Pursuit Distillery won’t be moving closer to downtown Enumclaw, but this plot of land is still planned to be paved for free parking — if the Thunder Dome doesn’t need it for an event. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Pursuit Distillery won’t be moving closer to downtown Enumclaw, but this plot of land is still planned to be paved for free parking — if the Thunder Dome doesn’t need it for an event. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Downtown distillery plans fall through

The empty grass field on the northeastern end of the Enumclaw library will still be paved for additional downtown parking, courtesy the Thunder Dome museum.

A new downtown parking lot is still in the picture, but an accompanying distillery is no longer part of the scenario.

City Attorney Mike Reynolds briefed members of the Enumclaw City Council during a March 9 meeting, delivering the news.

It was in a similar setting – the tail end of a regularly-scheduled council meeting – on Feb. 24 that Reynolds detailed plans for a large, grassy area that sits behind the public library. The city-owned parcel is bordered by Railroad Street, Kasey Kahne Drive and Washington Avenue.

The plot of land is mostly unused, except for small spot dedicated those who pull weeds and grow crops in the “pea patch.”

During the council gathering of the 24th, Reynolds told of ongoing talks with the owner of the Thunder Dome Car Museum, which sits diagonally across from the city land.

Reynolds explained that the museum owner wants to use the city land for a parking lot, to meet his needs when hosting special events. When there is not an event at Thunder Dome, the lot would be open for public use. Museum ownership would pay for construction of the parking lot, Reynolds said, and the city would provide ongoing maintenance.

Discussions included paving all the way to the library with a prime corner, at Railroad and Washington, subleased to Pursuit Distillery.

Everything changed when Reynolds addressed the council March 9.

While the parking lot talks are continuing, he said, “the lessee (Thunder Dome) has informed me that the sublease agreement with the distillery will not go forward.”

That doesn’t mean the corner of Washington and Railroad will be limited to pavement, however. Reynolds said Thunder Dome ownership wants to “retain the ability to sublease to a different commercial operation”

Councilman Anthony Wright expressed his hope that the prime corner, if developed, is something in keeping with downtown goals. For example, he would not want a warehouse built.

Reynolds was quick to assure council the destiny of the land is in their hands.

“It’s our property,” he said. “We control more than just the zoning, we control whatever goes into it.”

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