Developers who want to renovate a downtown Olympia building are ready to face their critics.
”We’re ready for a robust discussion,” said Troy Nichols, spokesperson for the “Views on Fifth” project.
Developers want to spend $30 million turning the vacant nine-story building into apartments and a restaurant.
“It’s going to look a lot different,” said Nichols.
The former state office building, with its boarded up and broken windows, has been nicknamed “The Mistake by the Lake," because it partially blocks the views of the Olympic Mountains from the state Capitol campus and Capitol Lake.
Critics have called for it to be demolished since it was abandoned in 2006.
”We don’t disagree that we need more developments like this, but it’s in the wrong location,” said Jerry Reilly, chair of the Olympia Capitol Park Foundation.
Reilly said his organization has hundreds of members who want the building destroyed and replaced with something that doesn’t block the view, like a park or library.
The city will hear the developer's plans and take public comment during a neighborhood meeting on the proposal Wednesday July, 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Olympia’s City Hall. Comments can also be emailed to the city on the project's website.