OPINION: Look at the loud signage of the new liquor store on Redmond Way - smack in the middle of downtown Redmond on Redmond Way near Cleveland Avenue. The liquor store is moving into this beautiful, brick building, a 1920's historic landmark known as mayor "Bill Brown Garage".
According to Rob Odle, City Director of Planning and Development "the Comprehensive Plan does not get down to describing the specific location of specific uses. Liquor stores are not singled out for special consideration and are considered to be general retail."
Longtime resident Andrea Quenneville wrote city council and the mayor complaining about the large, tacky signs in front of the building, saying the signs were "offensive, 'ghetto' looking, and loud", and that "it doesn't present a good image for downtown Redmond". She wrote "do we not want a clean, pleasant image for the city of Redmond since it's and right down the street from the park-to-be?".
Jim Roberts, the city staffer in charge of economic development replies:
"Believe me, we were disappointed about the proposed location right in the heart of downtown in a very prominent historic building. What a great restaurant site it could have been. I have no information about the lease arrangements. We're trying to get them to put historic information about the town in the store windows to make them more interesting for pedestrians than booze ads. Any other ideas of what could go in the windows would be appreciated. I'm not sure we can make it happen, but we could try."
According to Landmarks commissioner Miguel Llanos, a city planner from the Landmarks Commission asked the Redmond Historical Society if they would display some artifacts in the windows and the Society happily obliged. The Bill Brown Garage was built in 1920 and used to be a 20-car repair shop. Brown was Redmond's longest serving mayor (1919-1948).
I wonder if other cities have been able to influence the State Liquor Board on site location or signage. Any thoughts on Redmond's downtown signage?