Bremerton Needs Retail and Other Enlightenments

So a week ago Bellevue developer comes to this side of Lake Washington to tell us Bremerton needs retail.

The commenters to the story first responded, “Duh.”

Here are some other observations worth noting:

Silverdale doesn’t have a city hall.
Poulsbo needs parking.
Port Orchard is hilly.
Bainbridge Island is still part of this county.
The heat was hot.

Commenters to the story also complained about the parking, with responses that Kmart had plenty of free parking, and then arguments that downtown needs people for retail to survive.

None of it is wrong, and Kemper Freeman’s point about Tacoma is perhaps worth considering. Nonetheless, does his take mean Bremerton should have put retail in first. Well then, how do you do that? I think the whole point of these parks and conference centers and tunnels and new bridges and hotels and government centers and infrastructure tax breaks and property tax breaks and road paving and condo building and Bellevue developer wooing and new marinas and fish and fisherman statues and parking committees is designed to create what?

It is designed to create the kind of crowd I saw the other day at 2 Blocks Up Cafe at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Fourth Street. On Wednesday during a break in union negotiations four of us headed over to the cafe for sandwiches and strategizing and found that we had to sit outside the restaurant. The place was packed.

I don’t know what accounted for the rush that day, and I don’t know if that’s a regular thing. You can’t create conclusions from a single observation, try as story commenters might.

Nonetheless, what I have seen is a host of downtown merchants who are believers in downtown Bremerton. Boston’s Pizza is doing great night business now because of the Fairfield Inn.

Bremerton has not turned the corner it needs to for downtown to be considered a success, but despite the economic downturn the momentum hasn’t stopped. At least, it hasn’t as far as I can tell from my casual observations.

One more thing:

Dirt is dirty.

2 thoughts on “Bremerton Needs Retail and Other Enlightenments

  1. I think the whole point of these parks and conference centers and tunnels and new bridges and hotels and government centers and infrastructure tax breaks and property tax breaks and road paving and condo building and Bellevue developer wooing and new marinas and fish and fisherman statues and parking committees is designed to create what?

    A feeling of importance and accomplishment amongst politicians and bureaucrats?

  2. As a person born in Bremerton and growing up with Bremerton as ‘my’ city and treat to visit to see a movie, meet friends at Olberg’s for a soft drink or milkshake (and hamburger if I had enough money) I watched that thriving bursting at the seams town begin to shrink as businesses left Bremerton and moved out toward Silverdale.

    I watched it turned into -almost- a slum, uncared for town people forgot…unless your drove through for the ferry to Seattle.

    I am thrilled to see the changes in Bremerton…even the ugly pablum beach front hogging blocking condo’s are acceptable with the new park – the new look of Bremerton. I love that tunnel – its beautiful!

    I like that communities such as Manette are banding together into the neighborhoods they once were. I like Manette and have looked at a few properties there over the years.

    Never mind the politicians, bureaucrats (copied your spelling BL)… the SPIRIT of energy and the people are coming back… the spirit matters…Gary’s fish and fisher woman will be reminders of the old desolate dying town but they won’t matter either as they get buried in sea gull offerings.

    Sharon O’Hara

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