Mark Goldberg, lead contact on the Bremerton Towers project discussed Thursday in the Kitsap Sun, returned my call this morning and provided additional details to the story.
1. These will be apartments. “There’s nobody building condominiums now,” he said.
2. The company will build the one tower first, with no definite plans for the second two. The first tower, with 140 residences, is on Goldberg’s property at 510 Washington Avenue. He hopes construction will begin in spring or summer 2013, but there is no firm commitment on that.
3. The property where the second and third towers would go are bank owned. The bank, First Citizens Bank & Trust of Lacey, has a third party on contract to pursue possible development of those towers, Goldberg said. He might be involved in that work, but that’s not certain at this point.
To reiterate something I wrote in the comments section of the story, more or less repeating something from the story, this project was essentially approved by the city in 2009.
To elaborate on that, any proposed project that meets the city’s zoning standards by law has to be approved. It’s why Wal-Mart is in Poulsbo. The city had zoned for a big box years before. Opponents, including a couple on the council, tried to block it by not approving it, but I remember quite clearly Ed Stern making the case that the city is obligated by law to approve a project if it meets the standards the city has set. In this case that decision fell upon Bremerton’s Department of Community Development and it was made in 2009.
Goldberg believes the first Bremerton Tower will be attractive to a mix of renters. The building would be a rare waterfront highrise, which he said doesn’t exist anywhere in the Puget Sound region.
To clarify other issues. Goldberg was not the developer on the project that cost the county and the city money. His condo complex was completely private and was next to the housing authority condo complex. When Goldberg’s project was stung by economic downturn, those condos went to auction.
Goldberg did own the property where the debris was left. As our story explained before, he paid to have the building on site knocked down, had six months to clean it up, said he ran out of money, got foreclosed on at which point the legal responsibility to clean it up went away.