On Saturday, May 19th, around 80 people turned out at Nathan Hale High School to brainstorm ideas for developing the Bill Pierre properties in Lake City. About half the attendees were students, interns or urban architects brought in by the University of Washington which is working with the Pierre family to plan the redevelopment of the land for the betterment of Lake City. The rest were residents of Lake City and nearby neighborhoods. After introductions by Pierre’s representative, Don Moody, people were broken up into eight smaller groups to focus on four specific sections of Lake City Way and the Pierre properties that are under consideration for development. Afterwards, presentations on the ideas each group came up with were outlined to everyone.
While the entire exercise might just be public relations by the Pierre family and they are not bound by any of the suggestions made by the public or UW, some interesting proposals were made. Nearly every group suggested putting in a Trader Joe’s somewhere! Green spaces, pedestrian and bike paths were also common ideas, as well as some very innovative multi-use development that if built, would make Lake City a destination neighborhood in Seattle. One person even suggested a water park.
Moody made the point that it would be 2 or 3 years at the very least before the first shovel begins digging any new buildings on the Pierre properties, but if even half of what was proposed ever came to pass in Lake City, in 10 years residents (particularly realtors) might actually boast about being located in Lake City rather than these days when it’s all “Cedar Park,” “Pinehurst” or even Victory Heights.