August 21, 2000
KENMORE--Engineers for Bucher, Willis & Ratliff presented two proposals to straighten the intersection at 181st and 68th Ave NE.
The north route realigns 181st through the parking lot at Kenmore Village and demolishes the building currently occupied by Mikey's Restaurant. The southern route takes 181st through the 68th intersection and eliminates the building occupied by Hertz AA Rentals.
The preliminary cost estimate for the north route is $1,960,00 and $2,172,600 for the south route. Both routes would create left-over pieces of ground which would be used for a small park.
The south route would cause grade and access problems to Rite Aid, People Storage, and car wash facilities. They would both have varying effects on traffic on 68th.
Mike "Mikey" Hoyle, owner of Mikey's Restaurant, is very concerned. "I started the restaurant two years ago this month. I like Kenmore and don't want to leave. My lawyers have told me that in the case of Eminent Domain, the most I am entitled to under the law is $15,000. It cost me $250,000 to open my restaurant. I had to borrow a lot of the money and have three separate loans all guaranteed by my wife and me personally. I also have borrowed money from several of my brothers and sisters. If my business is bulldozed ... I will have to go bankrupt. I am a little guy and I don't have the resources to fight City Hall. I am not a multinational corporation with megabucks."
The Bucher, Willis & Ratliff proposals include a preliminary dollar amount for the property purchase and payments to tenants for moving expenses. The current proposed budget for Mikey's Restaurant is an estimated $55,000 and AA Rentals would receive approximately $85,000.
According to Ron Lowen, project manager for Bucher, Willis & Ratliff, "Currently, I have no answer on what the final amount to be paid to the tenants will be. The current numbers are estimates, and I will have to have experts in relocation of tenants prepare the final cost estimates for this project."
The City of Kenmore is in the preliminary stages of designing street improvements. Four public meetings are to be held Aug. 23 at 9 a.m., and 1 p.m. Aug. 24 at 3 and 7 p.m. at the Northshore Utility Dist. Building. Call 398-8900.