The UP Town Center project gained momentum this week after the City Council approved two agreements with private sector partners to bring housing, retail and a café to the downtown area.
Under the first proposal, Council approved a purchase and development agreement with SEB, Inc. for the right to develop approximately 100 units of housing and approximately 12,000 square feet of commercial space to be built on top of the existing parking garage on Lot 8, located just north of the new Civic Building.
According to the agreement, the developer will purchase the air rights and an easement for parking for $800,000. SEB will also spend an estimated $1.5 million to prepare the foundation on top of the garage before starting construction. In turn, the City will also use approximately $1.5 million in earmarked funds to complete necessary interior garage improvements. City staff are now working with the developer to fast track the project with expected construction starting in early 2012.
Frog n Kiwi - A café featuring specialty coffees, sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and gelato along with an innovative children’s play area is scheduled to open in the Civic/Library Building next Spring. Marc and Kelly Grau presented their proposal to lease the southern retail space (2,747 square feet) just off the atrium leading into the Civic Building. (The café’s unusual name plays upon Marc’s French heritage and Kelly’s New Zealand birthplace).
Under the agreement, the City will receive $800 per month plus triple nets of $6 per square foot for common expenses. After the first three months of the lease, the tenants will also pay a percentage of their gross sales. In order to get the space ready, the tenant will also contribute an estimated $100,000 to $150,000 in improvements while the City will contribute $35,000 for basic tenant improvements including an ADA restroom, duct and wiring work.
According to Marc Grau, the café will offer parents and childcare providers an opportunity to have a coffee or meal while watching their children play in a soundproof room filled with play equipment. Estimated fees for the play area will probably range from $5-6 for the first child and reduced fees for additional children. Operating hours will also be set to accommodate Library/City Hall patrons to enable them to grab a bite to eat or cup of coffee before and after work. The Graus hope to start improvements as soon as possible with an estimated opening in early 2012.
Other Town Center related action included awarding of a Market Place Road Improvement bid to Westwater Construction for $264,118 to construct curb, gutter, sidewalks, asphalt paving and other related items on Market Place from 37th Street to the Civic Building. Close to 30 additional parking stalls will also be created.
Congratulations to Playground by the Sound! A community playground that helped build community had its ribbon cutting this past Sunday. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers whose countless hours resulted in a truly fantastic new playground for our kids in the North Meadow of the Chambers Creek Properties. Special thanks to Linda and Jon Bird along with their team captains who put in an incredible amount of time, effort and persistence into this project. Everyone who supported this project in some way has left a wonderful legacy for many generations to enjoy!
UP for Art Fall Art & Concert Series
- Classical music by the UP String Quartet
featuring local musicians Rebecca Gehring, Joel and Paula Westgaard
and Margaret Thorndill
followed by Driftwood Artist Barry Crust
are featured on Friday, September 30, at 7 p.m.
in the Atrium of the new Civic building at 3609 Market Square. For more information on this free event, please visit www.upforart.org
Name A Park - Help the U.P. Park Commission develop recommendations for three City Parks:
- A 9.55 acre undeveloped natural area near Morrison Pond, located at 3124 67th Avenue (across from the Fircrest Golf Course);
- A 15 acre undeveloped parcel (former Tacoma School District property) in the southeast corner of the City, near the Cirque/Alameda roundabout;
- A 2.6 acre parcel along Brookside Creek, just across from the Curran Apple Orchard Park.
Send your suggestions to U.P. Parks Commission, attn. Gary Cooper
by Wednesday, October 5.
U.P. City Council Candidates Forum
sponsored by the UP/Fircrest Chamber on Thursday, Oct. 13,
at Curtis HS Auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Also, be sure to check out the online Video Voter’s Guide and League of Women Voters’ Forum for the U.P. City Council candidates online at www.CityofUP.com
or on UPTV.
As always, I appreciate your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact me at dklosowski@CityofUP.com
. In the meantime, enjoy the emerging fall colors!
Mayor, City of University Place