Yakima City Council Takes Over Downtown Master Plan - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council Takes Over Downtown Master Plan

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YAKIMA, WA. -- The City of Yakima moved forward Monday with plans to make major renovations to the downtown area after meeting again with the creators of the Downtown Master Plan.

Downtown Yakima is getting a facelift. The plan includes a public market where track 29 used to be, a boulevard with trolleys and a median with trees and flowers and the center piece, a new plaza across from the Capitol Theatre.

"I'm very excited to see the plaza take place," local business owner Joe Mann said. "We've never had a town square or meeting place in Yakima."

The city reviewed the final suggestions from urban design firm Crandall Arambula on the Downtown Master Plan.

"(To) make downtown what it once was, a very vibrant, successful, retail, restaurant, entertainment area for Yakima," City Manager Tony O'Rourke said.

The plan would take the Millennium Plaza and expand it into the new Yakima Plaza. But the questions is, where would people find parking? The plan would attempt to redistribute parking spaces around downtown and that seems to be enough for Mann.

"A lot of times our parking lots are half empty, not even half empty," Mann said. "At night there is nobody parking there. So I think there's other places that we can look at to utilize parking."

While many of the details will be worked out at a later date, the council now takes ownership of the projects moving forward.

Next, the City Council will create a feasibility study to determine how to go about starting the plan.