A recent public meeting provided valuable feedback for the city as it moves forward with the renovation of the Bellingham Square Plaza and the City Hall courtyard.
“It was a very constructive meeting,” said Director of Housing and Community Development Alex Train. “At the meeting, our team presented draft concept designs for a remodeled plaza, as well as a renovated City Hall courtyard and the streetscape surrounding City Hall.”
The goals of the redesign center on increasing the amount of green space around City Hall and the plaza as well as improving accessibility.
Train said the city wants to create a more inclusive and welcoming gathering area that’s conducive to public events.
“Some of the feedback we heard included deliberately designing the courtyard to better accommodate larger events,” said Train. “One option that is being explored is shifting two statues in the courtyard that are in the middle currently back closer to the building, really opening up that courtyard area as a public gathering space.”
In the plaza area, Train said there was a lot of public support for increasing the tree canopy, adding shrubs and flowers, and creating a welcoming gathering spot for families and neighbors who don’t feel as if the space meets their current needs.
“With that feedback now in hand, our team is going to be updating the plans and generating a cost estimate,” said Train. “Our goal is to advance the final design in parallel with the Downtown Broadway infrastructure design. Then, ultimately, we would procure one construction contractor that would do the Downtown Broadway project as well as the plaza.”
The overall goal of the Downton Broadway project is to modernize utilities and roadway infrastructure, improve public transit, and promote walkability in the downtown, increase business activity, and beautify the downtown area.
Train has said that the city is also focusing on identifying grant funding to help pay for the plaza redevelopment.