Port Commissioners get first look at Harbor Square redevelopment plans

Updated with a link to concept presentation and clarification from the Port about the concepts presented so far.

The concepts will continue to be refined based on public comment, but the Port of Edmonds Redevelopment Plan Steering Committee unveiled a possible new look for the Harbor Square Business Complex during the Port of Edmonds Commission meeting Monday night.

Steering Committee members Bill Trimm and John Owens went through the design schemes for the aging 14.62-acre complex that were developed through three meetings of the steering committee, held from December through April. You can see the presentation here.

The committee’s goal was to come up with ideas for redevelopment that were economically feasible, environmentally responsible and high quality, Timm said. Changes currently being considered would involve amending the Port’s Master plan and the City of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan, but none of that will happen until the Port brings the final designs before citizens during a future open house, followed by more revisions and a Port Commission vote.

“There is no preferred concept,” Port of Edmonds Executive Director Bob McChesney told My Edmonds News. “Rather, just a series of concepts that illustrate various configurations.  The process is iterative, and we’re not done yet. Indeed we still have a long way to go.”

The current complex now includes the Harbor Square Athletic Club and Tennis Center, the Harbor Inn hotel and numerous businesses located among five buildings on the site. One of the schemes presented by the committee Monday would include a plan to move the current athletic club to the southwest corner of the business complex so it is against the railroad tracks, providing a sound buffer for the rest of the complex. Four-story buildings (scaled back from an original proposal of five stories) would providing a mix of residential and office space, but the area would include open space for possible civic and cultural events as well as a pathway to the Edmonds Marsh that borders the south end of the business complex.

Acknowledging that any talk about taller buildings raises concerns about possible blockage of views, Trimm explained that the committee involved University of Washington students with computer models who analyzed how the taller buildings might affect the views from approximately 40 different locations in Edmonds. Those photos were also shown during the presentation.

“It’s a very challenging site and we are trying to come up with the best configurations and design,” Port Executive Director Bob McChesney acknowledged during the meeting

The presentation will be repeated during a joint meeting between the Edmonds Planning Board/Economic Development Commission starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12 in the Brackett Meeting Room, third floor of City Hall at 121 5th Ave.N. The public is invited to attend.

Also during the Port Meeting, Deputy Director Marla Kempf announced that the Port has a new business, Adventure Charters, which provides guided fishing charters. The business, which had been based in Seattle, was temporarily located in Edmonds last summer and the owners liked it so much they decided to move to Edmonds, Kempf said.

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