Olympia to gain parking lots

OLYMPIA – Downtown will gain two new parking lots in a purchase/land swap with Intercity Transit that the Olympia City Council is poised to approve tonight. The new lots would replace 45 of the 50 parking spaces that will be lost when the 126-apartment Colpitts project rises on a parking lot at Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street, a city staff report says.

One lot has 25 parking spaces and is on the southwest corner of State Avenue and Capitol Way. The other has 20 parking spaces and is on the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street.

The city will give Intercity Transit property on Martin Way near Pattison Street and $50,000 in return.

Colpitts Development Co. of Seattle plans to build a seven-story, mixed-use building with 126 apartments on the parking lot on Columbia Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues. If realized, it would be the largest addition of market-rate housing to downtown in more than 30 years.

Keith Stahley, director of the city’s Community Planning and Development Department, said development could get under way later this year. Colpitts has not yet applied for a building permit, but the city could issue one within 60 to 90 days of an application, he said.

“From our perspective, it certainly looks like a go,” Stahley said.

A message left with Colpitts was not immediately returned Monday.

The City Council voted unanimously in August to sell the land to Colpitts for $270,000. In a follow-up agreement, the council committed to spend $270,000 for environmental cleanup and split any remaining costs with Colpitts — up to an additional $223,000 for each party.

Intercity Transit’s board has already approved the land swap/purchase, said Roger Dean, the transit agency’s development director.

He said his agency bought the parcels years ago as potential transit center sites. After deciding to build the bus depot at State Avenue and Washington street, Intercity Transit held the lots as surplus.

As part of the deal, Intercity Transit would get a chunk of city-owned land alongside Martin Way near the agency’s headquarters on Pattison Street for future expansion.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 900 Plum St. S.E.

Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869