Opinion

Plans for Bremerton will hopefully improve downtown

Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman recently provided the members of the Downtown Bremerton Association (DBA) with encouraging words of continued city revitalization.

With rents skyrocketing and small businesses closing up shop left and right, it’s hard for business owners to believe a change will come their way. The revitalization of Bremerton has transformed the city and there have been many positive changes, but will it bring the people?

We hope so.

The city is on the right track and based on the mayor’s plans for future projects, the public draw is there, but will this revitalization do more than just make Bremerton pretty? Will it bring the economic vitality that Bremerton needs?

In response to concern regarding their future in downtown, Bozeman provided members of the DBA with optimism of what Bremerton can one day become.

“I’m trying to put in an infrastructure around you that will change this place from being pretty dead to being pretty vibrant ... a place where people want to be,” he said.

The process of bringing Bremerton back to life is a work in progress and for the many people who depend on their downtown business for their livelihood, waiting for those changes to bring in the shoppers they need may be easier said than done.

“Being in retail in downtown Bremerton is challenging, but I’m really optimistic about Bremerton,” Bozeman said. “There’s a bright future here, we’re on our way.”

If redevelopment keeps on track despite a sluggish economy, there is hope for Bremerton business owners. The improvements in the area have been drastic when compared to 10 years ago — even five years ago. For those businesses still hanging on, however, only time will tell if the revitalization is enough to bring and keep the money stream in downtown.

“We’re just going to keep pushing,” Bozeman said. “In the next 10 to 15 years, downtown Bremerton will be really special.”

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