Evans Vista is one notch further along the timeline after the Port Townsend City Council approved a contract with an Olympia-based firm to begin constructing a master plan for the city’s …
Evans Vista is one notch further along the timeline after the Port Townsend City Council approved a contract with an Olympia-based firm to begin constructing a master plan for the city’s affordable housing project.
In its Nov. 7 business meeting, the city council approved a $500,000 contract with Thomas Architectural Studios in Olympia to develop a master plan that incorporates a mixed-use and mixed-income housing design.
The contract was passed with eight councilmembers approving it, though Councilmember Ben Thomas abstained, saying, “It’s not because I’m against it. The goals as stated look good to me, it makes sense in that section, but $500,000 is a lot of money.”
“I just don’t feel confident enough in what it is and what we’re doing, and I’m not against it … I’m not voting no,” Thomas added.
The $500,000 to be used for the contract is coming from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, and the $3.1 million used to purchase the property came from the state and will also assist with the costs of infrastructure.
Evans Vista is a 14.4-acre plot of land south of the Rainier Street and Sims Way roundabout that the city purchased at the end of 2021. Planners expect the property to provide a mix of 100 to 150 workforce housing units.
Though initial plans are preliminary, the city could use the mixed-use aspect of the land to develop commercial properties, family services, or other uses for the eight acres of developable land on the property.
A cultural resources survey was completed earlier this year by the Portland-based Willamette Cultural Resources Association, with the firm having no significant findings.
Regarding Thomas Architectural Studios, the city’s selection team unanimously recommended the firm for its extensive project planning experience with mixed-use and mixed-income designs.
According to the firm, 90 percent of their plans have successfully led to developer construction.
Thomas Architectural Studios is set to collaborate with a variety of firms, consultants, and organizations for the development of the master plan, such as PCS Structural Engineering and SCJ Alliance for engineering, MTN2COAST for land surveying, and ECONorthwest for financial analysis.
Goals for the Evans Vista housing project include delivering a mix of housing types for a diversity of income levels, from 80 percent area median income (AMI) to 120 percent AMI; financial analysis including incentives or installation of additional infrastructure, public engagement with the community to develop a vision and plan, phasing, and aesthetics; outreach to housing and community developers to gauge interest and feasibility; and secure basic entitlements and develop a phasing plan, according to city documents.
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