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Neighborhood signs a good start for Newport Hills
Signs are up along Coal Creek Parkway directing traffic to the Newport Hills Neighborhood Shopping District. But it's going to take more planning to ensure the community's retail success.
"We needed those signs as a jumping-off point," said Heidi Dean, president of the Newport Hills Community Club, adding she'll likely wait a while before asking the city for more. "That might be something later that we look at because we do have a back entrance at Lake Washington Boulevard."
Bellevue City Council approved spending $2,700 to manufacture and install two green, double-sided designation signs on Coal Creek Parkway after Newport Hills residents asked the city to improve visibility and awareness of the community's shopping district. The signs were placed at 119th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 60th Street in late December.
"Before the signs on Coal Creek Parkway, there was no visibility at all," said Bill Pace of Bill Pace Fruit and Produce. "Now that they have the signs up there, I haven't had anyone get lost."
Pace is going a step further in an effort to direct consumers to his store and coffee shop in the Newport Hills shopping center. He's applying to the state transportation department for signage along I-405, preferably at Exit 9 near the Newport Hills park and ride.
"The only thing right now that's holding me up is the money," said Pace, adding he anticipates other Newport Hills business owners will follow suit.But Dean says the issue now is beautifying the Newport Hills entryway at 119th Avenue Southeast and growing community activities and partnerships with neighborhood businesses.
Planting beds are being added at the Newport Hills Community Church with plans for the city to tie in with its own beds after, and more landscaping is planned at bus shelters near the shopping center, said Dean.
She added she is still waiting for the city to finish up public art installations in the neighborhood.
As for attracting customers to the shopping district and getting them to come back, Dean said the community club continues to work with area business owners on event planning. The club also wants to promote more programming and using vacant space for community activities.
"We're just looking at what can we do to bring people from the outside in."