Today the Bothell City Council is considering a plan that would see McMenamins (the Portland-based company known for revitalizing languishing historic properties) renovate an aging school building and help bring some much-needed life to downtown Bothell. The Mayor and the City Manager are both excited about the prospect of McMenamins coming to town and are hopeful that the Council shares their enthusiasm.
Not too long ago, McMenamins was interested in developing a hotel, pub and entertainment facility at the old seminary building at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore. The neighborhood freaked out. Opponents feared that the renovated seminary would promote underage drinking and fill the streets with inebriated motorists. Hurray for the neighborhood, they successfully chased McMenamins away. Now the beautiful, historic seminary building can simply continue to rot. Not far away, the city of Bothell is proving itself to be much less myopic.
Reports say that plans are being drawn up for McMenamins to purchase and renovate the old Anderson school in Bothell along with other buildings on the property. The project is expected to create a 70 room hotel, restaurant, pub, movie theater, live music venue and spa. What’s more, the company will renovate a public swimming pool and let Bothell residents use it free-of-charge for 15 years. They will also develop a community meeting space and public gardens.
No wonder the people up the hill in Juanita/Kenmore didn’t want McMenamins coming to town. Those public gardens sound horrible.
A report published in the Daily Journal of Commerce confirms that, in total, McMenamins is looking to develop over 5 acres in downtown Bothell. The report says the company will pay $2.3 million for the property. The city estimates that the project will provide $4.7 million worth of community benefits.
A company spokeswoman was unsure of the total cost. She said the deal is set to close in April of 2011, and construction would start in May of 2012.
City Manager Bob Stowe told the Daily Journal of Commerce, “First and foremost, we have the ability to preserve the (W.A.) Anderson Building.”
Stowe added McMenamins will offer live music along with movies in what is now the school gym. Stowe said the purchase price for the property is $7 million in cash and community benefits. One of those benefits is McMenamins taking over the shuttered Ruiz/Costie Northshore Pool, closed since August of last year.
Stowe said McMenamins’ hotel guests will have access to the pool, but so will Bothell residents, free-of-charge, for 15 years after the pool reopens.
According to McMenamins Marketing Director Renee Rank, plans for the Anderson building include a 70-room hotel, full-service restaurant along with smaller pub spaces, a movie theater, catering space, a gift shop, day spa and a soaking pool. She says the Bothell building will resemble the McMenamins Kennedy School property in Portland.
The company is looking to close its deal for the Anderson building in April 2011. Construction would begin in May 2012, with an opening date of June 2013.
“It’s great news,” Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb told the Daily Journal of Commerce. “It’s extremely exciting news,” noting that it fits in well with his plans and hopes for a revitalized downtown Bothell. “This is the first significant private sector investment.”
Stowe and other city officials emphasized the deal for the Anderson Building is subject to approval from City Council, which is scheduled to address the matter today (June 15th).