Puyallup considers sale of its resource center
Two well-known Puyallup nonprofits could soon need new headquarters and might find it in underutilized space at Puyallup City Hall.
The City Council Tuesday indicated it may want to sell the Community Resource Center on North Meridian, which today is home to the Puyallup Main Street Association and the Daffodil Festival, among a couple other tenants.
A public hearing might come in July. After that, the council could direct city staff to place the building on the market, said City Manager Ralph Dannenberg.
The city may not stop with the resource center.
Some council members indicated they’re interested in exploring the sale of other city properties. Councilman Kent Boyle said Wednesday that it “doesn’t make a lot of sense for us as a city to have a lot of real estate holdings.”
But he said officials must move forward wisely. The real estate market “is not the best it’s ever been,” he said.
The city owns another building downtown that houses a youth program.
And it has about 3 acres near the South Hill Mall once intended to be the site of a city fire station. Dannenberg said the 3 acres are already on the market.
The city bought the two-story, roughly 4,500-square-foot resource center in about 1999, he said. For a while, it served as the site of City Council meetings. It’s no longer needed for that purpose after the five-story City Hall opened in 2008.
Councilman John Hopkins said before Tuesday’s meeting that the resource center is surplus. “Why not sell it, as long as we get a reasonable price?” he said.
The Main Street and Daffodil Festival groups then could move into the first floor of the underutilized City Hall, he said.
The council recently discussed relocating the city’s Police Department or municipal court into City Hall. But a consultant recommended against it, citing layout and building code issues and the expense of adapting the office building for public safety programs.
Today, the Main Street and Daffodil groups each pay $325 a month in rent to the city for space at the resource center.
Leaders of both groups said they’re happy where they are.
But, “the city has to do what it has to do,” said Steve James, Daffodil executive director.
He said his group was notified a sale was possible and has discussed contingencies, including a possible move to City Hall.
Arla Cuddie, president of the Main Street board, said she understands the council wants to be fiscally responsible. But she said she hopes the city will consider all its properties and not single out the resource center.
“I haven’t heard an explanation as to why only that (building) has been looked at,” Cuddie said.
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