Union Gap is hoping for big changes downtown

Union Gap is hoping for big changes downtown »Play Video
UNION GAP, Wash. -- It's been years in the works, but Union Gap is finally moving forward with plans to revitalize its downtown. The city has hired an engineering firm, and the first phase is expected to come in at just under $5 million.

But, will it prove to be mere cosmetic work, or actually bring real and needed development to the downtown?

Take a drive down Main Street In Union Gap and much of the scenery is rows of used-car lots. Revitalization has been a long time coming.

"This has taken how long? Two or three decades to get to this point again," said Mark Carney, Union Gap council member.

The city's new look effort kicked off Monday with the formation of a diverse task force. A walking tour with the engineering firm will allow the group to point out work they'd like to see done.

Work that will hopefully bring in more businesses and residents.

"People will be prouder to say, hey yeah come to Union Gap, we've got a great place to live," said Carney.

KIMA asked council if the $4.8 million would bring more than just cosmetic changes.

"Do you think that it will really change the outlook on Main Street?"
"I think it will, it definitely will," said Carney.

Council member Carney said the city is working towards bringing real and noticeable changes. Accompanying the revitalization effort is a project that takes the semi trucks off 1st street.

Widening the sidewalks will push the used car lots back from nearly sitting in the walkway. The hope is that development will bring a better variety of businesses downtown.

The first phase which should be planned by June will focus on Main Street from 2nd street to Franklin. Following that the city will continue their work down the road.

Starting points include replacing water and sewer lines, and possibly reducing traffic lanes.

With the hopes of making Union Gap a more appealing home.

"We want to make sure that we can get it done this time and finally follow through on those promises of actually revitalizing the downtown corridor," said Carney.

After the task force finalizes their ideas, the engineering firm will present them to city council and hold a public hearing for feedback.