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New look in store for downtown waterfront?

Wooden frames at the site of the former Spring Street Landing Building, known as “story posts” depict the size and shape of the new building the Port of Friday Harbor plans to construct.   - Journal photo / Scott Rasmussen
Wooden frames at the site of the former Spring Street Landing Building, known as “story posts” depict the size and shape of the new building the Port of Friday Harbor plans to construct.
— image credit: Journal photo / Scott Rasmussen

The wooden frames at the site of the former Spring Street Landing Building, once the home of Downriggers restaurant, are not expected to convey exactly what the structure that the Port of Friday Harbor plans to build there will look like.

Not by themselves.

Still, Town of Friday Harbor officials thought those frames, known as “story posts,” would offer a decent representation of building and its impact on the waterfront and views around it. The port was asked to put them up in prelude to the town council’s June 26 public hearing, in which the council will review the project and consider whether to grant it a permit, town Administer Duncan Wilson said.

“The town is looking for public input, we thought the story posts would help,” Wilson said.

The new building, with its two-story gabled roof line, designed by Bainbridge Island-BC&J Architecture, harkens back to the town’s early days, when warehouses built on piers lined the edge of the harbor. Port Commissioner Greg Hertel notes that the most recent design of the replacement building and its nod to the past is favored by the town Historic Review Board.

While the height of the building has drawn criticism, Hertel said the story posts do not show the view corridors between the building structures or reflect the open space that will be available on the deck and public plaza that will extend out toward the harbor, both of which are new. The roof line is about one-half to three-quarters of a story taller than the previous building, he said.

“There’s a view through the middle that was never there before,” Hertel said. “There’ll be some impact, no doubt about. But I think we’ve gained more than we’ll lose.”

The first floor of the structure includes retail spaces and underground parking. The second story features a public plaza, restaurant and a separate retail building.

About two-third of its construction costs, roughly $4 million, are expected to be paid for from the insurance settlement from the fire that destroyed the previous building in August, 2013.

The town council will begin review of the project at the evening session of its June 26 meeting, which will be at the Brickworks building.

 

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