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Cleo’s Landing remodel hopes to spruce downtown

KINGSTON — In a sweeping gesture of creativity and inspiration, Cleo’s Landing owner Susan Rodgers is working on a remodel that could benefit the Kingston Art Gallery in a big way. With fingers crossed and paint brushes ready, art gallery board members and artists are hoping to add an extra 600 square feet to the center by next summer.

The new space could be used for a classroom for the creatively motivated organization, something members and Rodgers are counting on to help give the downtown Kingston core a little more color. Cleo’s Landing is located on State Route 104, an area primed to be used for shops.

“I’m hoping there’s a need for commercial space, and I’m hoping more there’s a need for customers,” Rodgers said. “There are a lot of people who walk across on the boat, it sure would be nice to have more for them to do. I’m going with the highest possible end I can with my budget.”

That end includes replacing the garage doors on the Kingston Art Gallery building to make the structure more environmentally friendly, and planting a rooftop garden. By replacing the large doors, Rodgers said the building will retain heat better in the winter, cutting electricity use and costs. The rooftop garden, she said, was something she is doing especially for herself and the artists involved with the gallery. Construction on these improvements will begin Sept. 18, and work on the larger remodel will begin as soon as the permit has been approved. Kingston Art Gallery will be closed for two weeks to accommodate the work.

“By next July, we’ll have a rooftop garden and (600) square feet to use,” said Kingston Art Gallery vice chairwoman Karyn Cott. She said the space could also be used for showing more pieces. “Either that or we’ll use it as a classroom space, or we can rent it out to another venue that’s art related. Mainly, we’re thinking of using it as classroom space.”

Cleo’s Landing also includes the small cottage on the corner of SR 104 and West Kingston Road, and Rodgers said she is doing some improvements to strengthen the connection between the two buildings. Crews are working to install stairs and improve the small amount of parking available to Cleo’s Landing. She said all of the improvements will help bring more retail and attention to Kingston’s downtown.

“We really want it to be integral in the community,” Cott said of the gallery. “We want to be more noticeable in the community, and draw the community together... We’ve been hoping by opening up, and having classroom space, we’ll expose more artists that are in the North Kitsap community.”

Rodgers said she is interested in having the gallery use the soon-to-be-added space, but she will also outfit it with capabilities for other businesses or shops in case the gallery decides not to lease it.

“I have every hope the gallery will survive and thrive in Kingston,” she said. “I really hope they have the drive to take the new space.”

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