PUD commissioners vote to explore more options for Fifth Street development

by Rachel Hansen | Nov 21, 2022

Chelan PUD commissioners directed staff to explore more options over the next three months that complement the community vision for the redevelopment of its Fifth Street campus. (available on the board audio recording around 00:18:00)

“I look back at the process over the last couple of years, and I want to thank everybody that did a lot of work, and got us a long way, but I don’t think we’re there yet,” Commissioner Randy Smith said. “My point is not to reject anything, but to say we’re not ready to make a decision and we need more information.”

The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority (CDRPA) received four proposals last spring from prospective redevelopment teams: Steinhauer Properties, GTS/Graham Baba/Avara, Kidder Mathews, and Sadie Bee LLC/Ben Paine.

An evaluation team made up of City of Wenatchee, Greater Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wenatchee Association, CDRPA and the PUD recommended pursuing further discussion with Steinhauer and GTS/Graham Baba/Avara. After gathering public feedback, PUD commissioners affirmed the recommendation to move forward with the two finalists in August.

Steinhauer withdrew their proposal in September, citing the need for significant public investment to help with building demolition, roadway construction and utility improvements to make the plan feasible.

On Oct. 10, the evaluation committee met with GTS to hear their revised proposal. Later, the City of Wenatchee, Greater Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wenatchee Association and CDRPA  recommended GTS/Graham Baba/Avara for contract negotiations.

“We want to get it right,” said Commissioner Garry Arseneault. “Feeling rushed, feeling like we have one dance partner, is never the right way to go.”

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