Port, Downtown Anacortes Alliance partner to support downtown preservation and economic vitality

June 9, 2023 | News

Running along the north end of Commercial Avenue, just two blocks west of Cap Sante Marina, you’ll find the bustling, vibrant, and historic downtown Anacortes. With a rich history spanning over a century, downtown Anacortes has played a pivotal role as the center of commercial, civic, and cultural activities for the city and broader community. Recognizing its historical, social, and economic importance, the Downtown Anacortes Alliance (DAA) was founded in 2021 with the goal of reinforcing and enhancing the downtown area’s character while supporting its growth.

The DAA is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to making the community’s vision for a sustainable and prosperous downtown a reality. The DAA focuses primarily on supporting the preservation and economic vitality of the downtown area while preserving its unique character as a historic small town.

Guided by the principles of the Washington State Main Street Program, the DAA has identified goals that focus on collaborating with the local community, preserving historic buildings, promoting downtown businesses and organizations, and supporting economic prosperity. Currently the DAA is working on several beautification projects that align with these overall goals and vision. Projects include restoring the city’s welcome arch and creating a maritime-themed asphalt painting at the intersection of 10th Street and Commercial Avenue. These projects help freshen the look of the downtown entrance and represent the vibrancy of our community.

The Port of Anacortes has partnered with the DAA since its formation to support the community’s goals for Anacortes’ downtown. With Port-owned property bordering the east and north of downtown, the Port plays a unique and important role in supporting the organization’s vision and working toward shared goals of regional economic vitality and enhanced quality of life. Cap Sante Marina, located a few blocks east of downtown, attracts locals and visitors who contribute to commerce in the downtown area. The Port also has plans to improve public and pedestrian access to downtown by connecting JKL docks to the Depot with new sidewalks and crosswalks along Market Street.

The Port remains committed to supporting the DAA as it continues its work to ensure downtown remains a meaningful, joyful, and economically productive center for our community. When our community thrives, the Port thrives along with it, and we look forward to working together to support a vibrant and prosperous downtown Anacortes.