Rebranding Launched for Downtown Alameda

The Park Street Business Association updates its name, choosing Downtown Alameda Business Association to reflect its constituency.


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Robb Ratto is pleased with the organization’s new name, the Downtown Alameda Business Association.

Photo by Megan Small

Notice anything different about Park Street these days? There’s a new old friend in town: the Downtown Alameda Business Association. That’s the new name of the folks promoting Park Street, formerly known as the Park Street Business Association. The business association, also known as PSBA, is responsible for the annual Spring Festival on Mother’s Day weekend and the summertime Park Street Art & Wine Faire, as well as other business-focused mixers and events.

Robb Ratto, an Alameda native who has headed the organization for 17 years, said a change has been in the works for more than a year. “We realized that we represent the entire downtown of Alameda, not only Park Street, but the side streets and the whole thing,” Ratto said. The name change reflects the new focus, and so does a bright new website. “It tells people immediately where we are,” Ratto said.

“Park Street is the most popular street name in the United States of America,” according to Ratto, who searched the Internet for backup. A Washington Post article from March confirmed his claim, though Second Street is also a contender. The name of “Park Street Business Association” didn’t convey anything about the city of Alameda or where the association was located, Ratto said, and the new name corrects that omission.

In addition to the new name, there’s a new logo designed by local graphic artist Chris Tam of All Good Living. The group’s new website, www.DowntownAlameda.com, now features individual pages for each member that can be updated at any time, and a scrolling events column. Website updates are easier than on the original hard-coded website of 15 years ago. A cleaner, modular template replaces the 1950s-era look associated with PSBA and its www.ShopParkStreet.com website. Ratto is delighted with all of the improvements, and so are member shopkeepers and professionals.

The downtown business neighborhood includes more than 425 businesses, located along Park Street as well as the side streets between Oak Street and Broadway. Barbara Mooney, owner of Daisy’s on Park Street, is pleased with the updated name. “I think it’s great,” she said. “We have such a great and very involved board right now; lots of retailers. New website, street banners. We are a good old-fashioned downtown, but we are also the cool gateway to an amazing city.”

Al Wright, a photographer with a longtime business on upper Park Street, likes the new name, too. “It more closely reflects the makeup of the members,” he said. “There are members on Oak Street and all the cross-streets as well as Park Street.”

Even other local business leaders approve of the new name and focus. “The betterment of all businesses only means a better business climate and success for everyone in Alameda,” concurred Mark Sorensen, director of the Alameda Chamber of Commerce.

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