Enumclaw community center plan hits a snag

Ambitious plans for a senior housing project in downtown Enumclaw, in conjunction new community center, have fallen through.

That decision was confirmed by City Administrator Chris Searcy at the conclusion of the Dec. 9 City Council meeting.

The deal-breaker was the developer’s position that ownership of land would have to be transferred from city’s hands. Searcy said that was never the city’s intent and that a lease arrangement was always planned.

It was nearly a year ago that the city issued a formal Request For Proposals, looking for someone to develop senior citizen housing and a community center on the large, grassy expanse of land immediately behind the public library. There were two responsible bidders and city administration favored Village Concepts, the firm responsible for Enumclaw’s High Point Village. An agenda item on the council’s Nov. 25 meeting would have sealed the deal for 101 housing units and a community center featuring 9,000 square feet of space.

The disagreement over ownership of the land may have squelched the deal, but it hasn’t completely taken the concept off the shelf, Searcy said.

“There are no hard feelings on their end or our end,” he told the council, explaining that Village Concepts remains willing to look at other opportunities in Enumclaw.

The city remains committed to such a project, he added.

“There’s a need and a desire to have a senior housing project in the community,” he said.

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