The Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership has received a grant to pilot activating Flag Plaza, site of the Downtown Kennewick Farmers Market and located in historic downtown Kennewick, as a public space with expanded programming and responsible community gathering opportunities this summer.
The Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership is one of 4 Washington Main Street Communities to receive the Place Activation Grant. This new piloting grant program was created by Washington Main Street in partnership with Terra Soma, LLC and with additional coordinating support from the National Main Street Center to assist communities with COVID-19 recovery, economic growth, and resilience through activating public spaces that can support small business, enhance quality of life for residents, and restore vitality to impacted districts.
“The partners and vision that HDKP brought to the table for their Flag Plaza proposal really inspired us,” said Breanne Durham, Director of Washington Main Street. “The planning team is clear-headed, creative, and collaborative – it’s a pilot with lots of potential for long-term impact.”
In 2020 HDKP piloted a street closure program downtown called “Alfresco Downtown Kennewick” where they created a boardwalk-style environment that enabled restaurants and retail to expand into the streets in addition to inviting additional food trucks and entrepreneurs to set up pop-up locations. This COVID relief program dramatically increased the vitality of downtown and businesses in the district reported 30-60% increase in sales during the life of the program. “We learned that opening up temporary public spaces for people, social exchanges, and expanded commerce & dining opportunities was a successful experiment,” says Stephanie Button, Executive Director of HDKP. “With this grant opportunity, we are excited to build upon our experience and lessons learned from Alfresco and apply them in Flag Plaza. Our goal is to cultivate a permanent public space that will enable us to expand our Farmers Market, host more frequent and diverse events downtown, and create space for public gathering and food truck dining.”
Over the next 90 days, HDKP and its downtown Kennewick partners will receive technical assistance from Samantha Lorenz of Terra Soma, LLC, as they develop a plan to pilot how Flag Plaza could be redeveloped into a space that delivers economic value in ways that benefit neighbors and local businesses.
“We have been dreaming about the potential of Flag Plaza as a public gathering space for a long time and the timing of this grant opportunity matches the momentum we have downtown for developing public spaces and investing in our public amenities.” Said Button.
Updates to the Flag Plaza public space activation project can be followed at www.historickennewick.org/flag-plaza. If you would like more information about this topic, please call Stephanie Button at 509-582-7221 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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