I agree with the feelings behind the commentary by Meg Sloss, on the closing of The Wash Mill in the Davis Manor Shopping Center on Eighth Street. I don’t know if The Wash Mill laundromat actually closed Sunday, or if the lease was extended.
I wrote by email to the present mayor, mayor pro tempore and Community Development Department staff on the scheduled closing, which now leaves one laundromat in the city limits open to the public. The Wash Mill served the nearby community at Eighth Street and Pole Line Road, who live in a densely populated neighborhood and may or may not have much in the way of amenities since the structures are older construction. I consider laundry facilities a basic service.
What I want to add is that it seems this move, by the corporate decision-makers of Goodwill Industries, the landowner/landlord of Davis Manor center and city Community Development decision-makers allowing the expansion of a retailer, Goodwill (and thereby the closing of the laundromat), to impact the laundry users in a big way. This downgrades the quality of life for the patrons who need the laundromat.
Somehow, couldn’t a smarter design, or a development agreement among these three entities and the operator of the laundromat, have been brought about in a cooperative manner? Was that thoroughly explored? I really don’t know.
I would ask anyone who doesn’t think this matters to stand with bags of the week’s laundry, at an unsheltered bus stop in winter weather, or walk on foot to the only laundromat now open, with a couple of children or other family members in tow.
I just wanted to speak up and ask the question, if all that could have been done, has been done or asked. Davis is a good community based on good walkability and livability in its design. However, the result of these decisions is a large ding — a big negative — for the community that has depended on an open, accessible, well-maintained, reasonable-cost laundromat for their basic services.