Sunday, July 14, 2024

Chelan PUD, YMCA agree in principle to terms redeveloping part of Fifth Street campus

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WENATCHEE – What is now a utility warehouse is one step closer to becoming the site of a bustling community hub. Chelan PUD staff presented draft terms of a potential purchase and sale agreement for a portion of the PUD’s Fifth Street Campus for Commissioner consideration. The YMCA plans to redevelop part of Chelan PUD’s current headquarters into a new, expanded YMCA facility.

Under the draft proposal, the YMCA would purchase a parcel of about 85,000 square feet on the eastern side of the Fifth Street campus. The nonprofit plans to demolish the existing warehouse, office and shop sometime in the spring of 2024, and prepare the parcel for construction. The PUD would relocate water, stormwater, and electrical infrastructure to enable redevelopment of the entire site, including the future YMCA facility. The PUD will also be responsible for the construction of an internal roadway and sidewalk through the 7.5-acre campus.

Once vacant, the appraised value of the 85,000 square-foot parcel is estimated at $1.49 million. Chelan PUD will offer a $1.09 million credit to the YMCA for demolition and site preparation costs. After the credit, the proposed sale price of the property will be $400,000.

“The YMCA is grateful to the PUD commissioners and staff for this opportunity. This is one more step towards realizing our goal, vision, and promise to best serve the community for the next 100 years, and we are excited,” stated Dorry Foster, CEO of the Wenatchee Valley YMCA.

“I’d like to add my enthusiasm for this project as well,” added PUD Commissioner Garry Arseneault. “This Term Sheet with the YMCA would go a long way towards fulfilling the PUD’s commitment to the community and to our PUD customers to provide long-term value and benefit once we have moved to the new Service Center in Olds Station.

The PUD and YMCA began negotiations in February after the PUD board of commissioners asked staff to pursue anchor uses for the 7.5-acre former headquarters. The PUD is also in negotiations with Music Theatre of Wenatchee, which is interested in the PUD’s Fish & Wildlife building adjacent to the Riverside Playhouse building on the west side of the campus.

The negotiations with the YMCA and Music Theatre are in line with public input collected early in the process to ultimately provide a development that supports the economic and social wellbeing of the community.

In other news, commissioners:

• Heard a report on new inquiries regarding Level 3 (480-volt) charging stations for electric vehicles in Wenatchee, the Chelan area and Cashmere.

• Heard recommendations to change a policy that allows customers who install utility infrastructure to recover a portion of the costs from customers who connect later and benefit from that work.

• The recommended changes would improve customer experience and align with industry best practices.

• Approved a $902,000 capital budget revision to complete fiber expansion and distribution system improvements at lower Blewett Pass, for a project total of $1,788,000.

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