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Groundbreaking on downtown Auburn project is Oct. 10
A common Auburnite's response to the news that developers John McKenna and Brett Jacobsen plan to put up a six-story building on the old Cavanaugh lot on East Main — yeah, I'll believe it when I see it.
Well, here's news for the jaded: groundbreaking on the Trek Apartments project is at 2 p.m., Oct. 10 at the site.
Plans call for a mixed-use building composed of 12,000 square feet of first-floor retail facing East Main Street, below five floors of 128 market-rate apartments, transformable into condominiums.
Their company, Plan A Development, bought the block on East Main Street on March 11 from LLC Bankers Capital Management, LLC and Centrum Financial Services, Inc. for $1.4 million.
According to the City's newsletter, "City News", the project is to include a second-floor Plaza Level, replete with a central courtyard offering barbecue areas, entertainment space, garden landscaping, and a community kitchen for the general use of all tenants.
The Cavanaugh block was to be the site of a development, Project Ace, built and financed by the Cavanaugh family and its development partner, but financial irregularities involving the partner halted progress almost before things got off the ground. Years of counter suits followed, but in the end the Cavanaugh family lost the property its family had held since the early 20th century. The only part of that project that was ever built was the parking garage. McKenna and Jacobsen plan to reface the garage and incorporate it into their plans.
In other development news, the City has extended to Sept. 4 the deadline for Teutsch Partners, LLC, a Seattle-based real estate services company, to decide whether it wants to acquire one, or both, of the two City-owned blocks immediately south of City Hall.
On the table, the Krites-Huff block just east of the Sound Transit Center, today a parking lot, or the Gambini block on South Division south of the old Cavanaugh block, or both.
Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis has been in purchase-and-sale negotiations with Teutsch Partners, LLC of Seattle, since May. Teutsch was originally given 60 days to make its decision, but the discovery of an old fuel tank on the Krites Huff block, site of a long-vanished garage, has complicated matters, leading to the granting of the extension.
"I know Teutsch is moving as fast as they can on it," said Auburn Economic Development Manager Doug Lein.
Under the City's most optimistic scenario, all the City blocks in Auburn's "catalyst area," so called because of City hopes that growth there would catalyze it elsewhere, will have been sold by the end of the year.
Provided that Teutsch acquires any or all of the properties, any project it pursues will have to fit within the framework of the downtown development code, which describes buildings of 5-7 stories with a retail-commercial base and what can be in them.
Spencer Alpert, principal of Alpert International, the force behind Auburn Junction, the proposed 27-parcel, 5.39-acre mixed-use, urban village between the Sound Transit Station, City Hall and Safeway, has a 30-day option to meet or exceed any offer Teutsch Partners makes to the City.
According to Teutsch Partners LLC's website, the company formed in 1987 and is one of the premium commercial real estate services and development companies in the Pacific Northwest, having experience as owner-developer and tenant and owner advisor.