Two Finalists To Redevelop Chelan PUD Site Are “Shortlisted”
The two firms named as finalists to redevelop the Chelan County PUD complex – commonly known as the 5th Street Redevelopment Project – are getting a closer look.
PUD commissioners on Monday voted to officially shortlist both developers into the next process, which will call on the firms to provide further information and clarification about their proposals
PUD director of shared services Dan Frazier says a shortlist was recommended because the competition between the two developers is so close.
"When we started this, we didn't know there would be one clear winner, or if there was going to be a need to further evaluate," said Frazier. "And that's where this group came down. We think there was a strong two contenders for the best proposal, and we just wanted to ask those proposers to give us additional information.
The groups involved in making the recommendation included the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, the city of Wenatchee and the Wenatchee Downtown Association.
Comments from the public through emails and previous PUD meetings are also figuring into the process.
Frazier says there are a number of questions the two developers will have to deal with, such as whether their proposals are too large scale for Wenatchee.
"There's some question about the quantity of some of the proposed uses, and I think we heard from one of the developers who said it was a stab in the dark in terms of just trying to fill out the site," Frazier said. "But they'll do more analysis as it comes into getting that final proposal."
He also said there was concern about whether the property would sit idle for any length of time and become an eyesore.
Meanwhile, both proposals include relocating the YMCA at the site, which has received universal support from the public and an advisory committee that's part of the process.
In addition, both proposals notably call for a high level of public funding to supplement the project.
They also both offer plans for traffic flow through the grounds of the complex back to Columbia Street to ease congestion on both Wenatchee Ave. and 5th Street, which is where 7.5 acre complex sits.
There were originally four proposals for the site, which was narrowed down to the final two in June.
GTS Development LLC and Steinhauer Properties are vying to be chosen for the project.
Both firms will be asked by the project advisory committee to to provide more information in the following areas:
- · More details on elements of their architectural design;
- · Discussion of project feasibility, including financing and tenant recruitment strategies;
- · Community outreach plans, including collaboration with the YMCA and Music Theatre of Wenatchee (which is housed adjacent to the PUD Fish and Wildlife building); and,
- · How their proposed developments fit in with recent and planned developments in the area, especially the downtown core.
The final selection on which finalist will be awarded the project is expected on Sept. 19.
Construction of the project could start in 2023 after the PUD leaves the site for its new headquarters in Olds Station
Ann Congdon was the lone commissioner who voted against the recommendation to shortlist the two developers.