Purchase and Sales Agreement
The City Council approved a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Big Rock Capital Partners to sell the former Griswold’s property to them. They plan on building a 7,000 square foot co-working space that is planned to be managed by the Evergreen State College and the Thurston Economic Development Council. They also are planning to building 30 apartments in a four story building. At least 51% of the apartments will be affordable.
Downtown Community Renewal
Olympia’s downtown is the urban center for the entire region supporting key arts, entertainment, business and government resources. While Downtown Olympia is an active and vibrant place with fantastic amenities, many feel that it has not fully realized its potential.
The City is using a planning tool known as Community Renewal Area (CRA) to help transform downtown.
More about Creating a Community Renewal Area
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35.81.010(18) provides for the creation of Community Renewal Areas (CRA) where there are significant blighting influences stating, "there is an urgent need to enhance the ability of municipalities to act effectively and expeditiously to revive blighted areas and to prevent further blight due to shocks to the economy of the state and their actual and threatened effects on unemployment, poverty, and the availability of private capital for businesses and projects in the area."
What We Are Doing
The City has an interest in improving the downtown and would like to work more directly with private property owners and the community to develop an action plan to help downtown flourish. To accomplish this the City has:
- Retained ECONorthwest to assist in conducting an overview of economic development opportunities and market realities in the community.
- Formed an Ad Hoc Community Economic & Revitalization Committee to help guide the process consisting of Mayor Pro Tem and Chair Nathaniel Jones, Councilmember Jim Cooper, and Councilmember Julie Hankins.
Formed a Citizens Advisory Committee to provide feedback and input to staff and the consultant as the planning process proceeds.
- On February 3, 2015, the Council passed a Community Renewal Area (CRA) Resolution forming a CRA boundary and directed staff to work with property owners and developers to develop a specific set of actions for which community renewal powers would be appropriate.
- On July 12, 2016, the Council adopted both the Community Renewal Plan and a Request for Proposal (RFP) to redevelop the City-owned site known as the former Griswold property.
Additonal Information and Resources
Community Renewal Area Presentations
CERC Support Manual
2014 CERC and CRA Meetings and Materials
2013 CRA Meetings and Materials
2014 Meeting Schedule for the CERC and CAC
Updates, Summaries, Overviews
2013 Meeting Schedule for the CRA - Citizens Advisory Committee
Contact Keith Stahley, Director Community Planning and Development, at 360.753.8227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.