Sep 8, 2007

Ugly Building to get a facelift?

This is huge. The Ugly Building, long the bane of this blog, isn't going away. It's turning into condos and getting prettier.
The developers plan to convert the vacant Capitol Center office building across from Capitol Lake into eight floors of 36 condos, including a mix of two- and three-bedroom units with 1.75 and two bathrooms in each unit. Pending approval of building permits, remodeling could begin this fall and take a year to complete, said Falkenburg, an Olympia partner with Seattle developer Jim Potter.

The developers have dropped plans to add balconies to the building and have yet to work out details about parking, Falkenburg said.

The development, known as The Views on Fifth Avenue, would include 8,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. The office, built as a bank in the mid-1960s, has been vacant since last year, when the state Department of Corrections moved out for offices in Tumwater.

Falkenburg said the developers have not decided how much the view condos would cost, but one of the development partners this year estimated the range from $600,000 to $1 million. The building offers views of the Capitol Building, Capitol Lake, the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier.
And, by consequence, obscures views of the same from many directions.

If it ain't ugly, though, I can probably live with that. Another means of boosting the downtown economy wouldn't be so bad, either. We need a permanent customer pool tax base. (Click to read the nay-saying comments, though. Will residents flock to fill million-dollar condos?)

Update 9/9: stevenl of Olyblog wants to preserve The Ugly Building as-is:
Like the twin WPPSS cooling towers on the Chehalis River Valley near Elma that were never used, this building stands as a monument to our failings, to an era of wrecked expectations, to something I can't quite define at this moment because I'm getting hungry now and want to stop typing. But you know what I mean. Save the Capitol Center Building!

No comments: