Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Starting out as an hourly production employee in 1961, Knight went through a series of promotions to eventually enjoy a long career as the Brewmaster at the “modern” brewery, the Olympia Brewing Company, from 1974 to 1997.
“It’s a grand old building,” he said as he helped provide captions for pictures taken of the Old Brewhouse on the October 18 tour.
The importance of the structure was recognized in 1978 when the property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, it was listed as one of "Washington State's Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties" by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Stop Work Order Comments, Reactions
Local reaction to the stop work order has been steady since the news was first reported by Little Hollywood on October 30.
Michael Chun of Associated Environmental Group, a local engineering firm working with Heidgerken, was shocked when he saw recent pictures of the site on the Little Hollywood blog.
Chun said that his firm’s involvement with the project is focused on the hazardous material cleanup of metals contamination due to the painting of barrels with leaded paint. A former paint shop was located on the site, near the hillside that contains several artesian springs.
“Barrels were scattered all over the place,” he said. As part of a voluntary cleanup agreement with the state Department of Ecology, Heidgerken hired Chun’s firm to characterize the contamination and remove the top level of soil.
“Now we need to deal with the groundwater….We’re looking for dissolved metals. At this point, we don’t know if it’s contaminated. We need to set three resource protection wells,” explained Chun. Chun said he had wanted to place the wells this past summer, but Heidgerken delayed for unknown reasons.
“The sooner we get this started, the better. I am waiting for grading to get a drill rig down there….it’s a challenging site. I’d like to get started by the end of the year.” Chun said that Ecology requires that the water be sampled four consecutive quarters for a year.
Chun, who has led several successful environmental restoration efforts in downtown Olympia, said he hadn’t been at the Old Brewhouse property in quite a while. Chun reacted upon seeing the most recent Little Hollywood article about the old brewery.
“Holy Cow!” Chun exclaimed when he saw the pictures. “ ….I can tell you right now I won’t be able to get a drill rig down there….George clearly went above and beyond what we needed,” said Chun. With a new perspective on the situation, Chun said he would visit the site in person as soon as possible.
Asked to comment on the stop work order, City of Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet wrote a response to Little Hollywood last week. He also sent his statement to the Thurston County commissioners, the Port of Olympia commissioners, and City of Olympia and Tumwater councilmembers.
“I’ve read your blog and appreciate your interest in the environment and this iconic site. I assure you that it is my desire to have any redevelopment of this site protect the historic assets while respecting the location from an environmental and cultural perspective. We continue to work with a number of experts to try and find that balance,” wrote Kmet.
Kirkwood, along with Tumwater City Councilmember Tom Oliva, toured the Old Brewhouse site on October 18 with several citizens. Kirkwood, along with Oliva founded the organization in 2008 to “motivate the community in developing the Old Brewhouse for a public purpose.”
The Old Brewhouse Foundation has chosen not to take a formal position on Heidgerken's plans nor did the organization comment on the city's determination of significance and scope of the environmental impact statement for the area.
Richard Gollis and Adam Seidman of The Concord Group summarized the market study results for the council. The team identified the potential for a wide array of land uses at the site, taking advantage of existing structures as well as building new ones.
The group says there is approximately 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of supportable development over a 10-year period. A phased in, mixed use approach could be developed along Custer Way as an early catalyst, as well as working through the concept of the craft brewery and distilling center.
The group said that of the three proposed land use alternatives identified by the city, the third alternative, the full mixed use redevelopment alternative, would maximize the area's potential. A mixed use project off Custer Way, including the Cellars Building at 240 Custer Way, and the historic brewhouse, could serve to bring people to the area.
The analysis considered different land uses at the site, such as an apartment building, condominiums, hotel, retail, office, and special destination uses, such as the craft brewery and distilling center.
Limiting development to renovation of the historic structure was not recommended because of the amount of infrastructure development required for the site.
The consultants said that the reason people would come to the area is to enjoy retail and hospitality, and would want to live here because it is near historic structures and the Deschutes River. Educational institutions would be an important component of the property’s future success.
City Administrator John Doan commented on the importance of the craft brewery and distilling center or another special destination use to help accelerate the development timeline.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
“We have contacted Alex Callender, over at the shoreline section of the Department of Ecology, letting him know where we’re at with this. The lead official right now is in the process of actually issuing the notice of violation….”
Carlson also said that the city will be setting up a meeting with both Ecology and the Army Corps of Engineers in the next couple of days to discuss what each agency’s course of action will be.
Stop Work Order Details
City of Tumwater building official John Darnell visited the site this week after receiving a complaint that grading and filling work was being conducted on the south side of the building. Darnell confirmed that this work was being done without permits required under several Tumwater city codes including grading, wetland protection standards, and fish and wildlife habitat protection.
The stop work order, dated October 28, also requires that a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) be in place.
“With the exception of immediate erosion control measures, the Stop Work Order will remain in place until all plans, mitigations and approvals have been completed....You are required to submit a SWPPP plan designed and stamped by a licensed professional engineer to mitigate the potential erosion and stabilize the disturbed area....You also need to prepare a report/plan prepared by a licensed wetland biologist and civil engineer showing how the wetland and habitat area will be mitigated. Once we have the report and plan we will schedule a meeting with you and the agencies involved to determine if the mitigation is acceptable....” said Darnell.
She was taken on two tours of the property, one led by Tim Smith, planning manager at the City of Tumwater on October 8, and one led by the Old Brewhouse Foundation on October 18. On both tours, it was apparent that significant road construction and water diversion work was being done at the site. Other citizens were also on both tours.
City of Tumwater Response
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
It was that lack of clarity that concerned city Hearing Examiner Scheibmeir at Monday night's hearing.
Shelter Capacity Projections and Community Needs
Currently, the proposed 42 shelter beds at First Christian Church will be split - 22 for men and 20 for women. In addition, Sacred Heart Church in Lacey and St. Michael’s Church on Olympia’s eastside will operate a 12 bed shelter for men, as they have in previous years. This year, they will shelter the next 12 men on the Interfaith shelter’s screened list.
In her testimony, Theresa Slusher calculated a net gain of 10 beds for both men and women combined but it is also worth noting that the women are taking a net loss.
The shelter beds for women in the community are limited to Salvation Army and the Interfaith Shelter.
Bread and Roses, a non-profit inspired by the Catholic Worker movement and dedicated to serving the homeless, recently announced that they will no longer shelter homeless women.
For more information about the Interfaith Works Emergency Shelter, contact Meg Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.iwshelter.org.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Frequent murmurs of approval were heard while Heidgerken gave his presentation, and someone in the audience remarked, “It's about time.”
“….There’s community frustration and it’s not getting any easier with time. … People were proud about the brewery – it was an attraction. In the 60’s and 70s, about 900 people worked for the (new) brewery, and most lived no more than a quarter of a mile or half a mile away. Many walked to work or took the trolley. You didn’t have to find parking for 900 people….There’s a challenge of remodeling old buildings to fit today’s world. It’s a balance, and it’s complicated in the sense that there’s a lot of moving parts….”
Asked about the scope of the letter of mutual partnership signed by various entities to create a craft brewery and distilling center, Doan said not to worry about the partnership's limitations or the location of the center – it’s about programmatic cooperation.
“It’s a run at something there’s a market demand for – it’s really a field that's very hot….In the end, everybody wants to see something happen down there.”
For more information, contact the City of Tumwater at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us.
For past articles about the Old Brewery and Tumwater’s Brewery District plans, go to www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com and use the search button to type in key words.
For more information about History Programs and Schmidt House tours, contact Don Trosper, Public History and Development Manager, (360) 786-8117 or email@example.com or the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, (360) 943-2550 or www.olytumfoundation.org.