First draft of plans for revitalizing downtown Union Gap completed

First draft of plans for revitalizing downtown Union Gap completed »Play Video
UNION GAP, Wash. -- Plans for downtown revitalization in Union Gap are finally starting to come together. After working with a citizens' task force, the designers presented a first draft of drawings to City Council.

Linda Gutierrez is the owner of Especially Western English Collection. Her store sits in the boundaries of what could be the new civic core of Main Street. She's all for the development.

"The more people that are coming through here, the nicer it looks, the safer they feel; if they can make it a more pleasant experience and maybe draw some new businesses into this area, it just helps all of us," said Gutierrez.

Union Gap has plans to revitalize all along Main Street, but designers want to focus on the area from Ahtanum Road to Pine Street as the civic core.

This means new traffic signals would be put on both of the cross streets.
The lanes would reduce from four down to only three in this section:
one going each direction with a turn lane in the middle and no more parallel parking. There would be ten-foot-long sidewalks on each side with another six to ten feet for amenities like trees.

The goal is to reduce the traffic flow and make the area more inviting for people to walk around. Yet, by taking a look outside, it seems there's still something missing.

"I think if there's going to be walking, people walking and stuff, there's got to be something to entice them other than just car lots and tax stores," sad Gutierrez.

It's an issue KIMA brought up to City Council. We were only able to reach one member over the phone.

"If it makes it more desirable for people to want to have businesses there, that would be a positive thing," said Councilmember Dave Matson.

Matson said there's nothing wrong with the car lots currently there and that government has no business being in business. Yet he hopes after revitalization a better variety of businesses like restaurants and grocery stores will be interested in setting up shop.

New businesses to attract new customers.

The budget for phase one of the project comes in at just under $5 million. City Council will hold a public hearing next month before making any final decisions on these plans.