Trails End arena, which for years welcomed horse riders, is set to be demolished this summer, Tumwater officials said Monday. And once the land is cleared, a new complex of buildings and a park will be constructed on the site in 2020.
The city needs more room for its public works and maintenance equipment, which is now stored behind City Hall, and for its parks and facilities maintenance staff and equipment, which is based at Capitol Boulevard and Israel Road.
Not only does the city need more room, the existing locations could be put to a better use, said Jay Eaton, the city's public works director.
It was not an overnight decision, he said. The plan for a new operations and maintenance facility began in 2012-13. In 2014, the city paid $800,000 to acquire the 22.5-acre property, which is surrounded by residential neighborhoods referred to as the Bush Prairie/Trails End area.
Eaton is set to explain the demolition work during a public meeting of the development review committee meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday at Tumwater City Hall, 555 Israel Road SW.
After The Olympian published a story Sunday on the demolition plans, many on social media lamented the arena's fate. However, it hasn't been used for horse riding in years. The arena was built in the 1960s and was last fully used in the 1990s, said Ann Cook, a spokeswoman for the city. However, office space at the site continued to be used. Former owner Tri Vo, a South Sound developer, lost the property to the bank in 2010 and it was put up for sale.
Eaton said the city bought the property from West Coast Bank, which has since been acquired by Columbia Bank of Tacoma.
In its unused condition, neighbors had raised concerns about trespassing and vandalism at the arena.
"Neighbors will tell you it was a bit of a nuisance," Cook said.
And the buildings were in poor shape, Eaton said.
The new complex of buildings that will replace it is estimated to cost $30 million, Eaton said. Financing for the project has yet to be determined.
A park also is planned on site, although that will have a separate design review process, he said. The Bush Prairie/Trails End area doesn't have a park now.