Brewery District meeting Tuesday

Tumwater City Council and Planning Commission set open house, public hearing on development plan

ahobbs@theolympian.comFebruary 18, 2014 

Matthew Heasley and Sarah Colerick walk past an overgrown brewery maintenance road alongside Boston Street in Tumwater on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Historic brewhouse owner George Heidgerken proposed opening a private roadway and pedestrian access from Boston Street to the brewhouse. (TONY OVERMAN/Staff Photographer)


Tumwater residents are invited to an open house and public hearing Tuesday regarding the proposed Brewery District Plan, which is one of the city’s top economic development priorities.

The plan refers to redevelopment in the 300-acre Brewery District, site of the historic Olympia Brewery, which closed in 2003. The idea is to create a pedestrian-friendly destination with housing, retail and recreation. Possible neighborhood amenities include a trail network or boardwalk.

The plan also addresses challenges such as transportation access and the current automobile-oriented infrastructure, including multiple parking lots and wide thoroughfares.

Located in the oldest part of Tumwater near the Deschutes River, the district is bordered roughly by Tumwater Historical Park to the north, the Tumwater Valley Golf Course to the south, the cemeteries on Cleveland Avenue to the east, and I-5 to the west.

Last month, the city received a $50,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce to explore redevelopment opportunities at the site. City officials have indicated a preference for public-private partnerships.

The public open house will begin at 5:30 p.m. at South Sound Manor’s McElroy Room, 455 North St. A public hearing will be held during a joint meeting with the Tumwater City Council and Planning Commission, which starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the same site.

At the later meeting, the council is expected to extend an agreement with the Thurston County Economic Development Council that would continue a joint funding partnership to pay a project manager.

The city contributes roughly two-thirds of the cost, which is about $7,500 a month, according to documents. For the past 20 months, this agreement has helped establish interim zoning and initiate a range of studies on the district.

Check out documents related to the Brewery District Plan online at

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869

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