Western Crossing board meets, waterfront planning continues

Western Today staff

The Western Crossing development board on May 4 approved its bylaws, discussed university plans for the waterfront and authorized beginning the process of seeking a tax exempt status for the development entity.

With Western and many other government agencies as well as developers facing a severe lack of funding and capital because of the recession, WWU nevertheless continues to fully support and actively seek out various options for a university presence at the waterfront, university officials said.

“Western continues to aggressively look at many possible options at the waterfront,” said Steve Swan, vice president for University Relations “Our vision for a dynamic presence on the waterfront has not changed and planning will continue in order to be ready when funding becomes more readily available.”

Last year, WWU Trustees and the Port Commission approved creation of the Western Crossing development entity, whose governing board includes WWU Trustee Peggy Zoro, Western President Bruce Shepard, Port Commissioner Scott Walker and Port Executive Director Fred Seeger. A fifth member of the Western Crossing board has yet to be named.

Once fully established, Western Crossing could contract with a developer to either purchase or lease a parcel of land from the port. This land could include acreage for Western as well as additional property for adjacent commercial development.

At its meeting May 4, the Western Crossing board discussed WWU plans for waterfront development.

Swan described some of the planning under way by the university, including a White Paper that outlines some possible options for university waterfront development, such as a Community Learning Center and future development of WWU in relation to an emerging green economy. The White Paper is available on the WWU waterfront website here.

President Shepard explained that Western planning for the waterfront includes a focus on providing better access to Western programs for the community as well as partnering to help the local and regional economy. “How are we going to better connect with and serve our community?” Shepard asked.

Swan explained that the White Paper is intended to stimulate discussion on campus and in the community about Western’s future waterfront development.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 10:11am