Downtown Plan Adopted!

On October 1, the Lakewood City Council adopted the Downtown Subarea Plan, Downtown Development Code, and Planned Action Ordinance.  The Plan went effect November 1, 2018. 

Following a 2017 economic analysis of Lakewood’s downtown and the local area, the City Council directed the Downtown to be focused on meeting the daily needs of local residents. In terms of retail and services, this is the opportunity to provide: 

• Daily goods and services, including groceries, personal care products, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.

• Professional and healthcare services, including financial services, dental offices, and trend towards retail-based medical providers.

The Plan reflects input from hundreds of Lakewood citizens of all ages and walks of life.  It reflects both Lakewood’s unique past and also desire to create a Downtown that works for today’s and tomorrow’s residents, including incentivizing new types of housing and services within walking distance of each other.

The final Plan anticipates a new civic park, a new linear park, a new festival area, catalyst sites where growth will be encouraged first over the next 20 years, improvements to Gravelly Lake Drive and Bridgeport Way, converting Lakewood Towne Center Boulevard into a public street, and design standards for new buildings and parking that will preserve the Colonial District’s character as well as give the subarea a “facelift” over time.   

The area in and around the Towne Center is envisioned as a magnet for intensive mixed use urban development including higher density office and residential uses.

At the north end of the Plan area, the Colonial Center will serve as the hub of Lakewood's cultural activity. Higher quality, denser urban redevelopment is expected within the District, noticeably increasing social, cultural, and commercial activity. Streetscape and other urban design improvements will make this area more accessible and inviting to pedestrians.

The Planned Action Ordinance will also make developing in the Downtown easier and faster for property owners and developers.  It includes the required environmental analysis for the entire area, so when an individual application is submitted, the permit review will be streamlined.  The Downtown Development Code is intended to be user friendly and allow for creativity while requiring the desired designs standards expressed by citizens.

You can view the adopted Plan, Code and Planned Action Ordinance on the Plans & Documents Page.

Big Ideas for Downtown

On December 11 and December 13, 2017, the Downtown plan team presented visioning outreach and design charrette results to the City Council and Planning Commission. See the summary presentation here.

Big ideas for Downtown include:

  • 2 to 4-acre park near City Hall
  • Green street loop with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • Site for additional civic uses near City Hall
  • Improved public street grid in the Towne Center
  • Gateways along major arterials at the entrance to Downtown
  • Road diet and multi-use path on Gravelly Lake Drive
  • Catalyst sites for redevelopment
  • Connection to active park
  • Motor Avenue Improvements
  • Restore Seely Lake Park

Overall Concept Plan:

2017_1129 Lakewood Downtown Overall Concept Plan-01-01.jpg

The Lakewood Towne Center is one of several catalyst sites that could help transform the Downtown into a mixed-use area with civic amenities, walkable streets, housing, entertainment, restaurants, retail, and other employment.

Take a three-dimensional tour of possible options for future development in the Towne Center area, narrated by Seth Harry, an urban designer on the project team. The video illustrates ideas that grew out of the Downtown design charrette and outreach results. The ideas shown represent a range of future options and are not specific development plans.

Next Steps: Options for the Towne Center along with the “big ideas” across the Downtown will be evaluated in a Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement anticipated the first quarter of 2018. At that time, the City of Lakewood will host additional opportunities for public, property owner, and agency comment to help shape a preferred plan.

Your Downtown Ideas!

The team will be presenting results of the charrette and the rest of the 12 outreach events this fall to the City Council on December 11, 2017 (7 PM)  and the Planning Commission on December 13, 2017 (6:30 PM), at City Hall. Concepts for how the Downtown could be enhanced are part of the presentation. See the outreach summaries including the charette at our Plans + Documents page.

The City is also conducting a scoping period to help shape the contents and alternatives to be studied in the Planned Action Environmental Impact Statement from December 8 to December 29, 2017. See the scoping notice and contact information to provide comments.

Thank You!

A big thank you  to the Lakewood community for contributing your ideas about the future of Lakewood’s Downtown at the Vision charrette November 15 to 18! We have also heard from many of you at our online survey. If you haven’t taken the survey yet, there’s still a chance to participate through Friday 12/1 – just click this link: Thank you for your interest Downtown Lakewood. Summary results should be ready in the first part of December; check back soon.

Want a say in Lakewood development? Now's your chance.

Want to have a say in how Lakewood's downtown is developed over time? We have three meetings coming up where you can add your ideas.

These neighborhood open houses are part of a year-long planning process the city initiated to shape the evolution of its central business district - the roughly 300 acres of commercial real estate that includes the Lakewood Towne Center, Colonial Center and East Commercial District.

The goal is to see these areas transformed into pedestrian-friendly commercial areas that include a mix of development like residential, retail, restaurants and entertainment. The city hired BERK Consulting to conduct the planning process, which will rely heavily on public input.

The launch of these public meetings begin next week with three opportunities for people to learn more and offer feedback. Additional public meetings will be held throughout the course of this planning effort. 

  • Wed, Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m., City Hall (6000 Main St SW).
  • Thurs, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m. at 10310 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW. Be part of interactive discussions, see sketches and give your ideas.


  • Sat, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 10310 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW. See how downtown plans have evolved and help critique them.

Come to any or all the meetings - drop in, share your thoughts and enjoy refreshments.

Take this online survey to share your ideas.



Come to Lakewood’s Downtown Charrette!

What do you want in your Downtown? Lakewood is creating a Downtown Plan and needs your ideas!

A major goal of the City of Lakewood is to create a Downtown in the central business district, redeveloping it into a rich urban area with civic amenities, walkable streets, and a mix of uses including housing, entertainment, restaurants, and retail. Downtown has significant economic and cultural assets and some challenges to achieve this goal.

Lakewood's Downtown Charrette is a multi-day event meant to inspire creative ideas and quick problem solving among community residents, property owners, businesses, developers, and designers. Members of the project team including urban designers, planners, and engineers will be there, together with City officials and Planning Commissioners.

Come to any or all of the dates! You are invited to drop in and share your thoughts. Refreshments will be available.

Can’t make the charrette? Feel free to provide your ideas and comments here:

What is the Lakewood Downtown Plan?

The City of Lakewood is planning the future of Downtown including the Town Center and abutting commercial districts totaling around 300 acres. The Downtown plan will build up past planning efforts and describe a vision, land use and design, gathering places, and action strategies for Lakewood’s central business district or “Downtown”. New design-oriented zoning standards and upfront environmental review will be part of the plan and will help bring about desired change and development.

The Lakewood Downtown Plan team is coming to you!

We will be at several community events in October:

§   October 13, 3-5 pm:  Boo Han Market - Intercept Survey (map)

§   October 14, 12-3 pm: Truck and Tractor Day at Fort Steilacoom – come to our booth

§   October 16, 6 pm: Youth Council at City Hall (map)

We will also be at the JBLM PX on October 30 and at the JBLM Commissary on November 5.

Also, stay tuned for a public design workshop and an online survey in mid-November. See the project website for more information on events:

Tell us what you think: What do you want in your Downtown? Where are good places for parks, trails, and gathering spaces? How can we retain and attract businesses? Where are opportunities to add quality housing choices? Where can we improve circulation and parking?

How to find more information: Please see the project website for more information and events and how you can volunteer and give your ideas:


Hello Lakewood!

The City of Lakewood turned 20 in 2016. Since the City incorporated the community has consistently identified urban design and creating a stronger sense of place and community identity as a high priority. As a newer city Lakewood never developed a traditional downtown or main street that is found in many older cities. The Lakewood Downtown Plan is an opportunity to build upon past planning efforts to achieve progress on the community's vision for a Downtown.

To develop the plan and priorities the City will be engaging the community so your voice can be heard. We want to hear from you! In collaboration with the City Council and Planning Commission, we developed a public participation plan to identify outreach and engagement activities designed to help us listen to the community, generate big ideas, and come up with a great downtown plan. Priorities may include new parks and open spaces, street improvements to support walking and biking, new community facilities such as a library, events and placemaking in public spaces, new housing options, job opportunities, and support for new businesses and local services.

This website will be updated frequently with the latest project updates and you can sign up to receive updates via email.  Check the events page for upcoming public outreach events including a design charrette in November.

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Farmer’s Market – September 5, 2017

What do you want to do in Downtown Lakewood? That’s a question we asked of folks at the Lakewood Farmer’s Market on September 5th. Here are some ideas we heard on how to make Downtown Lakewood the place you want to be.