Thank you for printing the guest column by Christina Cox in the Jan. 18 Queen Anne News. I appreciate hearing her interests and her commit-ments to the community. From what I understand of the project so far, however, it is not what she claims it to be. I'm not talking about the grocer tenant and Ms. Cox's thoughtful history of QFC; I don't doubt she has her facts right there. I'm talk-ing about Ms. Cox's commitment to making this a pedestrian- and family-friendly development.
As I walk the streets of Queen Anne and talk with my neighbors, not one has been approving of Ms. Cox's proposal. In fact, many have been outright angry in their disapproval of it. From her guest column, one would have to wonder why. After all, replacing a 40-year-old grocery store with a new, upscale retail building is what many communities dream of. My hope is that you'll fully investigate this story and present the other side.
My investigation has concluded that it's partly about the loss of Met Market, but more about what defines the neighborhood. As your newspaper and your readership know, Queen Anne is a unique neighborhood with quiet, walkable streets and pleasant, unique retail shops and services. That's what has attracted so many families here, especially in the past 15 years. And every neighbor I've talked to feels that both of those qualities are threatened by Ms. Cox's proposal. While Ms. Cox thinks she has proposed a unique shopping experience, it's being received as increased car traffic and chain-store tenants inside a dressed-up strip mall. And that understandably makes people upset; a few outdoor tables won't encourage pedestrians to sit if the increased car traffic discourages them from the area.
I wasn't sure Ms. Cox and the other developers of Queen Anne Place recognized how unique and special a place Queen Anne is. [After reading the column,] I still don't think she's fully got it, but she's getting closer by regurgitating the soundbites she's heard at community meetings. Now, if only she would follow through by actually implementing these concerns into her proposed development.
Kirk Mattson, Queen Anne