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Bainbridge Walgreens, Key Bank ready to open

Key Bank and Walgreens on the corner of Highway 305 and High School Rds on Bainbridge Island. They are at the new “ Wintergreen Walk” the Visconsi shopping center.LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

Two businesses are ready to open in Wintergreen Walk, a new High School Road shopping center that stirred controversy on Bainbridge island.

A 14,500-square-foot Walgreens pharmacy will debut at 8 a.m. Friday. A 3,300-square-foot Key Bank branch opens at 9 a.m. Monday.

Wintergreen Walk encompasses eight acres on the northeast corner of Highway 305 and High School Road.

bainbridge-island-aerialKey Bank, which was previously located behind McDonald’s on the south side of High School Road, now occupies a prominent place above the intersection.

Walgreens is tucked behind. Both buildings feature drive thrus.

Key Bank Manager Jon Phelps said the new branch shows the bank’s commitment to the Bainbridge.

“We didn’t want to be one of the banks that pulled up roots and moved off the island,” he said. “We’re here to stay.”

Wintergreen Walk is being constructed in phases, and could eventually offer 60,000 square feet of leasable space for restaurants, retail and medical offices, spread across seven buildings.

Headed by Visconsi Companies, a midwest development firm, the shopping center incited backlash from its inception.

Islanders held protests on street corners, decrying what they saw as unnecessary suburban sprawl. In August 2014 a teenaged protestor climbed 70 feet into a Douglas fir and camped for 40 hours to draw attention to the development plans.

In the end, the trees came down and construction moved ahead. The city issued the first building permits in March.

Watch for a full story in the Monday Kitsap Sun and Nov. 20 Bainbridge Islander.

Larry Steagall photo

Bainbridge Walgreens building approved

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Planners have approved the first major building in the Visconsi shopping center on Bainbridge Island.

The city issued a commercial building permit March 30 for a 14,475-square-foot Walgreens  building. The drug store will be an anchor tenant for the 8-acre development, located on the northeast corner of High School Road and Highway 305.

bainbridge-island-aerialVisconsi also applied for a permit for a 3,228-square-foot Key Bank branch.

Key Bank plans to relocate to the development from its existing location on the south side of High School Road. The permit application is under review.

Looking at the site plan, the Key Bank building is the small building shown at the southwest corner of the property (nearest the intersection), the drug store is the next building to the north.

Those are the only two building permit applications Visconsi has submitted thus far, according to the city’s online permit records.

The Ohio-base developer plans to eventually build seven buildings on the site, with space for medical offices, stores and restaurants.

The Visconsi project drew heavy criticism from some islanders, who protested the clearing of trees and what they saw as unnecessary urban sprawl. The company posted this letter in response (PDF).