Update on 2nd and Main; thanks to elected leaders | Letters to the Editor
Last updated 12/12/2019 at 9:35am
An update on Graphite construction
Two years ago, Mary Olsen and I announced the addition of a new art facility at the corner of Second Avenue South and Main Street in downtown Edmonds. The structure was slated to break ground in 2019.
We are fielding a lot of questions about Graphite. People are very curious and excited to see this building get underway.
What is the delay? The original design was a two-story building with a restaurant, gallery, workshop area, and artist studios on the first floor. The second-story had more studios, apartments, and an atrium opening up to the workshop area below.
That original design went through the stages of architectural drafts and city reviews. But Mary and I took a long hard look at the design. Mary said it had become too complicated, and we went back to the drawing board.
The building has been simplified. It has been reworked to be essentially two separate buildings. The reworking of the design has opened up what was the first floor into an independent structure that will face Main Street.
By taking the second floor and making it a separate building, many square feet of floor space needed for the elevator and stairways are now eliminated. The public spaces of Graphite will be more generous and have a better flow.
The second building, positioned immediately south, will include apartments over grade-level parking, as well as a Pilates studio.
The new design received approval by the Architectural Review Board in September. The city of Edmonds has given the process priority, but there are many details in a building like this.
The building permit application has been submitted and review comments are currently being addressed. Construction is expected to start early 2020.
Thank you, mayor and council
As the year is about to come to an end, so does the role of four amazing individuals who have served our city with distinction.
I want to express my sincerest thank you to Mayor Dave Earling and City Council members Neil Tibbott, Tom Mesaros, and Dave Teitzel.
It has always been clear to me that
– You love this city
– You take your role seriously
– You have sacrificed a lot in service of this community
– You do what you believe is right
– Individually and as a group, you have protected this city and made it better.
We each get only so many heartbeats in this life, and that you have given so many of yours in service of this city is remarkable and inspiring.
On any given council agenda, you will be making decisions that will impact several generations on topics ranging from police and fire protection, budget, taxes, the marsh, the arts, waterfront connector, trees, transportation, parking, gun control, road maintenance, homelessness, housing, parks, land use, cell service, Highway 99, wayside horns, waterfront center, water quality, sewers, climate change, utility rates, vender contracts, opioid impacts, diversity, business health ... to name just a very few.
To do this you must attend council meetings, committee meetings, public meetings, liaison meetings, and public events. And, you need to prepare for each – your council packets are typically more than 200 pages. It's a lot of time, and you sure don't do it for the money or the recognition.
Each of you leaving will be sorely missed, for many reasons.
I have two asks:
First, to those who will not be returning, you have more than earned a break, but we still need you. Please continue to give us the benefit of your wisdom and experience.
Second, to those who are returning, and the newly elected mayor and councilmembers, thank you for the willingness to serve and what you are about to undertake. I encourage all of us to put the campaign behind us and show how Edmonds is not like other places, and that 42,000 people can actually get along, make hard choices, and enjoy each other.
More than once, we have shown that we share many common values and we come together for the common good.
Please have the courage to resist the pressure to make decisions because of special interest or the loudest voice. And, as history has taught us, sometimes even the majority is wrong. Let Edmonds be the city that sets the national standard for collaboration, cooperation, civility, and making good decisions.
I end with the two words I started with, and they do not begin to express how grateful I am to each of you: "Thank you."