Here Is Why A Public Plaza Vote Is Unfair To The Process
Stop me if you've heard this one before. "Yakima Plaza" OK, not funny.
***Josh, this is an attempt to clarify the plaza's purpose and not meant as any kind of personal attack But you are missing the entire point of the project. It's not about a "park".
A park could go anywhere if that's all it is meant to be. Shade and grass and water mean nothing by themselves in this context. This park-like setting is just a nicely designed and efficiently equipped space to program activities, lots and lots of activities that will draw crowds. And they do draw crowds all over the country. Plaza communities say "there is always something to see or do going on downtown"
By design, parks are quiet and peaceful, while plazas are alive and buzzing with human activity. It is that activity that will attract the attention of business. Activity is foot traffic--pedestrian traffic -hundreds or thousand of people coming there every week or weekend, all those events and the people they draw - from west valley, Yakima and all over the county- mean lots of potential customers for existing business and are intended to be the BAIT to draw in investment in new businesses. THAT is the PURPOSE of the plaza.
Why THAT space? Because of that location in Yakima, experts who studied our city determined there is the potential of 70 million dollars in NEW investment in the surrounding couple of blocks...business people willingly spending their own money (Capitalism) all directly attributed to all the people expected to be drawn to the events in the plaza...so please recognize that it is not just a park.
The plaza is an economic tool, not a park, even though it has a beautiful park-like setting -- here is the website for Crandall Arambula and the philosophical approach Yakima hired to help revitalize DOWNTOWN http://www.ca-city.com/
You also wrote "and a park and retail store are 2 different things. A store brings in money a park does absolutely nothing."***you are right...but this is where most of the opponents arguments break down. People mistakenly believe the plaza is just a park. This"park" is not a park, it's a tool designed to attract the private investment in more stores in the downtown core , I hope you can understand and appreciate the difference. If it is done right, there should be all kinds of reasons thousands of west valley residents will want to come downtown and enjoy the plaza activity on a regular basis year round. Take a look at what Casper Wyoming has going this summer with its new plaza-- https://trib.com/.../article_1d80b092-c1c4-5798-ae57...
Here is a quote from the article "City leaders hoped the complex would bring more businesses and foot traffic to the city’s core, and it appears that plan is working. New businesses have popped up in the surrounding blocks including Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Urban Bottle and the Gaslight Social bar.
Matt Galloway, the owner of the Gaslight Social, previously told the Star-Tribune that it played a role in his decision to open an establishment downtown.
“I thought to myself ‘I’m going to be on the outside looking in’ … I wanted to be part of this major [revitalization] movement,” said Galloway, who owns other bars outside the city’s core."
Finally, your concern about "socialism" is valid, but misdirected in this case...this IS capitalism, creative capitalism. The public gets activities and a fun family environment and business old and new get an opportunity to serve those families with their goods and services at a shared cost to both. Win Win, no?