Pine Street Plaza Opening This Summer

We all treasure our community, and the main streets or plazas of a beloved town can often be the hub of local businesses, dining, and entertainment. The Centralia Downtown Association, a designated Main Street Community, has been awarded a $3,000 grant from the Washington State Main Street Program (WSMSP) to help the Pine Street Plaza in downtown Centralia come to life this summer!

This grant is one of four awarded through the WSMSP’s Place Activation Initiative, which aims to support local Main Street organizations striving to implement place activation projects in their own communities. In addition to Centralia, Main Street programs in Kennewick, Colville, and Prosser have also received grants from WSMSP. 

Keeping public spaces vibrant and accessible has been a critical strategy in supporting small businesses and communities throughout the pandemic. “The design of public spaces, including streets, directly impacts the economic vitality and quality of life in our communities,” said Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Director with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. “We believe that pedestrian-focused activation of public spaces is a key strategy for resilient and healthy downtown districts.” 

Centralia Downtown Association’s proposal includes transforming a one-block section of East Pine Street into a downtown plaza. The plaza will serve as a gathering place for locals, an outdoor seating area to support nearby restaurants, and as a welcoming point of entry for visitors exploring Centralia from the historic 1912 Train Depot. Plans for the plaza were partly spurred by community interest in reviving a downtown farmer’s market and place to hold local events–both potential future uses of the plaza area.

Centralia’s planning team is led by Sarah Althauser and Teri Zambon of the Centralia Downtown Association with support from the City of Centralia. “Measuring the impact of the plaza will help shape future projects.” said Teri Zambon, Executive Director of Centralia Downtown Association. “We want to know how pedestrian traffic, downtown business revenues, and resident and visitor perceptions change as a result of this project.” 

The plaza will be installed in June and available through October, so be sure to bring your family by this summer to experience the new addition to Centralia’s historic downtown!