Bothell's bold downtown renovation moves straight ahead
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday on Highway 522 dedicates a traffic improvement that symbolizes the renovation under way in downtown Bothell.
Seattle Times Editorial
BOTHELL community leaders and residents can beam with pride at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday that marks completion of the first phase of an ambitious downtown redevelopment project.
Revamping of the infamous Wayne Curve on Highway 522 is not only a boon for commuters, but also has created a welcoming entry into a city of 33,500 in the midst of a bold transition.
The $22 million roadway project smooths the movement of traffic, and when the full realignment of Highway 522 and Highway 527 is complete, two new downtown retail blocks will be added.
Bothell can savor the moment, but it barely has time to catch its breath. A substantial list of private-sector investments and public improvements are under way to renovate the downtown. Both sides persevered through the economic downturn.
Public money, representing one-time revenues that were saved, has leveraged an estimated $200 million in private investment, with the potential for another $400 million over the next two decades.
Bothell can take pride in watching its community vision come together, but local officials and residents should also take a bow for the broad commitment and agreement that allowed it to happen.
Citizens' panels and elected officials did their homework, and they decided to act. This is no small thing in Puget Sound, a region of second-guessing and hand-wringing at all levels of government.
So what is ahead for Bothell? The city put 18 acres of land on the market with guidelines for its use and development. More than two dozen businesses were relocated. Buildings were razed and park space identified.
Look for 1,400 new housing units, 144,000 square feet of commercial space, a McMenamins hotel and pub, a new City Hall, and new construction at UW-Bothell and Cascadia Community College.
Bothell is nurturing a skyline, with retail at street level and living space above. Urban amenities include five acres of park and open space in the downtown core.
Bothell's ribbon cutting is an achievement, but do not put the scissors away.