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The Port Angeles hotel project wakes up

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PORT ANGELES – Plans to build a 106-room hotel in downtown Port Angeles are back on track.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has submitted land and shoreline use permits for the $ 25 million project to the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), Tribal Project Director Michael Peters said on Friday. .

“We have taken an important step,” he said.

“He was well received by the city.”

This four-story hotel, which will face East Front Street towards the Olympics, North Laurel Street West and East Railroad Avenue to the north overlooking the Port of Port Angeles, will take 18 months to two years to build once permits are approved. , Peters predicted.

The hotel will create 65 jobs that will generate $ 1.9 million in wages per year, according to the conditional use app.

A maximum 28-day period for DCED’s review of the completeness of applications began on Friday, after which hearing dates for reviewers and public comment will be set, Community Development Officer Emma said on Friday. Bolin.

The conditional use and shoreline derogation permits that will be heard by a hearing examiner would allow the project to exceed a building height of 45 feet up to 60 feet.

A hearing examiner will decide the UPC and the waiver. The State Department of Ecology will decide the shoreline variance.

DCED Director Alysson Brekke said in a text message on Thursday that the nominations had been deemed “counter-completed” or ready for consideration.

“We don’t want someone to submit an application with glaring omissions,” Bolin said.

“It’s a big project. We are really happy to follow the process. It is still early in the process.

Peters said the tribe was “very close” to meeting State Department of Ecology requirements for the disposal of polluted soil at the fenced gravel-covered site, where 8,000 tonnes of soil were trucked. .

According to the conditional use permit, the hotel will be 81,288 square feet. It will feature a 3000 square foot restaurant and kitchen, a swimming pool and 36 off-street parking spaces along North Laurel Street.

Plans for a parking garage have been dropped.

“The project’s market study recommends a hotel with more than 85 rooms to achieve a reasonable rate of return, but due to the very constrained real estate available and the additional cost to remediate the site of soil contamination, a third level of rooms (a fourth floor) is necessary for economic viability, ”says the app.

“Solar studies have been conducted showing that the shadows created by the extra height are negligible compared to a hypothetical building built at the height limit of 45 feet.”

The views from the buildings and streets of downtown, and from the cliff to the south that borders the downtown area, “are not significantly affected by the extra height,” according to the app.

“The views of the harbor and the strait are essentially unchanged from a hypothetical building with the same footprint built at the 45 foot limit.”

In developing the site, the tribe has already removed several deteriorated structures from the city center and excavated the polluted soil, “resulting in a property that is significantly improved from an environmental perspective,” according to the app.

Budget Rent a Car was razed, as was the Necessities & Temptations gift shop, Cornerhouse Restaurant & Lounge, Downtown Hotel, Harbor Art Gallery, and Winters Garage. The garage, which housed an oil and gas company, used underground tanks.

The hotel will offer six times more rooms than the Downtown Hotel, according to the app.

“It is a fundamental mission of the hotel to strengthen the vitality of downtown Port Angeles through the provision of a modern four-star hotel that serves as a catalyst to support existing and planned commercial, recreational and tourism developments in region ”, indicates the application. .

The hotel’s primary entry point will be two driveways off North Laurel Street that would access surface parking so that traffic is not impeded on the railroad or the front, depending on the app.

The hotel has the potential to generate $ 104,000 in sales taxes and $ 68,000 in business and occupancy taxes, with $ 1.5 million generated by construction, of which the city would earn $ 390,000, according to the application. Municipal permit and inspection fees would be $ 105,000.

According to the application of the State Environmental Policy Act, the hotel will work with the development of the Port Angeles Waterfront Center for accommodation support and, for parking needs, with Bellevue developer Eric Dupar, including Anian Shores, a multi-purpose garage-condominium project a few blocks away. , has not yet been authorized.

The three plots totaling 1.16 acres on the site will provide hotel space on two plots and above-ground parking and outdoor seating on a third plot. All three lots are located at 101-111 E. Front Street.

“The hotel intends to work in coordination with the city for the use (with compensation) of the city center parking lots owned by the city and private owners so as not to clutter the on-street parking used by the residents. companies “, depending on the application.

The hotel will be located over 10 feet of embankment from an old hill to the south of the property.

“The potential for liquefaction and tsunami is [the] only known geological hazards, ”according to the shore permit application.

There are no plans to add or expand the hotel, depending on the application. The site will contain 90% of impermeable surface, against more than 95% covered by demolished buildings.

The hotel will be built with brick, fiber cement metal panels and treated wood.

It will generate around 585 vehicle trips per day.

Construction will be on hold at the Waterfront Centre’s Field Arts & Events Hall in mid-March due to a slowdown in felt contributions from entertainment venues nationwide, according to Waterfront Center organizers.

But the building envelope is there, ready to be completed, Peters noted.

The Elwha Hotel has seen similar delays as Field Hall is on the verge of suffering, at one point it was expected to open by summer 2020, Peters recalled.

“Imagine what a setback it would have been if the hotel had opened and had to close during the summer or work with reduced occupancy during that time,” he said.

“It works, not the way we wanted it to, but it works well.

“Who knows, we can still be open in the same amount of time.

“We took a break,” said Peters, “and now we’re good to go.”

________

Senior Editor Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].




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