Rolling Bay may have a roll-out of new businesses in the upcoming months.
Bainbridge Island Design Review board members met last week to discuss a proposed roughly 2-acre development that includes a restaurant, bakery, market and office complex on Sunrise Drive NE just north of the Jiffy Mart in Rolling Bay.
Studio Hamlet Architects are designing the project.
Board members said they were impressed by the early look at the proposal.
“I think they did a good job, considering this was a pre-application [meeting],” said Jim McNett, a Design Review Board member.
Officials with Rolling Bay Land Co. met earlier this year with city planners to explore the possibility of building the mixed-use project, which also includes four housing units, some on the second floor above retail or office spaces.
During last Monday’s meeting, board members were presented with design plans for the 2.09-acre property, including landscaping details, which will include a meadow, fruit orchard and blueberry bushes for public harvesting.
According to an architectural schematic of the development layout, retail and office spaces would line Sunrise Drive, with office and retail spaces also located along the northeast corner just south of the Rodal Court subdivision. An artist’s rendering of the project created last week also shows a market located on Sunrise Drive.
“It’ll be good for residents to have something up there, so they don’t have to drive to Winslow,” said Scott Speer, the project manager.
The new retail space is called Sunset Market at Rolling Bay.
As currently envisioned, the development would have a 2,400-square-foot restaurant, and two-story buildings that include 3,200 square feet of retail space and 3,200 square feet of office space, plus 5,400 square feet of space devoted to single-family homes. Designers expect to have three “very distinct” public spaces, including a courtyard.
It is unknown what type of restaurant will go into the development, and potential tenants will be sought out further along in the process, officials said.
Two single-family residences would be built above the retail and office spaces, and two homes of 1,120 square feet in size would be built west of the restaurant. A third of the site is set aside for septic requirements.
Studio Hamlet’s main architect, Russ Hamlet, acknowledged that a market sits directly across from the proposed new one. Hamlet said the new one would be different from what’s already serving residents.
“We don’t want to set up a market that we’re competing with other businesses in the area,” Hamlet said.
Other than concerns about the potential for competing businesses, board members asked the firm to consider the location of the residential homes and where trash pickup would be located for the restaurant and retail businesses.
“This is not very sensitive to that residence,” said Alan Grainger, board member, of the proximity of the garbage pickup to the planned residences.
He also noted that recycling and trash bins around the development should be added to the design plans.
Board members weren’t the only ones with a few concerns on the potential problems the new development may pose.
The public comment period also prompted worries about safety and lighting for the area at night. One resident mentioned burglaries in the area seemed to be up, and that a church recently had much of its silver stolen at night. The stolen silver was later mostly recovered, he added. He asked the board members and designers to consider an exponential amount of lighting to curb vandalism and other mischievous activity.
Another audience member mentioned that noise could be a potential issue for residents in the neighborhood, especially since the courtyard will encourage outdoor dining and activities.
Hamlet said there is some wiggle room on the property to possibly move the residences a bit, but not much. He said he and his staff would consider how to integrate the suggestions.
Parking isn’t expected to be an issue, and a traffic study is also planned, according to the architect firm employees.