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Bothell's Big "Remodel"
By Deputy Mayor Del Spivey
In the last Council Corner article, Mayor Freed wrote about a new city hall and how that will anchor our downtown redevelopment. Parts of Bothell’s downtown are currently torn up and construction seems to be ongoing. A friend commented on this to me the other day and was having trouble understanding “the look” of the redevelopment. So, I took an example of an event that occurred in his own home to explain.
I asked him how his kitchen remodel was coming along; he replied that the kitchen was coming together and looking much better. My response to him was that our “remodel” of the downtown was coming along also and that we could see portions of it being completed just like he could see portions of his kitchen being completed. He then understood that our economic redevelopment was really like a “remodel” on a larger scale.
Whether a remodel or a redevelopment, there is always a point when the project looks really rough and then it starts to take shape. Our downtown is starting to take shape, and we can all see how this will be a bright and vibrant place. I know of small businesses that are waiting for retail space to open in the redeveloped areas so that they can expand or relocate into the area. And as at home, sometimes before you even finish a project, you see the next one up ahead that you are ready to tackle for various reasons and you begin to have a vision for that project. I know that I have that vision for a next project in Bothell, and we need to start thinking about that visioning process. The Canyon Park area just might be that next project for “remodel.” In the next couple of years, we should take the visioning process that was used in the downtown and start a community visioning process for the Canyon Park area to create a complimentary redevelopment to the downtown that is, in itself, another vibrant economic center. A community stake holders group could envision what this area would look and feel like.
The focus should be so that it, too, can be a viable center in our city that doesn’t take away from the downtown but compliments it. Maybe that vision includes a trolley that connects the two centers so that it is easy to move from one to the other. Whatever the vision is, it is a process that took nearly 10 years for the downtown and should be as carefully thought out for Canyon Park. Maybe we should start thinking about our next project so, when the time is right, we have another quality “remodel” that makes Bothell a special place.