Back in October 2012, members of the 35th Ave NE Steering Committee performed an business inventory of the 35th Ave NE business core, from NE 68th Street to NE 87th Street. Business district inventories are a suggested baseline data gathering step that Theresa Barreras with the Office of Economic Development (OED) suggested during the Coffee Talk 1. As it turned out, the data gathered was really helpful. Based on our analysis, the central business district is comprised of 71% service-focused businesses (e.g., accountants, lawyers, dentists, etc) and 24% retail-focused businesses (e.g., coffee shops, boutiques, grocery stores, etc.). The remaining businesses were government-based establishments (e.g., Post Office, NE Branch Library). A graph of the results follows.
- We wanted to provide him an update on our grassroots neighborhood planning process and share the results of our business inventory.
- Councilmember Conlin stated that all 37 Urban Villages had developed "neighborhood plans" and that his goal was to now move forward with implementing these plans. While this is fantastic for those urban village communities, we think there is now an opportunity for arterial commercial districts such as 35th Ave NE to be considered.
- Conlin is Chair of the City Council's Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee which will be reviewing proposed amendments to the City's Comprehensive Plan. We think there is an opportunity to include arterial commercial corridors to be made more of a priority by the City through the Comprehensive Plan update process.
Following our meeting with Conlin, we met with Marshall Foster and others at the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in March. Mr. Foster is the Director of Planning and is helping to oversee the Comprehensive Plan update and manages the DPD's work plan for 2013. Our meeting with DPD was intended to convey the same message, which was to allow an opportunity for arterial commercial corridors, like 35th Ave NE, to have the opportunity to help shape their future.