Manchester projects delve into specifics

Two private development projects encompassing much of downtown Manchester stepped into the spotlight during November as the project heads spoke publicly for the second time to members of the Manchester Community Council.

Bill Palmer, of the “Colchester Commons” Project, is the developer working on the southeast side of the intersection at Colchester and Main Streets.

“Between the two projects, this is a (project) that’s going to change the character of Manchester,” Palmer predicted last July.

According to Palmer, the project is currently nearing the stage of review of the site plan application with Kitsap County. Both this project and the “Manchester Commons” Project headed by David Hopkins will likely be submitted to the county during the first week of December, as the traffic study has been completed.

There have been several minor changes to the approach on the project. The retail parking will no longer be forced to back up onto Colchester and the building will be inset 10 feet from the east property line. Balconies on the building will, however, extend to the property line. Each unit will have a water view from the living or dining space. Some planting areas will be included on the property and the access to the underground parking will be on the northeast portion of the property.

Palmer went on to say that the size of the 12 condo units would range from 1,710 square feet to 1,968 square feet and the end units on each floor will be the largest.

Tenant parking under the building will include 44 spaces, which exceeds the county requirement of 1.5 spaces per unit. There will also be some space allocated for storage lockers.

Parking space under the building will also be allocated for employees and guests, leaving the surface parking primarily for the retail business customers. The ceiling height in the underground parking area will be approximately eight feet.

The project timetable has slipped slightly and construction is now tentatively planned to begin in mid-2006 and likely to take six to nine months to complete.

Signage on the businesses was of interest to the community members present, and Palmer reported that the businesses will be restricted to signage on the face of the storefronts, with none on the balconies above.

Palmer said there has been some discussion with potential retail tenants, but no agreements have been closed.

The total retail space will be 9,128 square feet. Palmer noted that the space would likely be divided into three to five retail spaces, as needed by the businesses.

After several questions from the floor regarding outside lighting, wireless connections and public restrooms, Palmer concluded that the price range for the condos would be approximately $500,000.

Hopkins was also prepared to speak on his project, which encompasses the existing building complex including Manchester Foods.

With the addition of the property abutting E. Daniels Loop, Hopkins said this project will now include 11 condos plus retail and office space on the ground floor.

The main building will have three condos on the top floor. Two separate units to the north will be unattached living units with office space on the main floor.

Hopkins said he is considering having a café with outdoor seating on the northeast end of the retail space, and including an approximate 2,200 square-foot space for a small grocery and convenience store.

The top floor condo units will be 2,200 square feet with 800 square-foot decks.

Prices will range from about $375,000 to “pretty expensive.”

Parking will include 14 spaces facing Main for the retail businesses and there will be 29 spaces for the condos.

“It’s our No. 1 priority, this project,” Hopkins said.

After a variety of miscellaneous business, the council also elected next year’s officers.

The nominating committee, composed of Paul Gilligan, Joe Guariz and Bob Ballard offered a ballot with officer nominations for Ronald Robinson for chair, Ron Rada for vice chair, Debby Trudeau for treasurer, John Winslow for secretary and Bob Ballard for past chair.

Nominations for the four member-at-large positions were for Chip Augello, Mary Cathern Edwards, Carole Leininger, Bill Shaw, Bud Larsen, Arlene Rebelowski, Phil Paquette and Carrilu Thompson.

The final selections were for Edwards, Leininger, Rebelowski and Thompson.

The Manchester Community Council next meets on Jan. 24, 2006. The tentative agenda includes guest speaker County Commissioner Jan Angel.

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