Letter to the editor: What about business disruption from Main Street project?



Attention every business owner/property owner along 56th Avenue in Mountlake Terrace who just received their eminent domain notices for the Main Street project along that arterial. Attention also to the incurable Town Center optimists who still insist that nothing but good can come from their vision.

Please read Sunday’s Seattle Times article about the experience of business owners near the light rail station construction of the Angle Lake Station south of Sea-Tac. As there, any inconvenience or business disruption from our Main Street project is very unlikely to be made right. The city has barely $3 million for a project which they openly admit will cost more than $18 million.

Can someone please explain for whose benefit all this is being done? The evolution of downtown seems to be moving forward just fine without a tree-lined landscape architecture project.

Leonard French
Mountlake Terrace


  1. Perhaps either Mr. French can elaborate by either providing a copy or quoting liberally from said eminent domain notice, or it might be newsworthy to mltnews.com.

    I’m a commercial property owner on 56th Avenue West only four blocks south of Town Center, and I profess to be clueless about this City action. Nothing elsewhere on this site, on nextmlt.com, nor by googling “Mountlake Terrace eminent domain 56th”. A search of the cityofmlt.com site for “eminent domain” comes up empty as well.

    In response to Mr. French’s observation that the Town Center development is moving along without some amenities already in place, I would point out simply, “Not yet.”.

    A lot of money was spent to purchase those two Gateway parcels next to the freeway, but look! No light rail right up the street.

    Not yet.

  2. I didn’t mean to imply that downtown development is moving at anything near the long promised pace. It certainly is not, but spending inordinate amounts of our money on a beautification program for 56th isn’t going to accelerate the process.

    A lot of money is being spent on Sound Transit and more will be, some of it increased real estate taxes. The McCleary mandate to put more state funding into schools will also raise real estate taxes.

    Locally, we need an affordable City Hall, reportedly need to spend large numbers on both a new Rec Pavilion and a Police Station upgrade. All would require major property tax increases as would the levy lid lift now being paraded around public forums. With all those calls on the public purse already in view, my question remains – is a Main Street boulevard really worth prioritizing?

    I don’t know why the eminent domain notices have not yet been the subject of a MLTNEWS story. I can get a copy from numerous property owners, but so can this publication.

  3. Mr. French, your letter pertained to disruption of city commercial businesses due to ’eminent domain’ actions planned by the City. Your scattershot response to my query provides no useful information about the existence of eminent domain action but instead refers to expenses necessary for all manner of community functions, up to and including McCleary. I encourage you to stay on topic, sir.

    I have to wonder if, instead of eminent domain, you refer to actions by the City to secure right-of-way easements for future work. One of these things is not like the other.


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