Look at any map of Spokane and you will not find the words “South Perry." Yet in the local (and national) media you hear a lot about Spokane’s “revitalized” South Perry neighborhood. Real estate agents refer to the South Perry neighborhood when listing the amenities of a property. I'd like to engage you in a conversation about this emerging identity. What is causing our neighborhood’s positive evolution? We’ll explore this question for a while, and then look ahead toward a shared vision for this community. But first I want to set the stage:
The label “South Perry” is relatively new among the many names this area has had over the years. The longest lasting label is the “Liberty Park Neighborhood” as evidenced by the buildings and businesses bearing this name (Liberty Park Florist, Liberty Park United Methodist Church). The neighborhood overlooked the beautiful Liberty Park, which is now buried by I-90. After losing Liberty Park, the neighborhood suffered blight and ambiguity. Grant Elementary and the new Grant Park were our strongest identifiers, while the business district on Perry Street declined and then rebounded. The walkable character and affordable housing in the neighborhood led many urbanites and community minded home buyers here. Historic homes were restored and occupied, and businesses gained access to a locally minded clientele.
The City of Spokane identified “South Perry” as a neighborhood business center, and then gave it priority (along with several other districts) for funding and planning assistance. Local business leaders in the district partnered with the city to implement a three-phase streetscape improvement project. Phase one and two were completed. More businesses sought the Perry location. Finally, two evening hours service oriented businesses, The Lantern Tavern and South Perry Pizza, opened to create all hours commerce and community.
Have you been in the neighborhood long enough to see this process? What happened? What is happening?
Posted by Spencer Grainger