|Old Town Zone includes the Downtown Park and Central Connector|
Leary Way is at the heart of Old Town which is delineated by Cleveland Street, Redmond Way to Gilman and 164th Avenue. Sixteen landmark buildings, 40 years and older, occupy this historic district.
David Scott Meade, Chair of Redmond's Design Review Board, contributed to the discussion about his area of interest, Leary Way, as follows:
"We are working on new guidelines and standards. I'd like to wrap my arms around the historic district and create an envelope of landscaping, hanging pots, street furniture, paving scapes, and opportunities to promote the businesses and structures that exist here now. I'd like to see a higher and better purposes so we can enjoy them for the next 100 years."Miguel Llannos, Landmarks Commission member and Executive V.P. of the Redmond Historical Society asked Council to prepare a Master Plan for Old Town. Miguel noted the Central Connector, Cleveland streetscape improvements, Downtown Park, and converting Cleveland/Redmond Way streets to two-way modes all fall within the Old Town Zone as defined by Redmond code.
Llannos said "There's a Master Plan for the Downtown Park but not for Old Town. Old Town is a vibrant district that uses it's history to make it different from the rest of Redmond and other parts of the Eastside." He ran down a list of Old Town signature historic buildings that contribute energy to the downtown core: The Matador, Redmond Sports Bar, Half Price Books, Brown Garage Liquor Store.
Miguel suggested a guided tour of the vacant second floor of the Pho Restaurant - once an historic hotel. "We need to reach out to Old Town tenants and landowners, like the Nelsons", said Miguel, to help rehabilitate the core.
The Nelson Group has significant owner presence in Downtown Redmond. The Nelson members, in total, were important supporters of the 2011 Marchione election campaign with nine contributing $200 each to the Mayor's campaign, according to Washington State Public Disclosure Commission records. Three Nelson contributors live in Redmond. One other lives in Woodinville, Santa Barabara, Wenatchee, and Mercer Island.
David Scott Meade agreed that something is needed to be done with the metal siding on the Pho Restaurant and to save, improve, and enhance the Old Town structures, in general. He recommended applying transfer development rights as bargaining chips to trade for improvements. "Incentives are needed now before things change," said Meade, "Leary is the heart of what Redmond is and, as Miguel notes, and we need to be more proactive."
"A Master Plan is needed before Old Town gets overwhelmed," said Llannos.
Reported By Bob Yoder