Lacey Gateway, the long-awaited mixed-use development site that is best known for bringing Cabela’s to the city a decade ago, appears to have some new momentum.
That’s because the relatively new owners of the 250-acre site — Bellevue-based developer Mon Wig and the Nisqually Tribe — have submitted plans for a 320,000-square-foot retail project at Britton Parkway and Marvin Road. For the moment, the project is called Lacey Gateway northeast quadrant, according to site plan documents on file with the city.
Those documents, which are still under review by the city, were submitted in September, said Samra Seymour, associate planner.
The proposal envisions 12 buildings spread over 28 acres, including a 123,000-square-foot anchor tenant. It also is near an existing gasoline station and a 7-Eleven convenience store. Details about prospective tenants are still to come.
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“The timing of the 28-acre development is still fluid as we want to make sure to take the time we need to ensure that the market is ready and the project is done right,” Leshya Wig of Wig Properties said in an email.
Associate planner Seymour said the latest proposal is not an outlet center. That idea was pitched for another Lacey Gateway parcel near the outdoors store Cabela’s.
Momentum at Lacey Gateway has been a long time in coming. The original vision was cast by developer Tri Vo, which brought Cabela’s to the site in 2007. The project was slowed by the Great Recession and then Vo lost it in bankruptcy to the lender of record, which then sold it to the Wigs and Nisquallys.
The new owners, though, have a vision similar to Vo’s for the property.
“These 28 acres represent just one of many future phases of the overall Lacey Gateway site, a 250-acre site which will ultimately have a mix of retail, entertainment, residential, medical, and other uses when fully developed,” Leshya Wig said in her email.
Wig Properties also developed two shopping areas in west Olympia: Cooper Point Pavilion and West Olympia Place. Both are on Cooper Point Road.
A dozen new buildings on an already busy corner may raise questions about traffic and congestion in the immediate area. Details gleaned from site plan documents estimate that 600 to 700 people will be employed by the retail development and that it will have more than 1,000 parking stalls.
Some relief will come in the form of new and extended streets.
Main Street, sometimes referred to as the “road to nowhere,” will be extended along the south edge of the development from Marvin Road. It will connect with a new road called Eastern Parkway, which will run between Main Street and Britton Parkway on the west end of the development. The developers are responsible for paying for those roads, said Roger Schoessel, city engineer.
The state also is about to embark on a $72 million project to upgrade the Marvin Road interchange at Interstate 5, improving access to and from the freeway. Schoessel said that work will create a third northbound lane on Marvin Road, between Interstate 5 and Hogum Bay Road. After Hogum Bay Road, Marvin Road drops down to two lanes again, before widening north of Britton Parkway. The widening of Marvin Road north of Britton Parkway began over the summer.
The Lacey Gateway northeast quadrant project isn’t the only one coming to Lacey north of I-5. Several projects are coming to the area, both commercial and residential.
Sharon Anderson, a resident of the nearby 55-and-older community called Jubilee, said some of the residents are looking forward to more stores in the area. As for increased traffic, she said she’s OK with it “as long as the roads are prepared to take on the traffic.”