City to acquire downtown grocery building
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
August 20, 2009 · Updated 4:06 PM
The City of Auburn on Monday announced its intention to purchase the old Marvel Food and Deli building at 2 W. Main St. from Andrey and Nadya Ivantsov.
Council members voted to proceed after a closed-door, executive session.
The resolution authorizes Lewis to complete a purchase-and-sale agreement, and directs the sale to close by Oct. 15. The City will pay $460,000 for the building.
Councilmember Virginia Haugen cast the lone no vote.
Andrey and Nadya Ivantsov recently moved Marvel Food & Deli, a hub of the city’s Ukrainian community, to C Street Southwest near the Longhorn Barbecue.
Lewis said the acquisition will tie up several loose ends related to redevelopment of the blocks south of City Hall.
The Stratford Group, a Seattle-based developer, owns all of the block south of City Hall, except for the Sun Break Cafe and the Marvel building, and it had an option to purchase the latter.
On April 1, a critical deadline passed by which Stratford was supposed to notify city officials whether it intended to move forward with its plans.
The passing of that deadline gave the City the option to buy all of Stratford’s holdings plus the Marvel building, and city officials set aside $2.5 million for that purpose.
“Because Stratford wants to continue to move forward, we got approval from them to buy Marvel independently, which to our mind saves us $2 million,” Lewis said.
The purchase would answer another need, this one related to the Promenade project on South Division Street.
City plans show the Promenade would extend about 10 feet into the Marvel Grocery building space.
“The Marvel building had to be under city control,” Lewis said. “We can’t develop the block without getting the rest.
“…Stratford still hopes to go forward, but their problem is the problem every other builder in Puget Sound has that the lenders need to loosen up just a bit. We’re hoping it will be in spring, because we need to get our work done before (Stratford’s) starts. We’re hoping just at the time the Promenade is starting construction that Stratford gets their loan approval, and that allows them to go forward with their project,” Lewis said.
Stratford’s plans call for razing the buildings that front on West Main Street and replacing them with a high-density residential, retail mix.
City officials are working with developer Spencer Alpert on plans for a four-block development south of City Hall called Auburn Junction and the Promenade would be part of that. Sunbreak Cafe Owner Bruce Alverson is working with the Tacoma-based Gintz Group, which specializes in residential, commercial redevelopment and historic rehabilitation. He also could sell his business.Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at email@example.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.