A process to satisfy federal requirements for the Confluence Parkway project is under way. 

It means steps are taken to make up for the loss of historical property, including the Denny's restaurant on North Wenatchee Avenue. 

Current plans call for the restaurant building to be demolished. 

Wenatchee Denny's Director of Operations Brian Predmore spoke out at Thursday's city council meeting, where he said he's been left in the dark about the plans. 

"No offense, but the way it's been handled so far, in my opinion hasn't been very up and up and professional," said Predmore. "Because I'm hearing scuttlebutt from my customers that come into my restaurant that my building is being demolished before I know. And that's kind of embarrassing." 

It's not currently known how the Denny's restaurant franchisee will be compensated for the loss, or if Denny's will be offered another space to relocate. 

The city council signed off on an agreement Thursday to satisfy federal requirements to make up for the loss of the Denny's building, which qualifies as an historical structure.  

It also calls for the city to document the building's history through photos and writing. The Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center will also do a series of videos and articles with interviews and photos of the Denny's building when it was being built in the mid 1960s. 

The agreement also identifies tribal land along the parkway as historical and calls for studying the property in consultation with the tribes in case there are any inadvertent discoveries during construction of the parkway that would impact the tribes.   

In addition, the agreement is necessary to move forward with an agreement between the city and Chelan PUD to exchange land for the parkway project. 

The accord is a Memorandum of Agreement among the Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Chelan County PUD, the Colville Confederated Tribes, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the City of Wenatchee. 

Wenatchee Public Works Director Rob Jammerman says a high number of businesses and occupants along the parkway way will be displaced by the project. 

"There's 42 parcels along the Confluence Parkway that each one has to be dealt with individually," said Jammerman. "Property values assessed, relocation costs. All of those things have to occur. So, you can imagine the heavy lift of that process." 

It’s not certain the Denny’s building will have to be demolished, although it’s included in current plans. 

Jammerman and Wenatchee Executive Services Director Laura Gloria said more would be known once a firm is hired to design the project, which is scheduled to happen in October. Design plans are scheduled to be in place by September of 2024. 

The Confluence Parkway project has a total price tag of roughly $177 million, with $92 million coming from federal sources. 

It'll create a 2.5-mile bypass at the north end of Wenatchee, which includes the construction of a new vehicle bridge over the Wenatchee River that will connect with U.S. Highways 2 & 97. 

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