If you happened to be on social media this week, you may have noticed some buzz about a possible new business eyeing North Bend – on a land parcel adjacent to Truck Town – for its headquarters: Plymouth Poultry.
Many residents expressed concerns that the plant would be processing chicken. As it turns out, the company was looking at many different locations for its headquarters/distribution plant that packages frozen chicken (i.e. NO live chickens on site), BUT ultimately decided to build in a different community.
Via Facebook North Bend Communications Coordinator Jill Green reminded residents that the city council can only approve zoning in different areas of the city, not specific businesses. She invited community members to attend council meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month to learn about city businesses and comments on topics of concern.
Bottom Line: Currently, no frozen chicken distribution plant is coming to North Bend. The land Plymouth Poultry was considering is for sale, though, and zoned employment park.
North Bend Hotel Update
Meanwhile, a hotel that’s been planned for the corner of South Fork Ave and Bendigo Blvd is still slowly progressing.
The project has been plagued by delays since site work began in August 2014. In October 2015 it was announced that the hotel would be a Marriott Fairfield Inn – and then not too long afterward, the project stalled.
In April 2017, city officials said the project was moving again – that the developer had chosen to complete other projects before the North Bend hotel – and was ready to commence work later that year. At the time, the developer was hoping to have the project complete in spring 2019… but construction never began.
North Bend Community Development Director David Miller provided a new update, saying there have been a variety of delays facing the hotel project. The primary issue is related to WSDOT’s control of its Bendigo Blvd right-of-way, with flood design issues also adding kinks to the permitting process.
Miller explained via email, “There has been a need for very detailed analysis of potential 100-year flood water level elevations as we have recently found that FEMA will not accept the official Flood Insurance Rate Map information regarding 100-year flood level elevations, requiring detailed hydraulic studies to verify where that 100-year flood elevation will be.”
This issue required the developer to change civil engineering firms, to a firm that could provide the services to solve the problem. That also added some delay.
As far as WSDOT and the Bendigo right-of-way issue, Miller said WSDOT will not allow utilities to be located in their street right-of-way. That means the only place to locate the utilities is in the heavily landscaped space between the street and hotel site. Miller added, “Even using this space, the code requirements for separation of water and sewer facilities require use of the WSDOT right-of-way.”
The result has been extensive permitting and review by WSDOT, which Miller said is taking months. Absent this, he said the hotel would be under construction by now. These delays mean construction will be pushed back by several months. As a result, the project isn’t expected to break ground until fall 2018 at the earliest.
But there is good news. Miller said the project’s current design team is excellent and the proper design information to address the flood issues is now being finalized.
The hotel’s project manager, William Choi, also reported to the city this week that they have selected a site contractor and building construction company.