Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Catching You Up On the Neighborhood Planning for 35th Ave NE

It's been awhile since we've updated the blog on what the 35th Ave NE Steering Committee has been doing.  Nevertheless, we have a lot of great progress to report.

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.
With this information in hand we met with Councilmember Richard Conlin in February to share the results of our business inventory and explain to him that business districts such as 35th Ave NE and those similar in size merit attention so that they can provide the resources and business types to support the residents who use and live near the business district.  We wanted to make sure that Councilmember Conlin for the following reasons:
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.  

Since our meetings with Conlin and DPD, we have been working on a survey for users of 35th Ave NE which we will be making public shortly.  The survey is modeled after surveys completed by the OED to better understand who is using the commercial corridor and whether or not it is meeting the needs of the users.  Stay tuned for more news on the survey!