Demolition is underway for two city-owned buildings at Water Street and Fourth Avenue in downtown Olympia.
Crews from WM Dickson Company began work Monday on the former GHB Insurance building at 407 Water St. SW and the former Little Da Nang restaurant at 301 Fourth Ave. W.
Demolition should be complete by the end of next week. The contract requires a 6-inch layer of topsoil over the finished site along with grass seed.
WM Dickson got the contract after a low bid of $50,048, according to the city, which had budgeted as much as $125,000 for the project. Earlier this year, the company had been hired to tear down two vacant buildings on the isthmus between Capitol Lake and West Bay: the former Thurston County Housing Authority and Department of Health buildings at 505 and 529 Fourth Ave. W.
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In 1995, the city paid $235,000 for the 4,000-square-foot GHB building, former site of the Olympia Alano Club. In 2007, the city bought the 900-square-foot Little Da Nang site for $350,000, according to county property records.
Kip Summers, project manager with the city, said the two buildings contain hazardous materials and have long been slated to come down.
“Both of those buildings have reached a stage where they’re requiring major maintenance and major repair work,” he said.
The demolition coincides with other key initiatives in downtown Olympia.
The city is seeking “letters of interest” from private contractors for the Water Street Redevelopment Area, a 1.09-acre site between Fourth and Fifth avenues next to Heritage Park Fountain. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 15.
The city’s goal for the area includes a mix of residential housing, retailers, restaurants, office space and parking. The block was chosen because of its proximity to the public park and waterfront.
The Water Street Redevelopment Area focuses on one of several sites identified by the Community Renewal Area (CRA) process. The CRA is an economic development tool that expands Olympia’s power to revitalize downtown properties that are in poor condition by making deals with private property owners and developers.