The Bozeman Group found storefront space at 210 South I St. in the Grand Heron Building and has brought a team of consultants together to tackle the first of six projects in an effort to revitalize downtown Aberdeen.
Motivational goals and the ambitious list of priority projects in the three-to-five year action plan were visible in the windows Wednesday evening.
Cary Bozeman, a redevelopment consultant and former mayor of Bremerton and Bellevue, is leading the effort, along with Hoquiam native Scott Reynvaan.
Project number one, to connect the city to its riverfront, is in motion, Bozeman told the Aberdeen City Council.
“The team will collaboratively create and establish the design concept for the layout of the space and use of the river front west of the Wishkah River and on the north side of the Chehalis River, south of the railroad track,” the action plan he provided states. Pedestrian connection to historic downtown and “calming” of major throughways is also part of the initial phase.
Bozeman told the council he met with state Department of Transportation officials about mitigating traffic issues last week. “They were interested but said they have no money,” he said as several council members and people in the audience laughed.
The initial design and concept budget for fees and expenses for the team of consultants will cost $20,000. “I have got to raise that,” Bozeman told The Daily World. The money will be private.
Council members selected the six priority projects in a recent workshop held after they voted to hire Bozeman for $60,000 on a one-year contract. Bozeman seeks to leverage public funding with private donations, which will be funneled through the non-profit Aberdeen Revitalization Movement.
The recommended consultants are: Patty Hume, founder and creative director of BREAKurban in Los Angeles, who holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture and regional planning; Chris Jones, associate landscape architect with Walker Macy in Seattle; and Nichole Faghin, a LEED coastal management specialist with Sea Grant in Seattle. LEED is green building certification.
Team leader is Gary Sexton, who worked with Bozeman on waterfront projects in Bremerton. Sexton and Jones worked on the Harborside Fountain Park in Bremerton.
“They all understand the delicate balance between project creativity, financial constraints and teamwork,” Bozeman’s action plan says.
The other five priority projects are: moderate traffic impact, create a bold and impressive entrance, improve access for people and goods as it relates to the railroad, attract a hotel, movie theater and additional living space and restore marquee buildings such as the Morck Hotel, the Becker Building and the Elks Building.
Erin Hart, 360-537-3932, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @DW_Erin