A need for food at Old Milltown Park

By John Owen | Oct 27, 2011

"While the city needs to spend more wisely it also needs to get serious about economic development to create  the tax revenue needed to fund the services our citizens expect," mayoral candidate Dave Earling recently commented. "For example while Dick's Drive-In  coming to Edmonds is great, a fast food restaurant on Highway 99 is not an economic development policy."

I hope he's not overlooking the french fries.

Meanwhile, incumbent Mike Cooper admits "residents and visitors alike wonder why nothing is done in the 'antique mall' property. This is a challenge we should not back away from."

Yet there has been a lot of "backing away from" the site which formerly housed a Safeway and  a Skippers.

There have been several vague suggestions for the property including a public market with 100 vendor stalls.  

Others have informally proposed an "urban village" incorporating cafes, retail shops and condo towers much like those that have been created in Kirkland, Old Mill Town, Renton and Burien.

But the urban village concept is mentioned in Edmonds with one caveat.  

From a distance the "urban village" should look like a prairie dog village, with no structure high enough to disturb marine views from residences on Fourth and Fifth Avenues.

Even if the plan includes high-rise construction, developers must cope with a problem of geology.  

The water level in the "antique mall" property is only a few feet below the sandy soil creating what is described as an "earthquake liquefaction zone."

Given a good shake, the shops and condos would likely sink until in fact  they resembled a prairie dog village.

Well, as they say, "the devil is in the details."

I am fascinated by the promise suggested in a sign now sitting in front of Old Milltown.  

It promises a plaza featuring "beautiful gardens with educational signs," a hard scape area for tables and chairs, and a small stage with some sort of fountain or pool.

It sounds great but would be greatly enhanced if visitors could buy a snack or lunch at one of the store fronts like the ones that formerly housed Quiznos and a pizza parlor.

Has anybody checked to see if  there could be another Dick's hamburger in our future?

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