The Ventura City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, has hired a Los Angeles-area firm to develop a marketing plan to promote economic activity in the downtown area.
Omniplan Corp., a Culver City-based consulting firm that has 450 employees nationwide, said it will seek to lure new businesses and additional shoppers to the city's older west end.
Allan Shoff, a project manager for the company, said success in transforming Ventura into a commercial and tourist destination will depend largely on support from the council and community.
"People are going to have to believe it's going to happen and support it," Shoff said. "If everybody says it's not going to happen, it's not going to happen. But if everybody says it's going to happen, it might just happen."
In January, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Omniplan $33,760 to use in Ventura. On Monday, the council voted unanimously to contribute $8,440 worth of non-cash assistance, such as staff time, postage and office space.