OLYMPIA – The former Boulevard Nursery site has degenerated into a rat-infested eyesore that has been picked over by anonymous groups of people and used as a dumping ground, people who live near the former garden nursery say.
They also want to know: What’s next for the site?
That’s what longtime neighbors Roger and Leslee Osborne of Olympia are pondering as they try to adjust after the business recently closed and since has largely remained dormant.
The Osbornes have lived next door to the site at 2021 Boulevard Road S.E. for 21 years. For most of those years, Boulevard Nursery was successful, they said.
At one time, Boulevard Nursery Garden and Gift Shop, which closed in August, was expected to be reopened by new owners Chris and Jaycee Wood of Spanaway.
The Osbornes and fellow neighbor David Jensen said they remember seeing the young couple working to restore the business, but suddenly, activity at the 1-acre site came to a halt. Two dilapidated structures remain there.
Thurston County Assessor data show that the Woods never bought the site and that it still is owned by Jeff Nevin. Nevin could not be reached; assessor information shows that Nevin’s mailing address is in the Eastern Washington town of Davenport.
Thurston County Superior Court documents also show that it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Nevin and Boulevard Nursery. Last year, the state Department of Revenue sued the business for nearly $20,000 in unpaid taxes. The business later paid off those debts, court documents show.
Seeking answers about the site’s future, Roger Osborne called city officials, who later referred him to the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department. There, he talked to Bill Dean, an environmental site specialist. Dean could not be reached but has visited the site and told the Osbornes that it soon would be put up for sale, Roger Osborne said Saturday.
In the meantime, the Osbornes have spotted rats on the site and say people roam through it “day and night” or use it as a dumping ground.
“It looks so abandoned,” Leslee Osborne said. Jensen, too, said Saturday that his son has seen a rat at the site.
Camp Quixote is set up next door to the former nursery and is being hosted for 90 days by the Westminster Presbyterian Church. The camp is enclosed by a gate near the site.
The Osbornes are quick to point out that the residents of the homeless tent city known as Camp Quixote are not to blame.
“They have not been a problem,” Leslee said.
Rolf Boone is a reporter for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5403 or firstname.lastname@example.org.