Olympia already has a downtown

April 8th, 2014 by Ken

I’m excited that the City of Olympia is experiencing a building boom.  Renovation of the old Sears building is just one indication that things are changing and that people see the potential of downtown.

Proposals to construct new apartments and new retail space are also exciting.  A recent visit by an arts group to look at the need for working artist space shows that interest in the downtown area continues.

Then – – to top it off – – the State of Washington wants to build a new office building to house the Washington State Patrol – – right on Capitol Way.

It was pointed out to me recently that for all the growth we have in the greater community we only really have one downtown.   And while Lacey is looking at the Woodland district for its new downtown and Tumwater is looking at the Brewery site as its future downtown, Olympia already has a downtown.

The need for a downtown as a public gathering space seems to be the over whelming desire of a number of our local elected officials.

But, for the downtown area to thrive it must have two things.   It has to have people living downtown and it has to attract people from the suburbs to visit and shop downtown.  Right now Olympia has neither of those two requirements.

Proposals  to build market rate housing are on the books at Olympia City Hall.

Let’s just hope that city staff don’t pull the same shenanigans the usually pull – – of having the developer jump through hoop after hoop after hoop until he runs out of patience and runs out of money.   Then, he just throws up his hands,  broke and disgusted with the city.

And, lets clean up the streets, get rid of the addicts, find places for the homeless and then maybe we’ll be able to attract people back downtown.

Oh – – and lets bring back some free parking.

Posted in Business, History, Informational, Local Politics

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