Olympia City Hall – no done deal

June 21st, 2008 by Ken

It was May 2006, and Team Olympia was in place and ready to start working on construction of a new city hall for Olympia.  The price of the project had been set at $25 million – – and the location favored for the new city building was property owned by the Port of Olympia.

City officials were confident the project would be underway by early 2007 and plans were made to move into the new Olympia City Hall by mid 2009.

The best laid plans were not to be.   Team Olympia opted out of the contract citing unknown difficulties.  The City of Olympia found a new site when the old Safeway building location became available.  And plans to construct Olympia’s new city hall were back at the starting point – again.

Now the cost is set at $31 – – not counting land purchase and clean-up costs – – and three teams of developers are vying to become the builders of the new city hall.  Except, one of the teams had to back out because it couldn’t meet the City of Olympia’s requirement that it offer equal benefits to its employees’ domestic partners. 

Now we’re down to two teams of developers, both designing the new city hall, and the cost has climbed to $35 million – – not counting land purchase and clean-up.

From its track record, I don’t hold out much hope that the project will go any smoother than it has already.   I suspect that we may not see a new Olympia City Hall for many years yet to come. 

Posted in Government, The Real News

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