| Windermere-Redmond, Quiznos, Redmond Cycle, Brown Street Square and a few small buildings behind it will be soon be demolished. 161st Street, in the foreground, will connect to Cleveland St.|
The above downtown buildings are taking their "last stand" before demolition for the new, Downtown Central Park. Completion of the park is anticipated between 2012 - 2014.
I ran into Mike Richards, owner of Brown Street Square, outside his building yesterday. It's on the demolition list. Mike said he decided to move here in 2001 because apartments and condos were planned for the area and could benefit from the businesses in his building. He never expected a 2-acre downtown park. It wasn't on the drawing boards. A KING 5 reporter on February 16th interviewed and videoed some of the Brown Street Square tenants in distress about having to leave.
Mike said land was cheaper further east on Redmond Way. He said the city will be spending $40,000,000 for this park and location. The price for the park varies depending on your source, but over time the trend is up. The Seattle Times reported $16-17,000,000 on 12/23/2009. On 7/16/2009, the Redmond Reporter wrote the City budgeted $27,000,000 for the downtown park.
A public-private nonprofit "Redmond Foundation" was formed several months ago to raise private donations. Mayor Marchione is on the Board . Council subsidized it with a $50,000 grant to pay administrative expenses and to jump-start the Foundation. Councilman Richard Cole was the only member voting against the grant.
In an inteview with KING 5's Lori Matsukawa, Richard Cole said: "We are putting 5,000 dwelling units in the downtown and those people, in order to attract them here, we think a park is an absolute requirement." The City hasn't announced how many residents outside of Downtown are expected to use the new park.
Reported By Bob Yoder
iPhone photo by Yoder