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.