Port of Olympia reviews $200 million West Bay Yards Proposal

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Port of Olympia commissioners reviewed the proposed $200 million West Bay Yards proposal during a special commission work session yesterday.

Brandon Smith and Ron Newman of The West Bay Development Group, LLC submitted a proposal for the large development project. According to their plan, the group wants to develop the Hardel property on West Bay Drive into a mixed commercial and residential complex. 

For this project, the group plans to build five mixed-use buildings which they will construct in three phases. Once completed, the property will have 470 units of rental housing and 20,000 square feet of commercial space including a restaurant and retail shops. The developers have also pledged to include underground parking, a park and a walking path.

The group also worked with the Squaxin Island Tribe to complete an environmental restoration assessment. Based on their findings, the contractors plan to help redefine the shoreline by building a water esplanade to encourage vegetation and aquatic animals to grow.

In February, The JOLT reported that a hearing examiner shot down a previous appeal opposing the development. The Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation argued that the massive project may affect future and environmental restoration efforts.

In terms of the economic impact, the project expects to generate 737 jobs that are directly related to construction. It would also incur $89,874,680 in labor income. Overall, the group predicted that it would generate $276,057,688 in total economic output.

The city of Olympia will also benefit from the project as it would generate $1,416,474 of city taxes and $12,244,801 in state and local taxes.

The group hopes to break ground for the project by next year. In a statement, Port Commissioner Bill McGregor said, “It's nice to see something laid fallow for years since ’96 ... [to have] something productive come out of it.

“It's a gigantic project, and I’m sure it's going to have a very positive effect on the community,” Commissioner Joe Downing shared.

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