In the last decade, experiences in urban renewal projects have enabled a systematics, which help overcome physically worn out urban areas. Every urban renewal project shall have a different origin and resolution model just like every city has different natures and requisites. Any given urban renewal project shall have a tailored governance model for its spatial problem solving and desired project intention.

Most of the time, such move in historical districts is to put forward the old original profile of the district. Apart from all other factors, these projects aim aesthetical concerns. It is intended to obtain a better appearance and respect for the former urban lifestyle.

The historical Izmir Kemeralti Project, endeavored for a while, is a good example for such situation. Pioneered by the local authorities and some civil organizations, this project is remarkable by many aspects. The subject district, which is still very active, has been the merchandising center and downtown location of Izmir since forever. Not only for Izmir, but also for the whole Western Anatolia region, it is a junction of the complete informal retail center. Meanwhile, for this region where very valuable historical buildings exist, it is disfavored by many Izmirians that the region has become home for the unpermitted sellers and unorganized vendors. The intended renewal project aims to elevate the class of the still-strong trade activities in the region as well as to reveal the historical buildings.

In this paper, a management and governance model is probed for the Project mentioned above. A quick view shows, the area is privately owned, property values have skyrocketed and the merchandising activity is pretty intense. In that case, the chance of performing eminent domain is out of question, also in the sense that it might undermine the intensity of the day-to-day businesses. And so, a relation between the public authority, entrepreneurs and the landowners shall be well organized to properly renew the area. This research is focused on the governance dimension and the business planning of this Project.

The contribution of this research to urban sciences may be twofold. First, it contains advice for renewing historical downtown areas when governance techniques are considered. Second, it provides notion for applying negotiation methods for the tremendously valuable urban renewal areas, whether they are historical or not.