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Are you concerned about Redding’s future? Do you want more job opportunities and a better quality of life? If so, look no further than Park Marina Drive.
Right now, the Park Marina Drive riverfront features many shuttered businesses and empty lots.
The Polynesian-style buildings once looked sharp, but are now a dated strip mall. Aqua Golf is the only business that uses the opportunities of the riverfront location.
Couldn’t there be a mix of retail and office with some restaurants and open space? Couldn’t there be a place where a grandfather and the grand kids could buy an ice cream cone and feed the ducks and geese? Couldn’t there be a place where a younger couple could drink and dance?
Redding has so much to offer to big city people who want to experience the outdoors. Let’s say a family from Sacramento drives up for a three-day weekend. Let’s say they spend Saturday at Whiskeytown Lake and Sunday at Lassen Peak. But what do they do at night, after they’ve returned from those places? Do they hang out at the hotel pool and listen to the traffic on Hilltop Drive?
Redding could become a destination city if it had a beautiful and unique riverfront, a place to unwind after a hard day of fun.
How do we get there? Much of the land along Park Marina Drive is leased, and many of those leases are coming up in a few years. The business opportunities are so great; something will happen. Much of the land along Park Marina Drive is owned by the Kutras family. This family has been beat up by everyone telling them what they should do.
Could we restart the conversation? Could we get everyone around a table: the land owners, people with money to invest, people with experience in successful development and, yes, the Redding City Council.
The river itself is public property. This section of the riverfront is private property. If developed with a long view, the property owners could become wealthy public benefactors.
The river’s beauty could become an enduring benefit for all.
Steve Woodrum lives in Redding.