Corridor Plans & Studies

Good Design: Urban Design, Streetscape, & Sustainable Development Best Practices
This document (PDF) presents a collection of downtown design "best practices" adopted in downtown areas throughout the U.S. and abroad. The best practices guide is intended to serve as a framework for future planning and development in downtown Olympia. In some cases, the city may have already adopted certain design principles. In other cases, the city may choose to incorporate additional guidelines suggested here, while others may be more difficult given physical, financial or policy constraints.

Martin Way District Survey Analysis

The City of Olympia and Thurston Regional Planning Council are collaborating to support the transformation of the Martin Way District in northeastern Olympia into an area with a richer mix of housing units, services and active transportation choices. The study (PDF), made possible by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant, will:
  • Define infrastructure needs
  • Define options for funding needed infrastructure
  • Explore how public funds can leverage improvements consistent with the corridor vision
  • Conduct a market analysis of properties in the district
  • Identify opportunities for development and redevelopment
Housing & Urban Development Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant Summary
The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) in partnership with the Thurston Regional Planning Council was contracted to conduct outreach to businesses located within the 4 primary districts identified as part of the Capitol Corridor of Thurston County and outlined by the HUD Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant. Those districts are described in the enclosed district summary reports (PDF) as the Capitol Boulevard Corridor, Brewery District, Woodland District and Martin Way Districts.

Investment Strategy: City of Olympia Opportunity Areas
This report, prepared by Berk and EcoNorthwest for the City of Olympia, begins to reframe the city’s approach to redevelopment, and is an important first step to the more comprehensive, proactive strategy that the Ad Hoc Committee envisioned. The report outlines a methodology and initial set of actions the city’s Community Development Department can use to guide its economic development and redevelopment activities. It suggests which tools available to the public sector (including incentives, regulations, facilitation of planning exercises and community conversations, and interactions with property owners) are most appropriate to specific areas within the city to more actively guide development outcomes in a market-responsive way. This report is presented in the following documents:
Analysis of Basic Needs Survey
This survey report (PDF) analyzes more than 1,000 survey responses from residents of Thurston County who do not traditionally participate in planning projects. This survey will help inform action in both the Creating Places - Preserving Spaces plan, and a more detailed urban corridor strategy.

In August 2012, The Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) conducted a Walkability Audit Workshop and a demonstration audit that looked at several areas along Thurston County’s urban corridors. The documents linked below contain information used during the training and audit, and a report illustrates the findings of the audit.
Survey of Land Use Regulations & Financial Tools
This report documents the implementation status of the regulatory and financial tools described in the University of Washington reference manual by jurisdictions in Thurston County. It also includes a snapshot of “best fit locations” and examples of other NW communities that are using these tools.

Downtown Olympia Redevelopment Studies
While the focus of the Urban Corridors Task Force is on the corridor leading into and out of downtown Olympia, much of the work undertaken by the City in recent years has some application to the challenges facing corridor infill and redevelopment. These studies, completed in 2009 and 2010, provide useful insights about market considerations, tools available to local government to help stimulate investment, and design principles that help ensure redevelopment is consistent with other community values.
City of Olympia Housing Study
Heartland, a Seattle-based real estate advisory and investment firm, was engaged by the City of Olympia to assist with refining and implementing a revitalization and redevelopment strategy for downtown Olympia. One of the city's core objectives for this strategy is to expand the availability of market rate and workforce multifamily housing in downtown by encouraging development of new mixed- or single-use stacked-flat housing projects. Read the City of Olympia Housing Study (PDF).

Redeveloping Thurston County

The purpose of the Redeveloping Thurston County Report (PDF) is to provide you with a snapshot of some of the movement that is taking place in the commercial real estate market in Thurston County. In the case studies, we identify some of the challenges and opportunities developers are experiencing throughout all stages of the development process, and highlight how ingenuity and collaboration are helping to create vibrant commercial districts and neighborhoods throughout our county.
Olympia Community Renewal Area
The city has retained ECONorthwest, an economics consulting firm from Portland, Oregon, to assist in conducting an overview of economic development opportunities and market realities in the community and to examine the feasibility of creation of a Community Renewal Area in downtown. To learn more, visit the Olympia Community Renewal page.