Commons springing up at Lynwood Center

Kathy Blossom is a principal with the Lynwood Commons project at Lynwood Center. - ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Photo
Kathy Blossom is a principal with the Lynwood Commons project at Lynwood Center.
— image credit: ROGERICK ANAS/Staff Photo

There’s nothing wrong with Winslow, mind you, but as the island has grown, so has its downtown.

Morrie and Kathy Blossom, whose roots on Bainbridge Island go back generations, don’t just dream about the days when you could walk downtown and know everybody you met.

They are trying to recreate that era at Lynwood Commons, their multi-building project on the island’s south end.

“Neither of us have forgotten the comfort of the feeling one gets in a small town,” Kathy Blossom said. “We realize the island is growing, and we wanted to enhance Lynwood Center and make it a comfortable neighborhood for people who live here.”

The end is in sight for three of the seven buildings that will make up Lynwood Commons, a mixed-use project on the west side of Lynwood Center Road between Baker Hill Road and Point White Drive.

The buildings, each three stories high and with a footprint of just under 5,000 square feet, have been under way for a year. They weren’t easy to build, Morrie Blossom said.

“You’ve seen the beach at low tide,” he said. “That used to extend all the way up into here. We found clamshells and driftwood when we excavated.”

The buildings are all on pilings – 65 under each building going down as far as 35 feet.

“There is a mile of pilings underneath these three buildings,” Morrie said.

The apartments on the second and third floor of each building should be ready for occupancy next month, and pre-leasing is under way.

The upper floor of each of the buildings will have four two-bedroom apartments, each with high ceilings in the living room and small “Juliet” balconies off the master bedroom.

“You’ll be able to open up the doors to a balcony where you can put flower pots,” Kathy Blossom said. “But they’re not big enough for barbecues.”

The 1,280-square-foot apartments, some with views of Rich Passage, will rent for between $1,300 and $1,450 per month.

The second floor of each building will have three one-bedroom and three studio apartments, which will rent for $850 to $1,050.

“We have had some commitments already, but they’re really not where you can show them yet,” Kathie said. “We think we can do that the last week in September, and we’ll have an open house when we have a firmer date.”

The first-floor plans are somewhat uncertain.

A restaurant deal for one of the buildings fell through, and the Blossoms are looking for another eatery to move into the space.

Another of the buildings will have its first floor used temporarily as a community center until a permanent center goes into the fourth building – the next one on the schedule. Then that space will revert to small, neighborhood-oriented retail.

Walt’s to move

The third building will be the new home of Walt’s Market, which will move from its present location in the old Lynwood Center.

Proprietor Walt Hannon said he couldn’t provide details yet, nor a time-frame for the move, but said the new store will be different from the existing one.

“It will be a real neighborhood market, not a convenience store,” he said.

The fourth building, recently given a favorable recommendation by the planning commission and awaiting final city approval, will contain the community center on the ground floor, offices on the second floor and siz one-bedroom apartments on the top floor.

The last three buildings will be clustered near Point White Drive, on the south end of the project.

Those residences will be sold as condominiums, some of which will have close-up views of Rich Passage.

No specific plans have been made for the ground-floor spaces in those buildings, but the Blossoms have gotten plenty of inquiries, with would-be coffee shop owners and pub-keepers leading the parade.

The Blossoms, who own the project in partnership with Scott McFarlane and Jared Vogt of MV Properties, don’t have a timetable for completing the project, and admit that the present economic climate is not the optimal time to be leasing commercial space.

But they are patient – the project spent over a decade in the planning process before construction started.

And the neighbors tell them it will be worth the wait.

“People tell us they’re looking forward to walking up here in the morning, getting their newspaper and having coffee,” Kathy Blossom said. “We think the people who live here aren’t going to be anonymous. They will see each other and recognize faces.

“It will be a comfortable place to be.”

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