Architects reveal survey results on Yakima downtown plaza plans

Architects reveal survey results on Yakima downtown plaza plans »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- You have a lot of different ideas for Yakima's downtown plaza. They range from water features to Wi-Fi, concerts to kiosks. KIMA learned what hundreds had to say online.

Architects asked for your two cents. Their request paid off.

More than 1,500 people weighed in, telling architects what they want in a downtown plaza. Topping the wish list: shade trees, a lawn space, a flower garden and water features. Some neighbors want concessions.

One of the most popular requests: free Wi-Fi. Over half of respondents said it's a must.

Neighbors also want the space to be dynamic, a place for concerts, markets and regional events.

Less popular ideas? A climbing wall and retail kiosks.

David Bishop moved to Yakima in March. He supports the city's efforts to add the plaza.

"I think it would give you a reason to be in the downtown area," he said.

A location hasn't been decided. It's likely to replace one of two parking lots, either the lot next to Millennium Plaza or the one across from Second Street Grill.

Plans call for beautifying the surrounding streets of each site and drawing on the historical character of nearby buildings.

Still, Elizabeth Stavros isn't convinced.

"I don't think it's a good idea," she said.

She'd like more money spent on helping Yakima's homeless, and she says downtown's not safe enough for a plaza.

"I have a young son, and I don't feel like this neighborhood is a good neighborhood to bring him out into," said Stavros.

Which is what Yakima is looking to change.

"If there's more people brought down to the downtown area, and there wasn't such a shadow-land in the evening, and there were actually family activities going on, I think that crime would move away from the area," said Bishop.

Architects will return to Yakima in July with concepts for both sites. A final decision on the location and design could be made by fall.

Architects will present the full survey results at a community meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Seasons Performance Hall.