Downtown advocates envision a bright future

first_imgDespite hardships that have affected downtown Vancouver, its biggest supporters were filled with optimism at a Thursday gathering focused on the area’s near future and its outlook for years to come.Business advocates have already spruced up the look of downtown by planting new trees, picking up cigarette butts and making plans to hang nearly 200 flower baskets from lampposts in May. Now, some new projects are going below the surface as business leaders follow through on a plan set a decade ago.The Vancouver City Center Vision Plan was launched in 2000 by city planners, businesses, port officials and downtown residents, said Lee Rafferty, executive director of Vancouver’s Downtown Association. “It’s a blueprint for how to grow downtown into what it should be,” Rafferty told about 60 people who attended the Thursday meeting, her group’s quarterly gathering at the Hilton Vancouver Washington.The plan, as outlined on the city’s Web page, aims to reach a “messy vitality” downtown, with a mixture of residential, civic and retail redevelopment in 130 square blocks that include waterfront acreage that once housed the Boise Cascade mill. The mix should attract more downtown jobs and residents, said Rafferty.last_img read more