Chelan PUD is moving forward with upgrades to its former 5th Street headquarters. 

The utility is getting permits to build a public road through to the site that'll provide a link from 5th Street to the parking lot behind the Coast Hotel and Columbia Street. 

Senior Project Manager Laine Heikel told PUD commissioners this week that the future "Electric Avenue" will have a special quality. 

"It's a very pedestrian friendly street," said Hickle. "It's going to be a narrow street, so it won't be a speedway, but it'll have a very neighborhood and relaxed feel to it. It'll be very plaza like in that the sidewalks and the street are going to be at the same elevation, delineated by valley curbed bollards, planters and trees." 

PUD Commissioners reviewed the site plan Monday. 

The utility plans to break ground this summer on what will be the Electric Avenue road and utilities corridor. 

It'll provide centralized, underground utilities as well as a ground level road.  

Plans for the underground utilities buildout include the elimination of a stormwater collection chamber that connects to the sewer system as the arrangement no longer meets code. A shared parking lot will be built over the chamber that'll be part of an owner's association to be established for future property tenants at the 5th Street property. 

Some infrastructure at the existing Fish and Wildlife building will be torn down as well to allow for rechanneling of sewer water and utility lines.   

The current estimate of costs for the road and utilities corridor falls under three categories. 

  • Efforts to improve environmental conditions include removing underground fuel tanks and hazardous building materials for $538,530  
  • Electrical & Fiber Infrastructure improvements involve detangling the inefficient patchwork of cables that were added over the 70-year history of the old headquarters. All new fiber and electrical infrastructure will be installed at a cost of $711,615. 
  • The Electric Avenue road building portion of the project is estimated to cost $4,423,146. To cut down on cost overruns, value engineering options are being explored to downsize some of the amenities. 

The total cost of the project in nearly $5.7 million.

PUD staff intend to return to PUD commissioners in June with a plan to advertise the project to contractors. Construction is scheduled to start during mid-summer. 

Redevelopment of the old 5th Street PUD headquarters has been in the works since 2018. The PUD moved to its new headquarters in Olds Station in 2023, and since then momentum has picked up on repurposing the 5th Street property. 

Its redevelopment was divided into two phases. The first phase, which is now underway, has focused on securing anchor businesses for the site and developing utilities and access to the property. The second phase centers on developing a plan for what to do with the old headquarters office building, which sits along Wenatchee Avenue in a prime frontal location. 

The Wenatchee Valley YMCA was secured as the lead anchor tenant in phase one, with the nonprofit signing a deal in the last week to pay $1.2 million for its property site. The Y will start the demolition this week of existing warehouses to make way for its new building with work on the demolition to continue through late summer. The Y plans to start construction of its new building in 2025. 

The PUD also is in discussion with the Music Theatre of Wenatchee (MTW) for the Fish & Wildlife building to provide more space for their production operations 

MTW already owns the Riverside Playhouse building inside the 5th Street property. 

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