March 4, 2002
Expanding business district is changing face of downtown Duvall
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
DUVALL - It has taken a long time, but the Duvall business district is finally beginning to catch up with the plateau, which has experienced considerable residential growth in recent years.
By far the most conspicuous of the new downtown developments is the massive Copper Hill complex across from the sewage treatment plant.
Just in the last two weeks, the state Department of Transportation approved the highway striping on SR-203, allowing the first tenants to move in. Papa Murphy's Pizza and Duvall Fitness are now open for business. Evergreen Medical Center expects to open its new clinic the third week of March. An open house is set for March 16.
And, despite the economic downturn, there has been further interest in leasing space, according to Duvall City Administrator Doreen Wise.
"We have had some phone calls about space in new buildings," she said. "But no one else has requested a permit for a tenant improvement plan."
Wise said the building is basically a shell, so tenants must finish the spaces they lease.
Copper Hill contains 46,000 square feet of commercial space in front, and 35,000 square feet in the back, which includes 16 residential units.
Riverview Plaza, currently under construction closer to the downtown core, will contain 42,000 square feet of commercial space, with retail businesses on the street level, office space above and indoor mini-storage on the back side, which will be accessible from inside the building.
Aiming to fill the gap between Safeway and Copper Hill is the yet-to-be-constructed Duvall Village, where the big, yellow dairy barn (known as the Thayer barn) now sits. The site is 31 acres with 10 acres developable, with a creek in the northeast corner, which requires a 100-foot setback, said Wise. There are also wetlands in the middle of the site, she said.
Wise said the barn will be moved by the city to the 143rd St. intersection. The city and local arts groups have hoped for years to convert the barn into a performing arts center.
"We are still planning to do that," said Wise. "The barn will be at the back side and overlook the wetlands. A kitchen and restroom will be built next to the barn and there will be about 50 parking spaces there."
The area where the barn is located now will be a fast food and gas station, she said.
Duvall Village will have 150 condominiums and 28 live-work units, where people can live above or below.
"It's a pretty innovative concept," she said. "Were excited about that. There is no time frame but the owners are preparing the environmental work for SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act)."
Wise emphasized that the application for Duvall Village predated the sewer moratorium.
The City Council has approved Safeway's plans for a gas station on the corner near the Main Street intersection. The station is expected to open early this summer.
Along with the station, plans are to install a clock on the tower and erect a town sign to announce civic and school activities.
"There will be some impacts of the lights from the gas station which we have been working to reduce," Wise said. "And because Duvall has a sign ordinance, there has been issue about whether Safeway's name will be on the sign."
Wise said site plans and designs have been submitted to the city for three of the four pads at the Safeway site.
"There are no specific tenants for those spaces yet," she said, adding they will be multi-tenant buildings.
"This commercial development will increase sales and property taxes for the city," Wise said. "In terms of raising revenue, commercial development provides a new base so the city is not depending so much on residential property taxes."