SEQUIM — A property long connected with a possible Fred Meyer and other business opportunities will go to auction in November.
Business partners Mark Burrowes, a broker with John L. Scott, and Fred McConkey, a developer out of Bellevue, look to auction off the 77-acre property branded the Bell Creek Village, aka the Burrowes Property, as a whole or in parcels along the east side of South Sequim Avenue and north of U.S. Highway 101.
Burrowes said personal reasons led him and McConkey to sell the property through Realty Marketing Northwest. Sealed bids are due no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, to Realty Marketing Northwest.
Call 800-845-3524 or visit www.rmnw-auctions.com for more information.
“The auction is going to be an excellent format,” Burrowes said.
“Realty Marketing is top quality. They have really good reach.”
John Rosenthal, broker with Realty Marketing Northwest, said the property was last listed at $3.5 million, but now the owners are asking for a bid equal to or exceeding $1.86 million for all five parcels or totaling that amount in separate sales.
Parcels can be purchased individually in different proportions for 74.97 acres, 53.3 acres, 21.67 acres, 0.92 acre or 1.33 acres.
Burrowes said the property has been in his family since the 1920s and once operated as a horse and dairy farm.
He’s optimistic about a sale going through.
“It’s a great piece of property,” he said. “Whoever comes in I’m sure will be a good fit for Sequim. It’s certainly a terrific opportunity.”
Fred Meyer often was reported as an anchor tenant for the proposed property.
A spokesman with Kroger, the parent company of Fred Meyer and QFC, told the Sequim Gazette in 2004 that Kroger’s capital committee didn’t approve of the project because it would compete with Sequim’s QFC and lead to lower sales if a Fred Meyer opened.
Burrowes said the plan for the site was to have a little bit of everything.
Rosenthal said the property is located within the city of Sequim and that he met with city staff to plan it better to align it with the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
“[The property] is trying to set the table not for big-box stores but mixed use,” he said.
Rosenthal said the conceptual plan could include anything from a continuing care facility for retirees to an RV park to light industry to apartments to an agricultural interpretative center.
“When you drive along there, you want to see something to get you off the road,” he said.
Chris Hugo, Sequim’s director of community development, confirmed he spoke with Rosenthal but said it’s been a few years since city staff worked on development plans on the property.
A portion of the property, 53.3 acres, is designated as an Economic Opportunity Area, which formerly was called a mixed-use zone.
The other similarly zoned area in the city lies behind Costco and other box stores toward the highway, Hugo said.
“Those sites are just waiting for someone to have a great idea that contributes to the health of the community,” he said.
Hugo said what’s best for these properties depends on the market. Possible options could be a mix of high-tech industry with housing, an auto dealer and/or possibly a college extension campus, but Hugo said the site needs to show it can create living-wage jobs and provide an attractive gateway to the city.
“Right now, Sequim’s economy is a three-legged stool with tourism, service economy and institutional activity such as [Olympic Medical Center and Sequim School District], and we’re trying to create a stool with a fourth leg such as high technology, light industry or an institution/college campus,” he said. “The priority is living-wage employment that exports products or ideas.”
While the potential for the site remains, some logistics must be handled for any developer.
Hugo said Bell Creek runs diagonally across the property, but state agencies approved a conceptual plan to relocate it to the foot of the berm along the highway to better use the site.
He said working with water could be a significant challenge because the site absorbs so much water and there would need to be mitigation to develop a plan to direct the water elsewhere because where it goes, Brown Road, already has high water issues downstream.
For more information on Bell Creek Village, visit www.rmnw-auctions.com or call 800-845-3524.