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UW Students Review Gig Harbor Downtown Parks & Buildings

July 19, 2013 - Gig Harbor, WA - On Wednesday, July 17, University of Washington Architecture and Planning Students held a public meeting at the Skansie House in Gig Harbor. They are three weeks into a nine week project to study land, buildings and parks in the downtown waterfront.

Ten senior and graduate architecture and planning students, under the direction of Professor Jim Nicholls, are participating in the "Summer Storefront Studio" project. They are getting input from community members and will present recommendations and a 50 page book in a final meeting on August 21st.

On Wednesday they presented ten proposed sites for review. Several dozen community leaders, merchants, and citizens attended to give feedback. For each project site they are looking at strategies for increasing housing, promoting water access and use, reprogramming of existing historic buildings, promoting small business, and implementing a “complete streets” approach to pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular movement. Projects will focus on both short and long term recommendations.

The project is sponsored by the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance with the support of the Helix Design Group of Tacoma. The mission of the Waterfront Alliance is to promote economic vitality consistent with maintenance of the traditional character of the downtown.

Information on this project can be viewed on the website. Executive Director Mary DesMarais can be contacted at 253-514-0071 or email, or contact Gary Glein, Board President at or 253-514-8152. The next community open house will be Wednesday August 7th from 4 to 7pm at the Skansie Brother’s House on Harborview Drive.

Mary DesMarais

Executive Director

Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance