OLYMPIA – A developer has proposed constructing a two-building complex with a 7-Eleven convenience store on the long-vacant southeast corner of Harrison Avenue and Division Street.
MAJ Development Group of Vancouver, Wash., filed a land-use application last month for a two-lot site plan, including two retail commercial buildings with 7,600 square feet, at 1919 Harrison Ave. N.W. The retail complex would have 29 parking spots.
The owner is listed as Harrison LLC of Olympia. Representatives of the developer could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
A neighborhood meeting was held Monday night at Garfield Elementary School so residents could learn more and provide input on the project, said Jennifer Kenny, an associate planner for the city’s planning department.
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Jerry Parker, a resident of the west side neighborhood who attended the meeting, had a number of concerns about the planning process and proposal.
“My first concern is that the announcement (of the development) is utterly deficient,” he said. “It doesn’t give us enough information on which to really have an opinion.”
There is no rendering of the retail complex in the application, he said. And though the development application mentions two phases to the project, he’s not sure what’s part of the second phase, after the 7-Eleven.
He also is concerned that a convenience store doesn’t fit in the city’s comprehensive plan, which calls for the area to be a high-density corridor that’s oriented toward pedestrians.
“It violates almost every provision in the comp plan having to do with strip development,” he said. “This is the epitome of strip development.”
The Harrison Avenue lot, which once was a lumberyard, has been vacant for more than a decade through a series of development proposals. One, for a Jack In the Box restaurant, was scuttled by neighborhood leaders, Parker said. In 2006, Washington Business Bank proposed building a 4,147-square-foot branch on the corner, but the proposal went nowhere.
On May Day 2001, 250 activists took over the private lot and planted a garden there, condemning urban sprawl. The city tore out the garden the next day. It remains a grassy lot.
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 firstname.lastname@example.org