Port puts prime Bremerton waterfront parcel on market

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port.propertyA “for sale” sign went up last week at a coveted waterfront property overlooking Bremerton Marina.

The 1.6-acre parcel, owned by the Port of Bremerton, was listed by CBRE for $5 million. The land is also available for lease.

The port bought the property from Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority in 2009 for $3.5 million.

The hillside parcel provides parking for marina tenants and the port turns a profit renting additional parking stalls. But with views of Sinclair Inlet and easy access to the ferry, the property has long been ogled by developers as a potential site for a hotel, apartments or condos.

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent made her preference clear in an interview last fall.

“I’m hoping we can have a third hotel,” Lent said. “Because of our expanded conference center, and the vitality of our city, we could accommodate another hotel.”

The trick for the port will be finding a way to lease or sell the land while maintaining parking for the growing number of marina tenants. Boaters use about half of the 120 parking spaces in the busy summer months.

Kitsap residents bought more boats last spring

If the early onset of summer weather had you salivating over the “boats” section of Craigslist last spring, you definitely weren’t alone.

Kitsap residents went on a bit of a  boat buying spree in the second quarter of the year, snapping up 717 vessels, according to numbers posted by Washington Sea Grant.

That was a 14 percent increase from the same period of 2014, and a 31 percent jump from five years ago.

As you can see from the chart, more county residents are springing for new boats, which is good news for local dealerships, hit hard during the recession.

A number factors are likely propelling the recent surge in boat sales, including the improving economy, relatively low fuel prices and, of course, the sunshine.

Six Kitsap companies in running for $20k prize

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Who wouldn’t give this guy $20,000? Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo.

Kitsap Bank announced 16 semifinalists its $20,000 edg3 FUND competition Wednesday, and the list includes six Kitsap companies.

Nearly 60 businesses applied, according to a new release from the bank.

It just so happens we’ve written about all the local semifinalists at one time or another. Here’s the list of Kitsap hopefuls, with links to our stories:

Coyote Woodshop, Bainbridge Island (Kitsap Sun story)

F.R.O.G. Soap, Bremerton (Kitsap Sun story)

Kitsap Fresh, Poulsbo (KPBJ story)

Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio, Silverdale (Kitsap Sun story)

Purpose Boutique, Bremerton (Kitsap Sun story)

The Smithshyre, Poulsbo (KPBJ story and Meegan Reid photo above)

A public vote will help narrow the field of contenders September. Five finalists will give presentations during a live event Nov. 12 at Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, and the winner will be announced the same day.

The edg3 FUND contest recognizes businesses that contribute to their communities economically, socially and environmentally.

See the rest of the semifinalists below:

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92-unit apartment complex proposed for Viking Avenue

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Approximate development site

A developer plans to build a four-building, 92-unit apartment complex on Poulsbo’s Viking Avenue.

The “Arendal on Viking” apartments would be located on 7.55 acres southeast of the intersection with Highway 305, according to the city planner assigned to the project.

Residents would access the complex via a single driveway from Viking. Parking would be mostly surface level, with some spaces underneath buildings. A clubhouse is included in the proposal.

The applicant is Viking Avenue Properties, LLC., headed by Kelly Clark of Kingston. A pre-application meeting was held July 21. Formal permit applications have not yet been filed.

Apartments are in high demand across Kitsap, with large complexes reporting a 3 percent vacancy rate in the second quarter of 2015.  The Bainbridge/Poulsbo submarket saw apartment rents increase by more than 10 percent in the past year.

See an interactive graphic showing Kitsap apartment rental trends here.

Washington Federal opens Bainbridge branch

washington-federal-logoSeattle-based Washington Federal has added a third Kitsap County location with the opening of a Bainbridge Island branch.

The new branch is located next to Starbucks at 337 High School Road NE. A grand opening ribbon cutting will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, followed by an ice cream social from noon to 3 p.m. Friday.

Washington Federal will offer full-service ATMs and regular banking and mortgage services on the island. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Manager Cherrie Cibene said Washington Federal had a large number of customers on the island served by the Poulsbo branch.

“They were asking for us to be out here,” Cibene said.

Washington Federal has locations on Highway 305 in Poulsbo and Highway 303 in East Bremerton. Founded in Ballard in 1917, the bank operates more than 200 offices in eight western states.

For more information on the Bainbridge branch, call (360) 780-6683.

How a Bremerton Safeway got its liquor license suspended

Customers who stopped to grab a six-pack last weekend at the Callow Avenue Safeway left empty handed.

CMZqmCzVEAIP-BlShoppers found the alcohol aisle shrouded in black plastic. An orange sign warned the store’s liquor license had been suspended from Aug. 13 through Aug. 18.

How did one of Bremerton’s busiest grocery stores get its liquor license temporarily pulled?

Through a series of missteps, according to a spokesman for the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.

It began in June, when the Safeway was cited for selling alcohol to a minor during a routine compliance check.

Because it was the store’s first citation in the past two years, management was given the choice of a $500 fine or five-day suspension (repeat offenders are automatically suspended).

Naturally, the store chose to pay the fine.

The problem, according to the Liquor and Cannabis spokesman, was Safeway failed to deliver a check to the board within the 20 days allotted for payment. Missing the deadline triggered a five-day suspension and the orange signs went up.

How unusual is it for a store to get its liquor license suspended? Pretty unusual, it turns out.

In the past 12 months the Callow Safeway was the only store in Kitsap County to have a suspension handed down.

Marijuana shop approved in East Bremerton

A second recreational marijuana store has been approved inside Bremerton city limits.

The new store is called Destination Highway 420 (not to be confused with HWY 420). It’s located at 1225 Hollis Street next to Los Cabos Grill in East Bremerton.

The state’s newly-renamed Liquor and Cannabis Board approved the store Thursday. Destination Highway 420 will hold a soft opening next week.

Destination Highway 420 joins Pacific Cannabis Company, which opened on Callow Avenue earlier this summer. A third Bremerton store at 11th and Callow is in the approval pipeline.

The aforementioned HWY 420 was the first store to open in the Bremerton area. It set up shop on Charleston Beach Road last October, just outside city limits.

The addition of Destination Highway 420 brings Kitsap’s count of recreational marijuana shops to seven (you can expand the map above or click here to see all the locations).

Kitsap retail sales up 8 percent in first quarter

Retail sales got off to a fast start in Kitsap in 2015.

Taxable sales in the county were up 8.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period of 2014, according to the Department of Revenue. That was just shy of the 9 percent growth recorded statewide.

Retail trade sales (sales made by stores, dealerships and other sellers of goods) were up 8.2 percent in Kitsap, outpacing statewide growth.

Retail trade sales in Kitsap are now higher than they were before the recession. Sales in other industries, like construction, manufacturing, and hospitality, are still catching up.

Former RFM architects launch new firm

After years spent spearheading projects for Bremerton’s Rice Fergus Miller, two architects drew up plans for their own firm this year.

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Robert Guyt

The architects are Robert Guyt and Matt King. The firm, which launched about a month ago, is called Blue Architecture + Interiors. 

Guyt said he and King were ready to “chart their own course,” and felt the timing was right with the economy recovering and development picking up.

The architects are pursuing a variety of projects on both sides of Puget Sound. King is based in Seattle, while Guyt works out of Bremerton.

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Matt King

Hospitality is Guyt’s specialty. He led design of the Clearwater Casino Resort hotel and conference center expansion, as well as the Spyglass Hill apartments in Bremerton.

King headed the health care studio at Rice Fergus Miller. His resume includes Harrison Medical Center’s Silverdale orthopedic hospital, and other facilities completed for Harrison, Overlake Hospital and Harborview Medical Center.

The duo often partnered on projects, incorporating design concepts from both industries.

Guyt said they plan to grow their new practice gradually.

“We want to be measured,” he said, “because our intention is to be around for a long time.”

See the Blue Architecture page on Facebook for updates.

Contributed photos

Starbucks, car wash approved in Poulsbo

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Click to enlarge site plan

Kitsap is in line for yet another new Starbucks store.

The Poulsbo planning department recently approved an 8,500-square-foot retail building and 2,700-square-foot car wash on Olhava Way, across from Walmart.

A Starbucks store with drive-thru will occupy about 2,000-square feet of the retail building, according to a 10-year lease agreement recorded with the county last week. Starbucks already has a store in the College Marketplace commercial center, so this could be another case of relocation.

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The new Bucklin Hill Starbucks

The Seattle-based coffee giant has been busy in Kitsap lately. Starbucks opened a new Kitsap Way store last year, followed by a new Bucklin Hill location in July. Another Starbucks is under construction on Highway 104 in Kingston. All of the new stores have drive-thrus.

The site plan for the Olhava Way development lists AT&T and Desert Sun Tanning as additional tenants for the retail space. Like Starbucks, Desert Sun has an existing College Marketplace location.

There is already a big wrinkle for the development plans. A large swath of vacant land in College Marketplace, including the two Olhava Way parcels proposed for the retail and car wash buildings, are set to be auctioned in a foreclosure sale in October. 

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