussellStudio for bringing the vision to life on a potential downtown mixed use project at the corner of Tehama & California: Ryan Russell did great work visualizing some of the concepts we are exploring for activating the alleyway, should The McConnell Foundation & K2 be successful in the highly competitive process to bring […]

Community Input Meeting

This week, The McConnell Foundation and K2 invited Community Input on a potential downtown project.  It was a larger-than-expected turnout, and we will be continuing to digest this input, but we want to share with initial results with you right away. First, here is the video of the event, with thanks to SCACtv and particularly Michael […]

#WhatifRedding could win a second state-wide AHSC grant to help revitalize #downtown?

In October of 2017, The McConnell Foundation headed to Sacramento to learn about the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program and what it means for the Redding community. Here is the overall vision: The room was full of Californians here who (understandably) want to bring these resources to their town. Let’s […]

Cyclists Welcome! – Bell Rooms Early Stage Concepts

In early 2017, community members from This Place Matters Redding, Shasta Historical Society, Viva Downtown, Shasta County Arts Council and more voiced the importance they place on preserving historic buildings in downtown Redding, asking Redding Area Bus Authority (RABA) for the Bell Rooms building at the corner of California & Shasta Streets to remain standing, rather […]

Redding Cultural District – Community Vitality Grant

Redding Cultural District Awarded $242,500 Grant from The McConnell Foundation REDDING – Redding Cultural District (RCD), one of 14 communities statewide to be designed by the California Arts Council as a Cultural District, received a $242,500 grant from The McConnell Foundation. “We’re incredibly excited,” Debra Lucero, executive director of the Shasta County Arts Council – lead […]

Pop-Up Retail in Downtown Redding

In August 2017, a “lunch and learn” about pop-up retail took place in downtown Redding. The goal? To learn from people who are doing pop-up retail in Redding about their experiences so far, and to think together about how this might connect with underutilized spaces in downtown Redding in the years ahead.

KCNR Free Fire Radio: Interview about New Community Vitality Program

On July 7th, 2017, KCNR Free Fire Radio’s Carl Bott interviewed The McConnell Foundation’s Rachel Hatch about the Foundation’s new Community Vitality program, which begin just under a month ago.  Listen to the conversation here: KCNR Free Fire Radio is located at 1326 Market Street in the heart of downtown Redding.  

What is Community Vitality?

As the Community Vitality program is just beginning, there is important definitional work to be done. But as soon as one asks the question: “What is community vitality?” it quickly turns into a long list-making exercise. This phenomenon is perhaps best described by William Grigsby of The Northeast Center for Rural Development who says “Vitality is […]

A Foundation of Foresight

When I joined Institute for the Future (IFTF) in 2008, it was in a time of economic volatility: The mortgage crisis. Banks that were “too big to fail.” People worrying they would be laid off from their jobs — as organizations, reeling from the global effects of our national economic meltdown — struggled to adjust. It was […]

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