News

Proposed shopping center on High School Road revised, grows in size

The Ohio-based developer that wants to build a retail center and medical office building on High School Road has restarted plans for the project.

Visconsi Companies of Pepper Pike, Ohio submitted new plans for the project with the city of Bainbridge Island on April 24.

The shopping center project has grown in size since it was presented to the Bainbridge community last year.

The main change is the size of a medical-use building in the seven-building complex.

Originally, the building was a two-story building with 12,000 square feet of space. The new plans show the building at 20,000 square feet.

Much of the proposed project on the 8.16-acre property at the corner of Highway 305 and High School Road remains the same. It would be anchored by a large drugstore, with a pharmacy that includes a drive-through lane. A bank with a drive-through would be built near the corner of High School Road and the highway, and commercial and retail uses would occupy the other five buildings.

The new application on file with the city said the shopping center would include retail sales, restaurants, and spaces for professional services, in addition to the building devoted to health-care facilities.

The proponents of the project hope to begin construction in late spring 2014, with the complex built and occupied by 2015.

Wenzlau Architects of Bainbridge Island is designing the project, and the site has been laid out to encourage walking and public outdoor spaces.

The application notes that the project will not be similar in appearance to the nearby shopping center that includes a Safeway, but would have more variety in building shapes and a rural, agricultural feel.

Some of the buildings have been designed to appear "barnlike," according to a project description supplied to the city. The new development will look much like the Ace Hardware on the opposite side of High School Road from the project.

"The proposed buildings share exterior design features with the nearby shopping centers (covered entries, pitched roofs, variety of materials) particularly with the Ace Hardware building which has a rural agriculture style," the application notes.

All told, the project would have 61,890 square feet of combined floor area and 261 parking spaces. A total of 63.5 percent of the property would be covered with impervious surface; 24 percent would be undeveloped, and 12 percent would be landscaped, according to the application.

When the project was proposed last year, nearby neighbors raised concerns about traffic caused by the new development.

Access to the shopping center is expected to use a relocated access street that now serves Coldwell Banker McKenzie Associates and ProBuild. That entryway would be moved to the east. Secondary access to the center would come via Polly's Lane.

A traffic study for the development was completed by the consultant Transpogroup of Kirkland in April.

The study said the project is expected to generate 215 trips during the weekday p.m. peak travel hour, with 101 inbound trips and 114 outbound trips.

Representatives for Visconsi renewed talks with city officials on the project in February.

The city's Design Review Board is expected to take a fresh look at the proposal at its meeting on May 20.

 

 

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