BREMERTON — Legendary musician and producer Quincy Jones has given the city of Bremerton his blessing to use his name for a $5 million public square project on Fourth Street.
In a letter to the city last week, Jones gave his official approval for the “Quincy Square” project — which aims to transform the area between Pacific and Washington avenues into a residential and commercial plaza and music venue — to bear his name.
“Bremerton has always held a special place in my heart as it was where I first discovered what would be my life’s passion, music,” Jones wrote. “As such, I would be honored and humbled to have my name grace the city’s new downtown district.”
Quincy Square is the work of a “Fourth Street Action Group” that includes architects Rice Fergus Miller and local developers Sound West Group. The group envisions a public plaza that can host large events with Jones as its central theme.
Jones spent some formative years in Bremerton during and after World War II. In 2016, he told “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that he first touched a piano in the city.
“I touched it,” Jones told Colbert, “And every cell in my body said, ‘This is what you’re gonna do the rest of your life.’”
Jones was made aware of the project in 2016 by former Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, who had asked him to attend a dedication ceremony and fundraiser for the square. He declined, citing scheduling conflicts.
At the time, Lent was told the square had Jones’ approval. But Wheeler wanted to secure the official go-ahead.
“The fact that he’s given us his endorsement in this gracious letter, I think that speaks volumes,” Wheeler told the Kitsap Sun.
The project is still in the design phase. So far, the city has received a federal grant of $300,000 to go with a $250,000 contribution from the state for preliminary work. The Bremerton City Council in September approved a $495,000 contract with Rice Fergus Miller to design the square; the firm vowed to have design drawings “bid-ready” by August 2019 to begin to compete for grant funding to construct the project.
A public meeting is scheduled for early April for the public to give input on the project.
Jones, 85, added that he is looking forward to visiting Quincy Square once it is finished.
“I want to thank the city leaders and residents for this gracious recognition,” he wrote.