Something exciting is happening in Mountlake Terrace.
For the last several decades Mountlake Terrace has been coined a “bedroom community.” A bedroom community could also be called a commuter town. A place that people call home but not where people think to work, play and spend their money. Somewhere devoid of culture and art.
It hasn’t always been this way. The first couple decades after its incorporation in the ’50s, MLT was full of life. Mountlake Terrace’s population doubled between 1950 and 1960 and then nearly doubled again by 1970. Small businesses flourished in two shopping centers located in the middle of town. The 70’s were a different story: growth stalled and with the opening of the Alderwood Mall, the Town Center business district lost ground and businesses began closing up. In 1990 arson fires at the shopping centers further depressed the local economy. Former Council Member John Zambrano said that “it took the pizzazz out of the downtown corridor.”
Yes, there have been several small businesses that have weathered the storm, most notably Double DD Meats, and events like Tour de Terrace has helped us keep the great sense of community that Mountlake Terrace has always had. But in general, history has not treated Mountlake Terrace kindly.
That is starting to change. Over the past few years several successful small business have come to town. New restaurants have opened. A recent report indicated that less than 5 percent of current MLT residents have been here since 1970 and 80 percent of us have moved here since 1990. Many are young families who moved to Mountlake Terrace because of the affordable housing, a similar reason why families flocked to Mountlake Terrace in the early days.
Most of us won’t remember what the early Mountlake Terrace was like but what we do know is that things are changing. And we’re excited. We’re excited that we see the new mixed use building going up at 236th and 56th, and plans for more mixed use buildings. We’re excited that new restaurants have come to town like the Red Onion, Gabriel’s Fire and Las Espuelas (the Pico de Gallo is amazing!) We’re excited that people are cleaning up their homes and yards, that we’ve shed the old moniker “trashy Terrace”. We’re excited that we have an amazing local news resource in MLTnews.com where we can all stay up to date. We’re excited that while surrounding cities are struggling to stay afloat our leaders have managed to keep the budget balanced.
We can see where Mountlake Terrace is headed. And we like it. That’s why I want to urge you, my fellow MLT residents, to vote yes on Proposition 1. A yes vote on Prop. 1 is a yes vote on our future. Giving our City Hall a permanent home on our own property is important. Private developers are starting to invest in our future and so should we. Creating a community and senior center is important. It will be a space for us all to enjoy and use. Expanding the police station is important. Our hardworking police work in cramped conditions and need more space for their safety and ours. Repairs to the Library are important. The MLT Library has around 150,000 visits every year; it is an essential part of our community. This is an important vote.
With low construction costs and excellent interest rates the opportunity has never been better. I can see where Mountlake Terrace is headed and I know that you can too. The new Civic Center is part of it. Proposition 1 is supported by Mountlake Terrace small businesses, city leaders, community groups and your neighbors. Will you join us as we vote yes for Mountlake Terrace’s future?
Please vote yes on Proposition 1 and visit YESforMLT.com for more information.