Downtown Kennewick continues revitalization with streatery pilot program, new plans
KENNEWICK, Wash. —
Downtown Kennewick may have some of the oldest buildings in the city, but it's seeing a lot of new life as the city and organizations push to revitalize it.
One such push is the streatery pilot program.
Rockabilly Roasting Company owner Travis Jordan and Roxy Theatre Antiques owner Ann Steiger approached the city’s economic development manager Emily Estes-Cross with the idea of turning parking spaces into a spot to eat and hang out.
Jordan received the idea after seeing a parklet in his hometown of Wenatchee.
"So we did a little bit of research and found that these are very common around the country and around the world as economic development tactics to ignite spaces that are traditionally being used,” says Estes- Cross.
She adds that one of the biggest demands made in past city surveys is more outdoor seating and dining areas.
Steiger says a streatery outside of the Roxy would help with that demand.
"I think we might be able to fit maybe four tables out here and maybe a high tabletop area that might seat four. That's 20 people! Twenty consumers and supporters of our downtown versus two cars. "
The pilot project has been awarded block grant funds and will be developed through the winter.
The Roxy Theatre and the Rockabilly inside it isn't the only spot with some planned changes.
According to Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership executive director Dan Smith, they have a few plans to improve the area, one of which is improving the walking corridor from Columbia Drive to Keewaydin Park with better cross walks, more trees, artwork and benches.
Another push to bring new people to the area has been the farmer’s market on Thursdays that runs from 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. That will be wrapping up soon.
In addition, a piano from the Tri-Cities Painted Piano has made a home in downtown: "that painted piano program will not only add color to downtown, it's going to add music and anybody and everybody can come down and play the piano."
Smith says there will be two painted pianos in downtown Kennewick, with one of them setting up shop right by the Roxy Theatre and Rockabillly Roasting Company.
Meaning the sidewalks will soon have lots of music, coffee and hopefully customers.