A judge has denied a request to halt construction at Views on Fifth, a controversial building project on the isthmus between Capitol Lake and West Bay in Olympia, while a legal challenge to the project makes its way through Thurston County Superior Court.
Ken Brogan and his partners want to turn the vacant Capitol Center Building on Fifth Avenue Southwest into a mixed-use development with apartments, retail space and a ground-floor restaurant. The city’s hearing examiner signed off on the project in February.
Demolition on an adjacent property that is part of the development started last month, and crews are now working on structural reinforcements inside the nine-story tower.
But a group represented by Olympia attorney Allen Miller is trying to block the development, filing a land use petition in Thurston County Superior Court last month. Some in the group — which includes former governors, a former secretary of state, former state senator and former mayor of Olympia — have long called for the tower to be demolished and replaced by a park.
On Friday, Judge Carol Murphy denied the group’s motion to stop construction on the site until the land use petition is heard. She said Miller did not show irreparable harm would occur in the time it takes for the case to be decided, which could be a few months.
Heather Burgess, a lawyer for the developer, called the request a procedural delay and said Miller’s goal was to stop any development that isn’t a park.
“Time is money, as we’ve demonstrated,” Burgess said.
Murphy noted the developer accepts some risk by starting construction when there is a land use petition case pending.
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for April 27.