Photo by Magnolia Beautification Committee: Construction workers dig a hole in the sidewalk on McGraw Street in Magnolia last week to prepare the area for the installation of poles from which to hang flower baskets. The project is just one included in phase 1 of the Reimagine Magnolia Village campaign.
Photo by Magnolia Beautification Committee: Construction workers dig a hole in the sidewalk on McGraw Street in Magnolia last week to prepare the area for the installation of poles from which to hang flower baskets. The project is just one included in phase 1 of the Reimagine Magnolia Village campaign.

More work is being done on phase 1 of the Reimagine Magnolia Village beautification project, as workers dug holes last week that will soon hold 10 poles from which flowering pots will hang. 

They are just one of the projects to be completed under the guidance of the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee, which is overseeing the effort to make Magnolia’s business core more attractive to visitors and benefit the small businesses in the village. 

“As you well know, small businesses are working hard every day to survive, and what we’re trying to do is make that easier,” Magnolia Beautification Committee Chairwoman Cheryl McQuiston said. 

The idea for the project began as a community discussion spearheaded by chamber members, business owners and community members who wanted to see the village core revitalized.

McQuiston said people have talked about wanting to see the village improved for years, but the campaign really took shape with the creation of the beautification committee, which features 10 people with backgrounds complementary to spearheading the campaign, including two business owners, a retired architect and an arborist. 

The beautification project has been split into five phases, with the first targeting West McGraw Street, between 32nd and 33rd avenues west. Once complete, the area will feature sidewalk seating, umbrella tables, hanging baskets and bistro lighting. 

McQuiston said the idea for the Reimagine Magnolia Village beautification project was so popular, that the committee easily raised the $120,000 fundraising goal in two and a half months of phase 1. It also received a $25,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant from the City of Seattle. 

McQuiston said phase 1 will be finished this spring, and Magnolia will celebrate its completion in conjunction with the Magnolia Farmers Market summer season launch Saturday, June 6. Meanwhile, aspects of phase 2 have already begun, including permit seeking and fundraising.

The end product should include adding new benches, poles and flowering baskets, a porous pavement around existing trees and the planting of a new Magnolia tree, according to the 2019 Magnolia Beautification Committee newsletter. Phase 2 will include West McGraw, from 33rd through 34th avenues west. Phase 3 will focus on West McGraw from 34th through 35th avenues west, and phases 4 and 5 will target 32nd and 33rd avenues west from West Smith to West Lynn. 

Each of the phases will include many of the same elements featured in the others, beautification committee member Ann Goos said.

The goal is to update the entire area of Magnolia Village proper and ensure it is attractive, pedestrian safe, beautiful and welcoming to visitors and the neighborhood.

Goos said the desired result is making Magnolia Village a real attraction for visitors, while benefiting the business owners.

“We want more foot traffic,” Goos said. “We want people to linger.”

McQuiston said the Reimagine Magnolia Campaign is happening at an ideal time. Already the community has a number of popular draws for tourists and residents, including Discovery Park, its farmers market and community pool. She said it also has an award-winning library and growing public schools accommodating the neighborhood’s young families. 

“Magnolia is really for its renaissance because it has gone through a generation change,” McQuiston said. 

She said Magnolia Chamber of Commerce members hope this campaign will spur other efforts in other areas of the community.

To that end, large flower pots that had been situated in the village were donated to businesses in other sections of Magnolia as a goodwill effort and a commitment to create a welcoming business district, Goos said.

The Magnolia chamber supports all various business districts and services in the greater Magnolia neighborhood, which includes the village proper as well businesses and services situated along Thorndyke, the Elliott Bay Marina, in and near Fishermen’s Terminal, Interbay, along the 15th Ave/Elliott Avenue West corridor, and Government Way.

“The chamber is dedicated to working with the businesses and the community in all of Magnolia and stands ready to advance ongoing improvements to meet the chamber’s mission and serve our members,” Goos said in an email.

To learn more about the Reimagine Magnolia campaign or to donate, visit discovermagnolia.org/mbc.