Public-Private development could bring new, large National Guard Readiness Center, hotels and restaurants to North Bend

According to KUOW, the Army wants to move its large Washington National Guard Readiness Training facility out of Seattle – where it says the site cannot satisfy the requirements of its mission – to North Bend on a 35-acre site adjacent Truck Town.

Construction of the potential North Bend facility could take years, but a land purchase is being negotiated according to North Bend City officials.

5th District Senator Mark Mullet said the National Guard will receive approximately $6.7 million dollars in the newly approved state budget that would be used to help negotiate a the land purchase, with an understanding that the state will be reimbursed when the Guard sells its current Seattle facility.

The North Bend land parcel on SE 468th is owned by Puget Western, Inc. which, according to tax records, purchased it in 2004 for $3.2 million. It is currently listed for $10.6 million.

According to North Bend Economic Development Manager Lynn Hyde, the city was approached by the National Guard and conducted meetings about the vacant land for a Readiness Training Center, but that it was still in the feasibility stage.

North Bend Community Development Director David Miller said the city doesn’t have much to go on right now since neither the Army nor the developer it is working with have not offered the city any site planning or other information beyond initial introductions to the vision.

Miller said the vision also includes the development of two hotels and two restaurants on 10 acres of the land parcel that fronts SE 468th Ave. A Department of Commerce presentation also notes the site having the potential for a public-private collaboration. The remaining 25 acres is proposed to hold a 160,000 sq. ft. Readiness Center; 25,000 sq. ft. Maintenance Shop; parking for personal vehicles and military equipment.

Miller explained, “The commercial 10 acres could be developed by the same party that builds the Readiness Center or by the Cleveland developer that has represented the parties to date.  All commercial properties will be privately owned and operated.”

When asked if the City council was supportive of the Army’s development vision, Miller said the council sees several advantages to the National Guard Readiness Center, adding, “It has very little negative impact to the City with training sessions twice a month… and is a huge emergency resource in our back yard to assist in times of heavy snowfalls, flood or another emergency event.” 

According to Miller all previous meetings with the Army went well, with the biggest wild card being federal budget and funding for moving the center from Seattle.  He added, “I think that the public information released by the Washington National Guard leads us to believe that this [North Bend] is their preferred location so far in the process.”

** Note: Images are conceptual, not final.**

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