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New look gets good review from city board: More window views planned for Town & Country remodel

By CECILIA GARZA
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
August 19, 2013 · Updated 9:12 AM
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Town & Country Market officials went back to the drawing board after hearing concerns earlier this month from the city's Design Review Board.

In a meeting Monday, the board was pleased to see that the issue of limited exterior views had been addressed and will be incorporated into the company's expansion plans.

"A long ways from the Nakata Meat Market days," said Mark Levine of the board at the end of the discussion.

"It's definitely (Town & Country's) flagship store, and it's beautiful," he said.

Town & Country has increased the percentage of window visibility for the center section of the building facing Winslow Way. People passing in front will now have a view directly into the store through 8-foot-tall windows that sit level with the sidewalk outside.

Prior to the changes, the plans established a view into the center section of the store through windows at near second-story level.

At an Aug. 5 meeting with Town & Country, Alan Grainger, a member of the Design Review Board, cited design guidelines that ban blank wall space in the city's center.

The design rules require building facades along Winslow Way to provide 80 percent visibility to their interior. The market's plan at the time of that meeting achieved 41 percent visibility.

At Monday's meeting, Town & Country CEO Bill Weymer said the window installation into the plan required quite a few changes to the interior of the store. The market was forced to forfeit more than 100 linear feet of shelving and reduce the size of the production areas on either side of the center section where the window units will be in place. This includes the bakery and sushi areas.

"It's not ideal. We do think we're compromising the experience," Weymer said. "But we do appreciate the guideline and calling for visibility and transparency."

The board voted unanimously to accept the plan changes.

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