Edmonds officially has a new gathering place downtown.
Tuesday’s long-anticipated dedication of at historic Old Milltown was greeted with applause from citizens and the many city workers and community groups who helped make it a reality.
“We saved ourselves a ton of money by being the developers here,” Mayor Dave Earling told onlookers. “Much of the development was done by staff, which worked on it for so long and did a fantastic job of assembling this.”
The city purchased the site in 2008 with the intent of preserving the central downtown open space for community use. Planning and construction costs totaled about $150,000, said Carrie Hite, parks and recreation director. The money came from the city, the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club and the Hazel Miller Foundation.
“It gives me a lot of pleasure to be up here today,” said Hite. “This has been a project in the making since I stepped into town a year and a half ago. It was a true community effort.”
The development of the plaza began with the Floretum Club.
“They really did roll up their sleeves,” said Hite. “They advocated to the City Council to purchase this property and helped with the garden design and the design itself.”
Some history: In 1946, the property was , which built a gas station. In 1973, it was purchased and named Old Milltown, a retail complex of shops, galleries and restaurants. The gas station became a garden. The purchaser, Ward Phillips, was in attendance on Tuesday.
Today, Old Milltown has been renovated, has new owners (Bellevue-based Rosen-Harbottle Commercial Real Estate) and .
They include Las Brisas The Hotel Group, Edmonds Vision Center, Edmonds Hardware and Paint, The Cheesemonger’s Table and Otherworlds.