Lynwood project nearly ready

"A revitalized Lynwood Center will begin blooming sometime this fall, to fulfill a dream of Morrie Blossom.That's when construction is expected to start on Lynwood Commons, a seven-building mixed-use project planned for a prominent 3.9-acre site on Bainbridge Island's south end.It's been a decade-long dream of Morrie's to enhance and revitalize this neighborhood, his wife Kathy said of the project, which will sit on now vacant land along Lynwood Center Road, between Baker Hill Road on the north and Point White Drive on the south.Lynwood was a major commercial area years ago, Morrie Blossom said, because of the traffic going to and from the ferry to Bremerton, which ran back and forth from the Point White dock. But the Bremerton shipyards declined in importance as a source of employment for islanders, the ferry stopped running, and traffic decreased to a trickle.Don't get the idea we want a bridge to Bremerton, Blossom said. We like it this way.With the decline in bypass traffic, Lynwood was unable to keep enough business to be a free-standing community, and a small commercial center endures. Now, though, the Blossoms believe that the neighborhood has grown enough to support a larger business center.We want to provide services for people at this end of the island, and limit the number of trips that they have to make into Winslow, Kathy Blossom said.Six of the buildings will be three-story mixed-use structures. The ground floors will include a mix of retail stores, restaurants and offices. The second floor will be a hodgepodge of residences and offices, and the third floor will be residential. The seventh building will be a community center.And we're bringing the Lynwood Christmas tree back in front of the community center, said Kathy Blossom. The 51 apartments will range from studios to two-bedroom units, at least seven of which will be affordable.We're looking at a broad spectrum of residents, from people just starting out to people who are retiring and like this part of the island, island architect Priscilla Zimmerman said, adding that rents will vary not only by unit size, but also according to view.Zimmerman said her design emphasizes both visually friendly landscaping and pedestrian friendly features.The corner at Baker Hill and Lynwood will be open space with a pond, she said. That will be the first thing you see. The buildings and the landscaping will screen the parking. And there will be a pedestrian area right across the street from the existing Lynwood Center.Drury Construction of Poulsbo will be the builder. Occupancy is projected for late 2001.The city's recent approval of the site plan is the culmination of an almost decade-long process, according to Morrie Blossom. He said preliminary plans were in place in 1991 when the formerly unincorporated Lynwood area became part of the new city of Bainbridge Island.The new city imposed a moratorium on rezones while it got its bearings, then the Growth Management Act imposed planning mandates, culminating in the city's comprehensive plan - in which Lynwood was designated a neighborhood service center.Zimmerman said the current project was designed specifically to fit the comprehensive plan for Lynwood. Morrie Blossom takes pride in the fact that the project has not received a single negative comment or letter.We worked with the community. I think we listened to what everybody had to say and made it work, he said.Listening to the Lynwood community is nothing new for Blossom, whose roots in the neighborhood are four generations deep. My family's homestead is where the Moonfish Restaurant is now, he said. My aunt and uncle built Lynwood Center. We go back over 100 years here.The new development will have a sloping roofline to reflect the Lynwood Center's Tudor styling, which his aunt Edna Olson brought to Bainbridge.She was an interior designer from Alameda, Calif., Blossom recalls. When she and Uncle Emmanuel added onto the old farmhouse, what is now the bar area of the restaurant, she did it in Tudor style.She liked it so well that when they expanded their grocery store across the street into what is now the center, she did that in Tudor style also.Although Kathy Blossom jokes that she's not from around here - I'm fourth-generation Eagledale - she lauds Lynwood's togetherness, which she believes the project will enhance.There is definitely a sense of community here, she said. We see this as a real vital village. "

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