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I believe we are ready for our beautiful city to develop a cultural center. To that end, I would like to speak to an idea for what I would call 'The District'. I envision creating, through public-private partnership, an artisanal district right here in Spokane Valley. The District would include a large enclosed space for vendors, a farmers market, community gatherings, indoor and outdoor concert (like a larger Saranac Commons) and stage shows as well as top-class eating and gathering establishments and larger shops all within a fully walkable, pedestrian-friendly, space (like Perry Street but bigger). I see many cities our size with areas like this (Newbo Market Cedar Rapids, Iowa) attracting corporations with middle income, middle-class jobs. I would like to bring some of those here to create opportunities for our children and young adults/families to stay in our community after college and reduce our brain drain to the west coast. I think our Valley with its scenic backdrops and welcoming people is the right place for this destination location for our whole area.
Looking at comparable cities, these markets actually spur growth over the entire city. BIDs, as I suggest, draw new market, high-income jobs that make our city economy more recession-resistant. Also, BIDs cost next to nothing to taxpayers, as the businesses themselves actually fund all the needed construction and legal work.
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