Newest Mission task force will take a look at bringing people, business to Johnson Drive after construction ends

Johnson Drive_Dearborn Street Looking East_Corner
A vision of what Johnson Drive will look like when construction is finished.

Mission will have a second task force this year focused on the revival of Johnson Drive. A city task force on Johnson Drive parking is scheduled to present its findings to the full city council this week while another task force could start in October to look at how to maximize business in Mission’s downtown.

This will be the third task force formed in Mission this year. Another group just getting started is looking at marketing possibilities for the Sylvester Powell Community Center with an eye toward possible reduction of the subsidy that the city provides.

The newest task force will look at ways to bring customers and new businesses to Johnson Drive after the reconstruction of the street ends this fall. The street is nearing the end of a rebuild from storefront to storefront.

The task force will he chaired by Mission councilors Debbie Kring and Steven Lucas. Mayor Steve Schowengerdt said he wants to take a look at how some other cities have been successful in making their downtown areas vibrant. “I don’t know exactly what we can do,” he said, suggesting that is the reason for the task force. Some development tools also may be on the table.

Kring said the group, which is yet to be formed, could look at the physical appearance of buildings, the types of businesses that might be recruited to draw more activity, and what comparable cities have done. “We are open to what would be best (for the city) … and what would draw the most interest.” The goal, she said, is to draw business and people to Johnson Drive.

“It took a lot of courage to pull the trigger,” Schowengerdt said of former mayor Laura McConwell’s work on rebuilding the street through the heart of downtown Mission. Construction is expected to end in November after months of disruption in the major rebuild.