OLYMPIA, Wash. - Alicia Elliott has big plans for a lot that has sat vacant in Olympia since 1997.
The single mother wants to turn it into a privately-owned, public park.
She can, because she owns it.
“This is what I would call real wealth,” said Elliott, who spent $450,000 on the property.
She made the money from an inheritance and does not expect to make a profit off the purchase.
“It’s not about money,” said Elliott. “It’s about a tangible investment in my community.”
Past developers wanted to open a 7-11 at the lot at Division and Harrison on Olympia’s Westside, but neighbors fought the plan in court, and won.
Elliott bought the land so she and other neighbors would not have to worry about what might eventually end up on the lot.
“I was tired of the stress it was causing,” said Elliott.
She estimates she needs another $150,000 in donations to get the park open by summer 2014.
Donors can find out how to help at the park’s website, www.aparkforus.org