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Landing retooled, now pitched as 'Harbor Square'

The twice-frustrated Winslow Landing development north of the ferry terminal is back for a third try, with a new name, a new owner and a new look.

Now called Harbor Square, the plan groups a total of eight buildings around a central courtyard that opens onto Winslow Way.

The project would have a total of 160 residential units, and 25,000 square feet of retail and office space.

“I want it to look like it was built at different times, not like a development,” said Bill Isley, the Bainbridge Island architect who is designing the project for Washington Development of Missoula, Montana.

“We want to use a variety of different materials and colors.”

The project’s largest buildings are in the northwest corner of the 4.3-acre tract, Isley said, to reduce the building heights along Ferncliff Avenue to the east and Winslow Way.

The preliminary plan calls for 418 underground parking places and 54 surface parking spots.

Some 74 spaces would be for commuter ferry parking, and another 74 spots for non-commuter parking – those who are parking to take the ferry for day trips such as doctor appointments rather than for work.

The two largest buildings, along the project’s northern boundary, would each be four stories high, according to the plan Isley filed with the city. Both would be residential only.

One of those buildings would contain a total of 73,500 square feet of space, and the other would be just under 55,000 square feet.

Two three-story buildings would sit along Ferncliff. One would be 34,000 square feet and the other 10,000 square feet, again all in residences.

The four buildings along Winslow Way are each planned for three stories each, with residential use on the top floor and a mix of office and retail uses on the lower two floors.

While the 160 residential units would average 1,000 square feet apiece, Isley said there will be considerable variety – as big as 2,400 square feet, down to 600 square feet.

The top-floor units with views of the harbor and Seattle will probably go for around $235 per square foot, he said, or over $500,000 for a 2,400-square-foot unit, Isley said.

While no commercial tenants have yet been lined up, the pre-application filed with the city refers to the stores as “specialty retail” space. The emphasis, Isley said, would be on services that the residents and ferry commuters would use.

Isley said there would probably not be a full-service restaurant, as previous plans had called for, but there would be some food-service facilities like a bakery.

If permits can be obtained fast enough, Isley said, construction could start next summer, with occupancy in summer 2003.

This is the third incarnation of a plan for the parcel between Ferncliff and Cave Avenues to the north of the ferry terminal.

In 1998, Jason Lowe of Poulsbo, then 23, purchased the property and proposed a mixed-use development that would have included a hotel and tavern, together with some 80 condominium units.

A year later, mired in debt and facing legal difficulties, Lowe handed the project over to islander Gale Cool, who had been his project manager.

Cool redesigned the project, but before he could win approval, entities that had loaned Lowe money foreclosed in the property, which Lowe had used as security.

At a foreclosure auction in January, Security Properties of Seattle outbid Cool, and took title to the land.

By pre-arrangement between them, the nature of which has not been specified, Washington Development then bought the land from Security Properties.

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The city will conduct a public participation meeting on the Harbor Square project at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at city hall. The meeting will give the community an introduction to the project and an opportunity to comment in advance of the formal planning process. Information: 842-2552.

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