Renovating downtowns

October 14th, 2015 by Ken

What does it take to renovate a downtown?

The City of Tacoma and the taxpayer’s of Washington know how much it costs – – about $700 million dollars in Tacoma’s case.   That’s how much the state government pumped into downtown Tacoma in the 1980’s in an effort to make the city’s core area viable.

A new Washington State History Museum, the remodeling of Union Station and the creation of the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington, was all tied together with the construction of Interstate 705 to bring I-5 travelers into the heart of the city.  Total cost estimate – – more than $700 million.

I thought about this recently when  the State of Washington opted to spend nearly $100 million dollars to build the new Washington State Patrol headquarters on Capitol Way.   What a waste of money, I thought.   It does nothing to help downtown Olympia and instead just creates traffic problems around the city.   Most money the state spends in Olympia goes for state offices.  Very little money makes its way to the city’s core downtown area.

I also thought of all the money the state spends in relationship to the opening of the new South Puget Sound Community College campus in downtown Lacey – – or the area designated as the downtown area by the 2020 development plan approved by the Lacey City Council.  Renovating an abandoned office complex for the new college campus is an investment of state money that will pay dividends, not only for the businesses on Sixth Avenue, but to the taxpayers of Washington as well.  That’s money well invested.

Posted in The Real News

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