"Lundgren, Doogals plans filed"
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:23 PM
"Two projects in the formative stages could dramatically transform the face of downtown Winslow.Indianola resident Earl Miller has filed a pre-application for a complex of buildings at the northeast corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue, where Lundgren station and the red-brick building housing Schmidt's Appliances, Paisley Place and Bainbridge Floor Covering now stand.Meanwhile, Bror Elmquist, a commercial construction manager and agent for the Magnano family of Seattle, is in the pre-application phase of a project on the northeast corner of Ericksen Avenue and Winslow, site of a now-demolished restaurant building that most recently was Doogal's.Both are mixed-use projects that incorporate residential and commercial space. Bainbridge Island architect Charles Wenzlau is designing both projects. Miller's project takes advantage of the natural slope on the Winslow-Madison corner. The buildings that front on Winslow will have street-level storefronts, backed by underground parking. Above that will be an L-shaped courtyard surrounded by retail space. The top floor would be apartments.We plan to really define the corner with the main building, Wenzlau said. The pedestrian space will be in the courtyard. Cascading stairways and walkways will connect the courtyard to Winslow and Madison.The preliminary plans show a total of 22,580 square feet of retail space, and 17 residential units containing a total of 18,700 square feet. The two levels of underground parking will have space for 120 cars.The courtyard will have a pedestrian walkway north to the city hall complex just behind the Bainbridge HPC property.The courtyard will be an internal streetscape, Wenzlau said, with a landscaped pedestrian pathway to city hall.The buildings themselves would not be uniform, Wenzlau said.We want an informal, varied streetscape that looks like it has grown up over time, he said. There will be a lot of variation in the buildings.Miller said this week that construction is not likely to begin for two years.We have lease issues with tenants, and realistically, its about the best you can hope for, he said.At least one of the businesses that will be affected calls the displacement a blessing in disguise.We've outgrown this space, said Joyce Anderson of Schmidt's Appliances. And the building is near the end of the line. One more winter here is about all we can do.She and husband Mike are not certain the store will stay downtown, but are certain they will stay on the island.Earl has been incredibly generous with what he's offered us financially (In the new building), but the space may not be big enough, she said.Schmidt's has added several new lines of appliances in recent years, Anderson said, and is contemplating expanding into furniture as well.One certainty, though, is that they won't leave Bainbridge.She said the day-to-day work of running a business has put planning for the future on the back burner.This forces us to get off our soft keesters and make a decision, she said.Meanwhile, the project at the old Doogal's site is being reconfigured to move it farther from the ravine, which abuts the rear of the L-shaped property.The pre-application package showed several small buildings on the property, and two possible configurations. One plan would concentrate retail uses on the Winslow-Ericksen corner and emphasize residential units along the north side of the property from Ericksen east to the ravine.The other plan would have retail on the ground floor of all buildings, with residential units above.Both plans call for roughly 14,000 square feet of retail space, and between 18,000 and 19,000 square feet of residential space. The number of residences would be between nine and 16.But at a pre-hearing conference, the applicants learned that they differed with the city over the interpretation of the stream buffer and setback requirements. The applicants asserted that the required 50-foot buffer should be measured from the edge of that actual watercourse, while the city believed it should be measured from the upper bank of the ravine.The city attorney's office has issued an interpretation siding with the city.Because the drawings filed with the pre-application were based on the applicant's interpretation of the buffer requirement, they are in the process of being revised.The pre-application conference is designed to flush out what the issues are, said owners' representative Bror Elmquist. It's an unusually configured site, and we're working through the issues now.Although the city's interpretation of the buffer requirement would reduce the buildable area, Elmquist said the project remains viable.We'll have a site-plan package by the end of the year, he said. "