At my beer summit with mayoral candidate Carlos Jara this week, he mentioned that his response to my comments about his IKEA remak (follow that?) didn’t appear in the comments section of the article. True enough. I looked into it and it was caught by my spam filter (take that for what you will.) My conversation with Jara will be posted later this evening, but here’s his comment in response to me calling his  idea of an IKEA in East Bremerton “delusional.”

Thanks for blogging this story.

When I discussed the vision for our Wheaton Way Corridor, I believe it can become the core commercial center for Bremerton.

Currently, Wheaton serves as a means to get Bremertonians to the Wal-Mart or Silverdale. Granted, there are many businesses on the corridor, my discussion is merely a “what if” situation regarding actually diverting the through-traffic to more Bremerton-based businesses that would in effect generate local sales tax dollars.

I picked a company like IKEA because it is a differentiator. There is nothing like that in Silverdale. Other businesses are already super-saturated in Silverdale (home improvement, department stores, restaurants, etc).

By working to gain a unique business, it would serve to develop further business opportunity in the area.

It does not have to be an IKEA, but it shouldn’t be a Best Buy. It could be and REI, but not a Home Depot. It has to be new and unique to the peninsula in order to serve as a draw for the masses, thus allowing Bremerton to generate new sales tax dollars and jobs.

The draw of the new destination would in effect create new business and employment opportunities, since businesses need to be located near major draws or highways to improve their chances of survival and profitability.

I am curious on what other types of businesses folks would be interested and supportive of on the Wheaton Way commercial corridor.

Regarding the Sonics, that would be more of a challenge. However, I am supportive of the Pumas SC’s desire to possibly build a multi-use stadium at the old East High School location, something that would benefit Bremerton and Kitsap.

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