You can’t build in Olympia

January 8th, 2014 by Ken

News that Seattle developer Lorig Associates has pulled out of plans to build a hotel on Port of Olympia property in downtown Olympia really doesn’t come as any surprise.

Economic conditions are still weak and no one is willing to risk a vast sum of money on an idea that has no basis in economic fact.

Building a hotel in downtown Olympia on State street just doesn’t pan out and won’t for the foreseeable future.   In order to build a hotel, there has to be demand and there’s no demand for another downtown hotel.   The only way one could pencil out is if there were a convention center attached and that was never in the plan.

What interests me more is the continual plans of some people to build a hotel on Henderson Boulevard and Interstate Five.

It seems to be the perfect location for a hotel that would cater to travelers passing through town.   It’s right on the freeway and it’s easy to get on and off.

But – – it’s never going to happen.

At least twice before, proposals to build a hotel in that general area have failed.   Local residents have protested vigorously.  They complain about noise from the hotel, they complain about light from the hotel, and they complain about everything connected to a hotel.

Twice neighborhood groups have stopped the creation of a hotel on Henderson and I-5.

Out-of-town developers don’t realize the power the Olympia neighborhood groups hold over development in their areas.   They’re strong, they’re powerful and they elect their own to the Olympia City Council.

Developers of that property will spend tons of money, months of time and in the end won’t get the permit to build.

That’s just the way it is when you try and build in Olympia.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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