Nov. 2, 2015
Seabrook's Town Center Taking Shape
Whether you've followed Seabrook for several years or just for a few short weeks, you have undoubtedly heard about our upcoming Town Center - a central core of shops, restaurants, and living areas that will be the main hub of urban Seabrook activity.
Ever since the original Town Planning Charrette that birthed the vision behind Seabrook, we've been steadily inching towards our main street and our town center. That charrette – a creative meeting of designers, planners and architects – gave us this main street rendering:
Now, eleven years later, we are ecstatic to announce our latest, Town Center Charrette, which took place in Seabrook Oct 19-21, 2015, and yielded floor plan concepts and drawings for our new retail buildings. This charrette, led by Seabrook's founder, Casey Roloff and our town urbanist, Stephen Poulakos is the next step in implementing Seabrook’s town plan which was created by Portland architect, Laurence Qamar, Seabrook’s lead town planner.
As is tradition, several Seabrook homeowners and merchants attended and offered their hopes of how the Town Center will come together. Topics of interest from most homeowners and merchants included the “wish list” of new businesses (see below) and the concept drawings of the inn which is being co-designed by Washington architects, Mike Benjamin and Paul Moon. The three-story, 8-to-12 room inn will be located across from the Town Hall. A dramatic main floor entry is planned for the corner lot along Seabrook Avenue and may feature a bridal suite with a romantic, turret-view of the Town Hall.
Other discussions included a new home for the growing spa business and other retail possibilities. Citing a list provided by New Urbanism expert Bob Gibbs, from a 2014 study, Seabrook's main street could potentially house: jewelry, women’s shoes, fashion and clothing, bookstore, sunglasses, watches, toys, art gallery, outfitter clothing, and restaurants.
With increased retail shopping opportunities and new lodging availability in the next few years, a well-thought-out parking plan was developed during the three-day charrette. Centrally-located parking spaces will be available in the town center, all nicely hidden from the main walking areas of town. The large parking spaces will better accommodate residents, cottage rental guests, and shoppers.
One adjustment to Seabrook's original town plan was the relocation of a potential boutique hotel. Instead of its intended location on Front Street, the hotel will likely find its home on the bluff south of the Elk Creek oceanfront neighborhood. There, the hotel guests and visitors will enjoy a more dramatic view of the Pacific Ocean – similar to historic hotels along the Pacific Northwest coastline and the Puget Sound.
In its place on Front Street, a combination of townhomes, condos, and live-work spaces will be built at the core of Seabrook, allowing for a small-town urban feel and expansive views of the water.
The style of the town center strives to be reminiscent of Pacific Northwest Shingle style architecture, including classically designed upper floors with balconies and bay windows above large, storefront wooden windows. The goal is an effort to maximize ocean views.
At the charrette, designers Lew Oliver, Paul Moon, and Mike Benjamin created some stunning residential and commercial façades which will allow guests and shoppers to enjoy lovely water views from Seabrook's main street.
We are very excited for the direction in which the Town Center is headed. In just the past year, Seabrook's existing retail core has doubled in size with the addition of Frontager's Pizza Restaurant, Rusty Anchor Fitness, Red Velvet Bakery by the Sea, and Sweet Life candy store. Currently, we are just shy of 20,000 sq.ft of shops and restaurants along Front Street and Meriweather Street.
According to Bob Gibbs, the Pacific Coastal region around Seabrook can support 40,000 sq.ft of retail with its current traffic. As the amount of people who enjoy the beach increases each year, there is an endless potential for great businesses on the Washington Coast, some of which are Seabrook's main attractions.
The recent Town Center Charrette puts to paper the beginning of Seabrook's main street plans. Watch for more to come in the near future as the design of the first buildings of the main street continue to evolve. We cannot be more excited to have you visit them once they're finished!
If you would like more information, send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as the holiday approach, be sure to seek out our existing town merchants for your holiday shopping.