Burien Town Square â€“ Success To Be? Or Future Ghost Town?
Since discussions began in October of 2003 to build an urban community center, devoid of the need to drive to find world class cuisine, shopping and entertainment, the city of Burien and its residents and residents-to-be have been eagerly awaiting the grand opening of the new much hyped mini metropolis known at the Town Square.
On June 13th, a very successful grand opening of a new city hall and library allowed people to experience firsthand the fruits of Burienâ€™s growth and economic development. Many notable names spoke and praised the city for all it has achieved. New condos stand just to the west of the city hall building, towering with possibilities for those who can reach into their pockets and afford a lifestyle that promises to offer comfort, convenience and a sort of laid back luxury for its owners. With about one third sold as of June 2009, the condos, once only viewable via one floor plan in a model version are now open to be explored.
But what about the â€œmixed use neighborhoodâ€ feeling that is being promised? The stores that will offer residents the chance to leave their car at home (or in the garage in this case) and leisurely stroll along the city streets with virtually everything they will need within a comfortable walking radius?
Donâ€™t get me wrong â€“ I, as a resident of Burien (not of the new town square) already enjoy our local restaurants, stores and services, but there has long been an expectation and promise of more to come for not just the town square residents, but the rest of us as well. This is where the new leasing agency Leibsohn & Company stepped in after a recent switch in representation of the retail spaces available in the new town square. With spaces available from 1, 128 up to 7,315 square feet, there is really an unlimited amount of opportunities for any potential retailer from the smallest boutique to chain restaurant.
According to Ron Waldbaum, the current listed prices are shown at $28-$32 per square foot, however; â€œWe are ready to talk and make deals.â€
Mr. Waldbaum has a personal connection to the city of Burien and is very enthusiastic to see it succeed. When asked what types of business he would like to ideally see move into the vacant spaces he said: ones that would be of benefit to the residents making it nearly unnecessary for them to have to do more than walk down the street for all of the things they might need. Coffee shops, paper products, salons and spas and a variety of culinary options would be the ideal candidates.
â€œFor interested retailers being the first to lease a space would be of great benefit. We are willing to customize the space as needed for their business,â€ said Waldbaum. â€œWe can break up the larger spaces or design something that works to fill them, whatever the client may need.â€
For the time being however, no official leases have been signed, but serious interested parties have been in contact with the Leibsohn & Company agents. We as residents will have to keep our fingers crossed that our beautiful new town square does not become reminiscent of a ghost town.