City of Bremerton getting extreme makeover - to become another 'walkable' community

February 29, 2004

By ROBERTA ROMERO / KING 5 News

KING
Officials from the City of Bremerton and Kitsap County are determined to turn downtown into a vital, thriving area.
BREMERTON, Wash. - The City of Bremerton sits along the waters of Puget Sound, with breathtaking views from every aspect. But in the core of downtown, you'll find broken storefront windows, boarded up buildings and many parking lots.

But now people are taking precedent over parking.

Officials from the City of Bremerton and Kitsap County are determined to turn downtown into a vital, thriving area. Already you can see the results of their hard work. A new government center is slated to open this summer and condominiums are being built right along the water.

"We want to become pedestrian we're going to narrow these streets, we're going to increase the size of the sidewalks. We want to become a little Victoria, and we can. We're a waterfront city. We're going to take these automobiles and say 'you're second to citizens.' That's the big change you're going to see downtown," said Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman.

The revitalization project is not just about prettying up the city, it's also about jobs.

"A lot of commitments to come downtown, over 200 jobs in the last two years," said County Commissioner Chris Endresen.

But some may be out of work. Denis Housen owns the Bremerton Antique Gallery. The 100-year-old building he's been renting for 30 years is scheduled to be demolished.

"I really don't like this at all. It is a very bad thing. I think it's especially bad if they are paying no attention to a building of this caliber. It's absolutely criminal that they're tearing down this building," said Housen.

The total public investment in the project is estimated at $300 million, with the first two buildings - the government center and convention center - scheduled to be completed in December 2004. The waterfront condominiums will include public space and a link to a planned four-mile trail system.

 

 

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