Bremerton Downtown Smart Strategies


Bremerton, Washington

Bremerton is a prime example of an aging downtown that, with some help, is now undergoing an urban renaissance.  Traditionally a ‘Navy town' and the cultural and employment center of Kitsap County, it had become tarnished through disinvestment, vacancy and the underutilization of land.

Like many older cores, however, Bremerton retained much of its earlier qualities, such as the intimate scale of its gridded streets, distinctive historic buildings, and diverse uses that anchor a unique character within the downtown. Its ferry terminal has frequent service to downtown Seattle and is a hub for Kitsap Transit.

Fortunately, the auto-oriented surface parking lots and single-story buildings of the post-war era now offer great opportunities for mixed-use infill to tighten the knit of existing uses and are the focus of the City’s downtown revitalization plan.

Bremerton Downtown Smart Strategies knit together dormant ideas from several previous citizen initiatives, developer proposals and city plans into one cohesive program that could  spur development. Affordable and market rate housing was sponsored by the Kitsap County Housing Authority.  A civic center brought jobs both from scattered city and county government offices and through private sector growth. Publicly funded district parking garages freed up surface lots for infill construction. Park and streetscape improvements livened public space. The most dramatic change, though, is the retail/hotel/convention complex at the waterfront that has remade Bremerton into a regional destination again. In the few years since its adoption, the downtown plan has encouraged at least 25 separate redevelopment projects, totaling over $500 million.  

The Boardwalk becomes a focal point for community events
Public art celebrates Bremerton’s Navy heritage
The Kitsap Conference Center anchors events and activities
 A range of new housing brings affordable homes and luxury condos to Downtown
New housing and Conference Center integrates the Waterfront with Downtown
The Master Plan proposed infill for historic Downtown and a renewed Waterfront

Project Summary



Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, Washington


Downtown Master Plan | Urban Infill


Mixed-use revitalization of downtown area | Civic Center| Waterfront includes boardwalk, ferry terminal/transit center, open space, new hotel, retail, and high-density housing


Design completed 2004 | Waterfront and Civic Center largely completed