This I like to see:
Initial streetscape construction is scheduled to start late this year, and CDA Chairman Raymond Krueger is pressing for the bulk of the work to be done in 2008, with some finishing work to be done in 2009. That is a faster pace than had been envisioned. The initial timetable called for most of the streetscaping to be done in 2009, because so much utility and sidewalk work is needed in 2008.
Now, whether the CDA can actually make the rusty village gears grind faster, I know not. But it's a great sign that someone "gets" the urgency of what needs to be done on Silver Spring before more businesses close their doors.
There's another story about The Drive today .. here's a clip:
Whether Whitefish Bay residents want more four-story buildings in the East Silver Spring Drive shopping district as it redevelops is one of the questions officials hope will be answered at the second visioning session (mid-to-late February) to be held by the Community Development Authority.
Truly, I haven't thought much about the height of any new buildings on Silver Spring. No doubt, the Condotastrophy on SS and Lake looms large over the street, and I've heard from neighbors who hate that aspect.
What's going in those 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stories of possible new buildings? Condos? I will say I don't believe Silver Spring needs condos in order to survive. I do recall one of the bullet points of renewing urban retail is "turning night into day" .. which would be enhanced by people actually living on Silver Spring. But what are we talking here, 10 units? 20? An extra 40 people living on SS isn't going to make or break its success. There's probably 2,000 people within a two minute walk.
It's the businesses, stupid. You need quality businesses and restaurants that generate foot traffic for the benefit of all establishments on the street for it to thrive. The focus should be on the ground level. What's above that is gravy.