The Port of Olympia Commission authorized an exclusive negotiation agreement with Tarragon of Seattle for development of the East Bay District in downtown Olympia at its meeting yesterday. Negotiations are expected to last from 120 to 180 days and result in a contractual agreement for the development.
“All three developers on the short list are highly qualified and capable with excellent track records, and all their proposals had some elements that matched the criteria in our Request for Proposals,” said Bill McGregor, commission president. “However, in a few important areas, Tarragon offered the best match to the Commission’s preferences.”   

The selection criteria included development concept, market analysis, preferred transaction structure, community benefit and capability of developer. The parts of Tarragon’s response that contributed to its success are:

  •  Tarragon plans to develop all six parcels.
  •  The concept requires the least amount of taxpayer dollars.
  •  The company is proposing a traditional development role where it is investing its own money and assuming more of the financial risk.
  •  The firm will match the commission’s preference to develop parcels six and seven for uses other than housing. 

The short list also included Lorig of Seattle and MJR Development of Kirkland. 

The East Bay District comprises 6.83 acres of downtown Olympia waterfront property that is bordered by State Street, Marine Drive and Jefferson Street. It is close to the planned public plaza, children’s museum and LOTT Alliance educational facilities. Planning and citizen input on the project began more than seven years ago.

Comment on this story at BusinessExaminer.com.