...kids will come.
I'm not talking about a Catholic grade school, but a playground at Seattle Center. Goldy has been campaigning to build a kick-ass playground instead of the proposed Chihuly museum. This National Public Radio piece—about a new kick-ass playground in New York City—makes the economic case for Goldy's Seattle Center proposal. Goldy:
As the Seattle Center prepares to sell off a chunk of precious open space to a for-profit, paid-admission Chihuly gallery/gift shop/catering hall, purely for financial reasons, the city might want to take a look at what’s happening in New York City, where in the midst of the Great Recession the city is building a series of innovative, kick-ass playgrounds… as economic development tools! According to NPR, playgrounds like this are popping up all over the city, despite falling tax revenues and tight budgets. Why? Because when you build family friendly amenities like this, it attracts families with children, raising surrounding property values and drawing customers to nearby businesses. And isn’t that what the Seattle Center is really looking for? More repeat business for its existing tenants to help finance its operations?
Take a few minutes to watch the video and listen to the Planet Money report, and then try to tell me that something like this wouldn’t be a more valuable addition to both the city and the Center than the Chihuly proposal.
My family has been spending more time at Seattle Center since the skatepark opened. I suspect that more families—families with younger children, families with older kids who don't skateboard—would spend more time (and more money) at Seattle Center if there was a kick-ass playground down there too.