Implementation Strategy for Historic Downtown: Our first big project is to define a detailed vision for downtown and a roadmap to achieve it. Volunteers from across the community are participating in work groups for each focus area (Outreach, Promotion, Design, and Economic Development). Each group is creating a proposed list of goals and projects for community review and adoption. With the adoption of an overall strategy, the community will have a comprehensive list of ideas and projects for enhancing our downtown. Some projects will be quick and inexpensive, others will require sustained work and attention. 

Projects by Focus Area


  • Recent Projects:
  • In-Flight Projects:
    • Refresh the paint, and lighting on the “Welcome to Historic Downtown Anacortes” Arch (launch Spring 2023)
    • Painted Curb Extensions at 10th and Commercial (Planning workshop February 2023; launch Spring 2023)
    • Work with City of Anacortes to update policies and guidance for the parklets on Commercial. (Spring 2023).
    • Work with City of Anacortes to add ‘Free Parking’ signs to public lots downtown (Spring 2023)
    • Support local businesses interested in repainting their buildings by providing a historic paint color palette that includes discounts at paint stores in our district.
    • Visit Langley Main Street with our local garden organization to learn and get new ideas for how to beautify downtown.
  • Possible Future Projects: Figure out the right mix for parking, street use and traffic management. Work with prospective developers to include desirable features that fit into the community. Beautify downtown streetscapes with more plants, flowers and amenities like benches, tables, and bike racks. Bring more public art to downtown. Spruce up some of the plain building fronts with historic building details. Explore alleyway clean-ups and enhancements throughout downtown. Establish public open spaces.


  • Recent Projects:
  • In-Flight Projects:
    • Kicked off our first ‘friendraising’ campaign – Friends of Downtown Anacortes (December 2022)
    • Kicked off a campaign to enroll local businesses in the success of downtown – Our Community Supporters. (April 2023)
    • Created Facebook and Instagram pages that share 2-3 posts a week showcasing all of the great things happening in downtown Anacortes. (April 2023)
  • Possible Future Projects: Identify “cross agency” challenges and opportunities for shared solutions or projects. Find public – private partnerships to do larger projects. Create a “talent bank” for future projects.


  • Recent Projects:
  • In-Flight Projects:
    • We are planning the 2023 sidewalk sale, Whale of a Sale on Saturday June 24th. We have increased the number of participating businesses from 4 to nearly 30. For the first time, we are working with local restaurants to do outdoor drink specials, and local musicians to do busking and music on the street for the event.
  • Possible Future Projects: Evaluate directional signage that guides visitors to our downtown corridor businesses and community-friendly amenities. 

Economic Development:

  • Recent Projects:
    • We inventoried the businesses in our district, built out a CRM system to make it easy for us to contact business owners individually or in groups, and interviewed over 30 different downtown business owners to make sure that our plans support local business.  (September 2022 – present)
  • Possible Future Projects: Find ways to help our local businesses survive and thrive. Find resources for maintenance and renovations. Provide technical assistance in business planning and management. Work with property owners to encourage maintenance, improvement, or renovation of current buildings. Develop matching grants for storefront enhancements.

The list goes on and on. Do you have project ideas to share? We’re eager to hear them! Go to the contact page to send us an email or message. 

A Community created by a common vision and shared work is where it all starts. Join us!