Council might tweak Briggs Village

Retail slow to develop as Olympia residential projects go up near Henderson, Yelm Highway

ahobbs@theolympian.comJanuary 26, 2014 

The Olympia City Council will consider an amendment to the Briggs Village Master Plan during its next public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Introduced in 1999 and approved in 2003, the plan refers to a 133-acre urban village at Henderson Boulevard and Yelm Highway. Briggs Village is the only urban village of its kind within city limits.

The amendment calls for reducing retail and office space to “address existing market conditions.” Another proposed change is lowering the commercial building height to one story instead of two or three stories.

The plan’s original goal of 810 residential units will remain. However, the amendment would increase the number of apartments and condominiums while reducing the number of single-family houses. According to the plan, the amendment would reduce the overall number of parking spaces to 621, yet retain the minimum required parking ratios for residential and commercial uses.

Opponents say the amendment will “convert this property from an urban village into a housing development with a strip mall,” according to a hearing examiner’s report. In that same report, project planner Jean Carr said Briggs Village will “retain its vitality and will be properly scaled relative to the surrounding residences.”

Commercial development has been slow at the site, formerly home of the Briggs Nursery. The recession and housing market crash also hampered construction in 2008.

Hundreds of residential units have been built in the north portion of Briggs Village, along with the Parkview Apartments in the south portion. Several senior housing units are under construction on the east side of Henderson Boulevard.

The lone commercial development on the site is the Briggs YMCA facility at the corner of Henderson and Yelm. Plans have been approved for a Thriftway grocery store that measures nearly 30,000 square feet.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

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