PORT ANGELES — Bellevue developer Eric Dupar wants to delay construction of his ambitious seven-story downtown Anian Shores residential-commercial complex and 320-stall parking garage for the foreseeable future.
Dupar asked the city Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) on July 6 to extend by one year a building height-related conditional use permit that he was granted July 10, 2020, for the city’s tallest building, which will provide parking for patrons of nearby Field Arts & Events Center, construction of which is on hold.
“I would say it will be another six to 12 months before we can resume construction is the reasonable projection,” Field Hall board President Brooke Taylor said Monday.
Anian Shores will be built on a 1.1-acre parcel at North Oak and West Front streets, the site of a 127-stall parking lot Dupar leases from the city, property the city council has declared surplus and plans to sell to Dupar for the project.
Council members were expected to consider a purchase-and-sale agreement in August 2020, City Manager Nathan West said after the permit was approved. West has been out of the office this week.
“Both sides are having conversations about a draft purchase and sale agreement,” DCED Director Allyson Brekke said Tuesday in a text message.
Dupar did not return calls or respond to emails for comment.
“The [city] council is really excited about the project,” Mayor Kate Dexter said Tuesday.
“We’ve had lots of presentations about it. I just hope that we see it come to fruition. Last year was hard for a lot of people.”
Dupar made the extension request in an email to the DCED.
“We are requesting a one-year extension in light of all that has transpired over the last year,” he said.
“We are ready to get the project in gear again and appreciate the City’s support.”
Community Development Manager Emma Bolin said last week the permit has been automatically extended for 90 days for the DCED to review the request. The extension runs until Oct. 8.
“Extension Requests must show that the permit complies with the original conditions and no significant, adverse changes in circumstances have occurred,” Bolin said in an email.
The Anian Shores mixed-use, $22 million project includes 79 residential units and 8,000 square feet of retail space.
The housing will be “market rate,” according to the city staff report on the permit.
Anian Shores’ six-story parking garage will be next to a residential structure 72 feet tall, or 27 feet taller than the city’s existing 45-foot building height limit, and it will include a ground floor of retail shops and a restaurant.
The holdup of Anian Shores will not hinder progress on completing the Field Arts & Events Hall, located across West Front Street from what will be Dupar’s 109,000-square-foot building, Taylor said.
Construction of the arts center was put on a temporary hold March 31 after fundraising efforts faltered throughout the performing arts industry due to COVID-19.
“I don’t think the delay has much impact on us because some of the same factors that caused [Dupar] to seek an extension on his conditional use permit are involved in our decision to bring a pause in construction,” Taylor said.
“Maybe the timing is still good.”
While acknowledging Dupar’s project would meet Field Hall’s need for patron parking, Taylor said those going to events still will have access to adequate public parking if Anian Shores is not built by the time Field Hall opens. That inventory includes the lot Dupar leases from the city.
Taylor said construction won’t resume until organizers raise $9 million, a need Taylor said has shrunk from $14 million since March 31. The $5 million bridge was crossed in part due to a $2 million state Building for the Arts capital grant.
“Donations are coming in every single week, almost every single day, since we took a pause in construction,” Taylor said.
“It’s coming along really well as we come out of pandemic restrictions and come back to normal fundraising activities.”
Following the most recent fundraiser, the Pillars of the Community event Aug. 8 at Pebble Beach along the city’s waterfront, 15 of 66 “pillars” are left at $25,000 each, Taylor said.
Donor names are memorialized on the glue-laminated Douglas fir mullions, or vertical bars, that frame the performing arts center’s windows.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].