Cleanup will soon begin on Lacey site formerly owned by Tri Vo

Trap shooting contaminated part of 250-acre area where developers plan to create mixed-use town center

Staff writerMarch 29, 2014 

A Bellevue developer and the Nisqually Indian Tribe are set to begin a long-awaited cleanup on a piece of property in Hawks Prairie just north of Interstate 5 and west of Marvin Road.

The environmental work is the first step before any development can occur on about 18 acres that were once home to the Evergreen Sportsman Club, a trap shooting business that occupied the site from 1946 to 1971, said Leshya Wig, a partner in Wig Properties LLC of Bellevue.

The site is in the area of 2301 Marvin Road NE.

Wig Properties and the Nisquallys own about 250 acres in the area and have plans to jointly develop it, picking up where developer Tri Vo left off after he lost the property during the recession.

Vo’s vision was a mixed-use development called Lacey Gateway; Wig Properties and the Nisquallys have a similar goal, Wig said.

“We plan to develop the property over time, in multiple phases, into an intimate mixed-use town center with restaurants, hotels, local and national retailers, civic uses, medical office space, senior living facilities, apartments and perhaps additional uses as well,” Wig said in an email.

She said they are working with Craig Realty Group of Newport, Calif., to bring an outlet mall to the site as part of the first phase.

“The intent is to provide a variety of uses that enlivens the center 24 hours a day, seven days a week and that attracts a diverse mix of people to linger at the site for hours at a time,” Wig said.

The cleanup, which is set to begin this spring and end in late summer or early fall, will focus on removing contamination from lead shot and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination from the coal tar used as a binder on clay targets.

Those who live in the area or who drive by it can expect to see standard construction equipment on the site, including loaders and excavators.

“Trees only within the area of lead and PAH contamination will need to be cleared so that we can properly clean up the site,” Wig said.

City of Lacey associate planner Samra Seymour said the city has so far issued a land-clearing permit, and is in the process of reviewing a grading permit.

Wig Properties and the Nisquallys also are working through the state Department of Ecology’s voluntary cleanup program.

Here’s how the ownership of the Hawks Prairie property developed over time:

April 2008: Nisqually Tribe pays $6.8 million for a 9.6-acre parcel north of I-5 and west of Marvin Road. The sellers are the Ron Sloy family of Lake Oswego, Ore., and Jerome Kersey, a former professional basketball player who played for the Seattle SuperSonics but was best known for his years with the Portland Trail Blazers.

May 2008: The tribe expands its ownership in the same area, acquiring another 30 acres for $17.2 million. The sellers are Jenny Bong of Southern California and the KIRI Group, a Pierce County partnership.

2012: The Nisquallys and Wig Properties pay $23 million for 215 acres — land prices had fallen sharply during the recession — in the same area.

About the cleanup, Wig added:

“We are looking forward to cleaning up a site which has sat contaminated for almost seven decades,” she said.

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