BREMERTON — Ambitious? That's putting it mildly, Mike Brown said.
"Insane, perhaps," joked Brown, a principal with Sound West Group, on plans for a two-tower project that includes apartments, hotel and public plaza on the Bremerton waterfront. Each tower would be five stories tall, on top of a three-level parking garage.
But Brown and others at the Bremerton-based development company have heard it before. The $15 million Spyglass Hill apartments, completed earlier this year, once endured similar descriptions. But its 80 units took just 87 days to fill.
And so it is that Sound West Group will take its next chance on Bremerton with a project that would "transform" its skyline, according to Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent.
Plans at Second Street and Washington Avenue call for a 120-room hotel, 133-unit apartment building, restaurant and a public plaza — all atop a 376-stall, three-level parking garage.
"This is a really big project for us," Brown said. "In Kitsap County, it's a big project, period."
Sound West Group is still seeking investors for what it's calling Marina Square, but has already made significant headway toward financing the project, Brown said. No price tag has been released.
"There's a lot of work to be done," Brown said. "But we're on the way to making it happen."
Brown estimated Sound West Group, which is currently constructing 27 loft apartments on Fourth Street, will be prepared to apply for a building permit in about three months; construction of the 340,000-square-foot development would likely take around two years.
The land is currently a parking lot owned by the Port of Bremerton. Cary Bozeman, one of its commissioners and a former mayor who pushed through redevelopment in the area, said the project accomplishes four goals. It maintains 75 parking stalls for the port's marina, keep view corridors along Washington Avenue, creates new public spaces along the waterfront and gets more people living in downtown Bremerton.
The port and Sound West Group are under contract for a sale of the land at $4.5 million. Bozeman said he's pleased with the buyers.
"We wanted to sell it to local people who care about the community," Bozeman said.
"This is a precious piece of real estate. We want to make sure it's done right."
Mayor-elect Greg Wheeler, who will take office in January, said he met with Sound West Group Principal Wes Larson and liked what he saw.
"I think it's a great project with a nice design," Wheeler said. "I think it's great for our city."
The project is currently before the city's design review board, which is ensuring it meets the standards of the city's downtown core. Environmental and shoreline reviews are in progress.