Revitalization contracts pending revisions, reviews

ARLINGTON The Arlington City Council agreed Jan. 2 to delay their decision on proposed city contracts with the University of Washington and Community Capital Development, which aim to provide design and technical assistance to businesses and other property owners along Olympic Avenue, pending further revisions and reviews of those proposed contracts.
City of Arlington Capital Projects Manager Paul Ellis clarified for the Council that two contracts are being proposed, each with a different group, but that the respective aims of the two contracts go together, to the extent that he requested the Council consider them both at once, when they will be presented as a package at the Jan. 16 Council meeting.
Ellis explained that the proposed contract with the University of Washington would make its graduate students available to the merchants and residents of Olympic Avenue to offer them free consultations on how they might best match their buildings to the original historic color schemes and facade styles of those structures.
At the same time, Ellis reiterated that if youre looking to do much more than a coat of paint, youll need to talk with a local professional architect, emphasizing that the UW grad students cant put themselves in competition with such businesses.
As for the proposed contract with Community Capital Development, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that provides financial support to local businesses, Ellis noted that CCD could connect the businesses and other property owners along Olympic Avenue to grant programs, in addition to floating them loans to cover the commerce they might lose during the construction period.
Ellis added that CCD provides technical support to such businesses by helping them develop business plans for themselves, covering subjects such as organization, analysis and promotion, and elaborated that CCD loans often range from $5,000-$100,000, as opposed to the loans available from the Small Business Administration which he described as starting at $250,000.
Council member Graham Smith expressed support for the broad strokes of the proposal presented by Ellis, while Council member Sally Lien likewise like[d] the idea and Council member Marilyn Oertle characterized it as a wonderful opportunity, but the Council as a whole took Ellis suggestion to wait until the two contracts have been further revised, through reviews by committees and discussions with the two groups in question.

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