Locals have mixed reactions to Yakima Central Plaza

Locals have mixed reactions to Yakima Central Plaza

YAKIMA, Wash.-- A couple of days before their deadline, the Yakima Central Plaza Committee was able to reach their $9 million goal of private funding contracts, made possible by more than 450 donors.

Now, the plaza is closer to becoming a reality for Yakima, and some people are excited.

“I mean, it sounds great. I came from a small town that had a revamping of the downtown, and now it's a completely different place. It's grown. There's a lot more money, a lot more small businesses, so I think it's a great idea. I think it's good for the area,” said Cliff Barnes.

According to the press release, the plaza will be centrally located, downtown. It'll sit on almost three acres of space and will include water features, an open-air market, a built-in stage, and play areas for kids, which one local is looking forward to.

“I have an almost 2-year-old son, so summertime, of course, yeah, I would take him down, and we don't live too far from there actually, so yeah we'd probably go visit,” said Joshua Martin.

Martin lives in Yakima, and is onboard with the idea, but he is concerned about one thing:

“I'm not quite sure what they’re gonna do with parking, though. I know there is another parking lot down the road, but you know, that's quite a busy area, especially at nighttime,” said Martin.

And he's not the only one.

“I am really concerned about parking, because people that are senior citizens don't want to have to park four or five blocks away in the dark, and walk through neighborhoods, that aren't necessarily safe, so it sounds like a really good idea. It’s wonderful, except for the parking issue,” said Diane Harris.

According to their website, the plaza won't take away all parking in the area. 54 spots will remain for senior and disabled parking, and they plan for an overall increase in parking spaces within a two-block radius.

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