Q. What’s the deal with that property behind Junction 192nd that the city bought to build a new city hall?
A. In 2005, the city of Bonney Lake paid approximately $1.3 million for 12 acres of land located between the site of the Junction 192 shopping center and Sumner-Buckley Highway. The idea, as championed by then-Mayor Bob Young, was to build a new city hall on the land.
A site analysis was conducted and designs began on the project, but after the election of Mayor Neil Johnson, the city council opted to go in a different direction, ultimately selecting a site in the new Downtown core for a city hall and meeting interim space needs with the Justice Center on Main Street.
But the original land deal stated if Bonney Lake did not begin construction of the a city hall on the land within five years, the former owner, T&S Properties, could repurchase it at the original price, plus 3 percent interest.
Several extensions were granted on the buy-back option deadline while the city was in negotiations with T&S properties over the Fennel Creek/Kelley Farm properties located on the other side of Sumner-Buckley Highway.
T&S ultimately did not follow-though on the repurchase option and the land now belongs to the city, with no contractual building restrictions.
The land does, however, abut Fennel Creek, meaning wetland buffers must be applied, reducing the amount of buildable land on the site.
The city council has not yet made a determination on what to do with the property. It could be sold, developed, or the city could partner with someone else on a project, or it could be traded for other property the city needs.
“Ask Brian” is a new semi-regular feature in which staff writer Brian Beckley attempts to answer questions about something happening in the city. If you have a question, that may or may not be related to a current news item, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and look for an answer in an upcoming issue of the Bonney Lake Courier-Herald.