Inn, townhomes planned near Parfitt Way

Seattle architect and Bainbridge resident Cihan Anisoglu and wife Bonnie have filed an application for a hotel/townhome project dubbed “the Inn at Eagle Harbor” on lower Madison Avenue.

The project, proposed for an 11,000-square-foot lot immediately north of the parking lot on the corner of Madison and Parfitt Way, calls for six guest rooms and three two-story townhomes.

The inn concept was inspired by a visit to San Francisco.

“We stayed in this little boutique inn right off Union Square, where they put wine out at 6 in the evening, and you could meet people from all over the world,” Anisoglu said. “The light went on and we said, ‘why not do that on Bainbridge Island?’”

The guest rooms will be along the Madison Avenue frontage and the property’s northern border. The townhomes will be along the western edge, farthest away from the street.

The guest rooms will be ample, averaging some 600 square feet. One of them will be a two-story affair with a large upstairs sitting area, big enough, Anisoglu said, for a small meeting if a group wanted to rent the whole inn.

Two of the townhomes are 1,800 square feet, the third is 1,600. One has been sold. Anisoglu estimates the other two will sell in the $600,000 range.

The entry will be on the lowest portion of the property at the south end. Cars will drive to the interior, where parking will be down a half-story and a courtyard will be a half-story up. Each townhome will have an underground two-car garage, with a private elevator to each floor.

Anisoglu expects the principal market for the townhomes to be “down-sizers,” a niche he discovered by undergoing the experience himself.

“We had a large house on Crystal Springs, and weren’t really thinking about selling, but got a great offer,” he said. “We bought a very much smaller house in town, and we like it. We really like living in town, and thought other people would like it too.”

The big obstacle to down-sizing among the empty-nesters is giving up a place for the children to stay when they visit. The inn solves that problem, he said.

“The inn is an amenity where you can put up guests – six extra bedrooms, and they’re not actually in your house.”

The location right next to the Madison Avenue Retirement Center opens up another logical market, he said – adult children visiting their elderly parents.

The project site is immediately to the south of a mixed-use project currently under construction.

The application is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission in late February, and Anisoglu hopes to begin construction in the spring, with occupancy early in 2004. A winter opening will allow the slower months to be used as a shake-down period, he said.

Anisoglu said he and his wife will operate the inn, but won’t live there – at least not yet.

“We’ll stay where we are right now because of the dogs and stuff,” he said, “but we designed the large guest room with the idea that we might be there someday.”

The downtown location offers possible tie-ins with a number of nearby restaurants, he said, and he also wants to work with local artists on the decor. Anisoglu said his objective is to offer guests the essence of the island.

“There is no place (to stay) downtown that can offer the Bainbridge experience,” he said.

“That is what we will be trying to do.”

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