Chelan PUD To Hold Off On Proposal For Fifth Street Campus
Chelan PUD will explore more options over the next three months for the redevelopment of its Fifth Street campus.
A unanimous vote from commissioners Monday put the only proposal under consideration on hold.
The proposal from the group GTS/Graham Baba/Avar was one of two finalists for the project, along with one from the group Steinhauer.
But Steinhauer withdrew its proposal in September after determining it would need substantial public investment to be feasible. Steinhauer cited building demolition, roadway construction and utility improvements as in need of public funding.
And Monday, commissioners decided against moving forward with the GTS proposal.
“I look back at the process over the last couple of years, and I want to thank everybody that did a lot of work, and got us a long way, but I don’t think we’re there yet,” Commissioner Randy Smith said. “My point is not to reject anything, but to say we’re not ready to make a decision and we need more information.”
The unanimous vote came after a joint letter last week from the City of Wenatchee, Greater Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wenatchee Association and the Chelan Douglas Port Authority strongly endorsed and recommended the GTS proposal.
Those parties are all involved in a joint effort to repurpose the Chelan PUD campus on 5th Street after the utility moves in 2023 to its new headquarters and service center in the Olds Station area of Wenatchee.
The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority (CDRPA) received four proposals last spring from prospective redevelopment teams: Steinhauer Properties, GTS/Graham Baba/Avara, Kidder Mathews, and Sadie Bee LLC/Ben Paine.
An evaluation team made up of City of Wenatchee, Greater Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wenatchee Association, CDRPA and the PUD recommended pursuing further discussion with Steinhauer and GTS.
The evaluation committee met again with GTS on Oct. 10 to hear its revised proposal after Steinhauer dropped out.
Monday's vote by PUD commissioners ensures no decision will be made on future use of the campus before February.
“We want to get it right,” said Commissioner Garry Arseneault. “Feeling rushed, feeling like we have one dance partner, is never the right way to go.”