Puyallup: Sumner

Four-story apartment complex could be on the way to downtown Sumner

A four-story apartment complex might be on the way to the site of the former Red Apple grocery store in downtown Sumner.

The city is in final negotiations with a developer who wants to buy the city-owned lot. Initial plans call for an apartment building.

The deal is still months away, Sumner’s community development director Ryan Windish told The Puyallup Herald. The city has not announced the interested builder.

The property, known as the “Red Apple Site,” went up for sale last month and received three offers for the listed price of more than $4.2 million, Windish said.

In addition to the Red Apple, the 85,813-square-foot lot once held a bank branch and towing company. Sumner bought the land with the intention to expand city operations there, but that plan languished.

The City Council has been interested in increasing housing in the historic downtown near the Sounder train station and Main Street businesses.

Some residents have complained of changing historic downtown’s character, but others are ready for more available housing within the city. With less than a 45-minute train ride into downtown Seattle, Sumner is hoping to attract commuters looking for more affordable housing, Windish said.

The city and the interested developer are still discussing the type of housing, whether it be for seniors, young families or affordable housing, Sumner spokesperson Carmen Palmer said.

The apartment complex is planned to have a “downtown-style,” rather than a suburban style with stairwells and sprawling space for parking, Windish said.

The project is intended to be one of many developments downtown to propel growth.

“We are hoping it’s a catalyst site,” Windish said.

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.