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Town Center for Lynnwood


Lynnwood already knows where the new town center will be – the big block where Key Bank and JD’s Vegetable Market are now, plus neighboring areas. What should we build there? linked_hybrid_best_tall_building_overall_02x

I envision not another spread out shopping mall but instead a 20 to 30 story vertical shopping mall containing the same square footage as Alderwood Mall, with an observation deck and restaurant on top.

It could include office, condominium, and apartment space. All parking should be underground. There would be an expansive plaza with sculptures, fountains, a skate park, and an ice skating rink. There would be a wading pool, slides, and swings for the children. There would be an amphitheatre facing a  tall bare wall on one of the buildings where movies could be shown on summer evenings and musicians could play.

To top it all of, I would suggest we add something more,  something that would make the new town center really stand out. My suggestion is a tram connecting the new town center with Alderwood Mall. The idea hit me a few weeks ago when we passed through Portland and rode the new aerial tram. It connects two campuses of the Oregon Health and Sciences University. The original campus was up on a hill with no room to expand. A new campus was available down by the Willamette River. It was taking a bus shuttle up to 30 minutes to travel between the two campuses. The tram makes the trip in under three minutes. Click here or on the photo below to share our ride on the Portland tram. Portland-Tram

A tram between the new town center and Alderwood Mall would increase consumer access to both the town center and Alderwood Mall. People could park at Alderwood Mall and take the tram to the town center. Conversely, people could arrive at the Transit Center and ride an elevated moving sidewalk over to the tram and continue on to Alderwood Mall. Current plans for Link Light Rail do not include a stop at Alderwood Mall, and a tram would be a way to connect Alderwood Mall to Link Light Rail. Other people would take the tram just to have something to do, like ascending the Space Needle.

When Seattle Center was being built, the city of Seattle had the opportunity to build and own the Space Needle. Unfortunately, small minded city leaders were afraid it would lose money. Instead, private money was raised. The entire cost of construction was paid off by the time the World Fair was over, and the owners went on to become super-wealthy.

A restaurant and observation deck atop a tall building in the town center plus a tram traveling two miles to Alderwood Mall would be a great attraction and make Lynnwood a popular destination.

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