Tillicum business owners, particularly those with interests along Union Avenue, met last night with Lakewood officials to discuss design strategies for widening the main thoroughfare to 60 feet. The city currently has 40 feet of right-of-way, but needs another 20 feet to make redevelopment of the business strip feasible.
Dave Bugher, community development director for the city, said the discussion now centers on cosmetics and function of the roadway — funding issues will be discussed at a later date. Funding mechanisms could include grants, instituting a Limited Improvement District, permits or a combination of all three, he said. It’s unclear how city officials plan to go about acquiring the additional 20 feet of property necessary for the project.
Property owners are already expected to fund connections to the sewer lines. Business owners in the district could have a difficult time footing the bill for the road improvements, too.
The city is conducting an economic feasibility study on the proposed widening in conjunction with hosting community meetings. Adding Tillicum to the sewer system, as well as a hefty study conducted by Tacoma architectural firm BCRA, have catapulted the redevelopment of the lakeside burb. The street-widening and installation of sewer lines is expected to bring in large investments from private developers in the coming years.
The above posted story is reprinted with permission from the Business Examiner.