A new marketing effort to attract retailers to a long-awaited outlet mall development site in northeast Lacey has caught the attention of a resident who has concerns about how that project will affect traffic.
Claudia Lewis, a former longtime Olympia resident who recently moved to Jubilee, a 55-and-older community in northeast Lacey, recently came across the marketing materials for an outlet mall planned near the outdoors store Cabela’s.
A link was posted on a website that serves Jubilee, and she clicked on it to discover the Outlets at Lacey, a proposed outlet mall between Cabela’s and Marvin Road Northeast.
“It’s such a busy area,” Lewis said about the state of traffic, adding that she can’t imagine what traffic will look like once the project is complete.
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Although there’s a new marketing effort, the plan to develop the land is not new. It dates to 2004 when developer Tri Vo pitched a mixed-use project called Lacey Gateway Town Center. It brought Cabela’s to Lacey and was expected to proceed, bringing more commercial and residential uses to the property.
But the Great Recession arrived first. Vo lost the property, and it sat idle for years. Then the more than 200 acres of land was acquired by the Nisqually tribe and Bellevue-based developer Wig Properties. They hired Craig Realty Group of Newport, California, to market the property, which resulted in the leasing brochure for the Outlets at Lacey.
Lacey Community Development Director Rick Walk said the tribe and Wig Properties have picked up where Vo left off with the Town Center concept. They view the outlet mall as the anchor project for the site, with plans to still bring other commercial and residential uses to the property, Walk said.
The city hopes to get a master plan and development agreement before the Lacey City Council this year, Walk said, all of which would take place in public meetings. For those who would like to be kept up to speed on the project, Walk suggested they contact the city’s Community Development Department.
The city also has short- and long-term plans to address traffic in the area, Public Works Director Scott Egger said.
Among the projects:
▪ Widening Marvin Road Northeast to two lanes in both directions, with a center turn lane between Britton Parkway Northeast to just north of 29th Avenue Northeast. That project is expected to go out to bid in April, with work to begin in late spring or early summer.
▪ Adding a roundabout at Hogum Bay Road and Willamette Drive Northeast. That project is expected to begin once the Marvin Road widening project is complete.
▪ Spending $72 million to upgrade the Marvin Road interchange at Interstate 5, improving access to and from the freeway. The state-funded and state-directed project could begin in 2017, Egger said.
Jubilee resident Lewis said roundabouts are not popular among residents, but Egger said they move traffic efficiently, they reduce wait times, and they’re safer because there are fewer points of potential conflict than at a typical intersection.
TO LEARN MORE
Reach the Lacey Community Development Department at 360-491-5642 or by going to ci.lacey.wa.us/city-government/city-departments and then clicking on the “Community Development” tab.