On June 29, 2018 Sigillo Cellars exercised their purchase option with the City of Snoqualmie for the empty King Street lot. In October one of the purchase conditions – council approval of the building concept for a wine production facility, restaurant and boutique hotel – was met. The final condition was securing financing, which was required in order to meet the June 30th purchase option deadline.
The lot will be purchased for $450,000. According to the city, it has yet to be decided if it will be paid in cash, through improvements to public property like adjacent Sandy Cove Park or through a combination of the two.
According to Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman, the next step for Sigillo Cellars is to submit design plans for the Historic Design Review process, as the King Street lot is located in the city’s Historic Overlay District.
Leading up to the that review, the city has been working to clarify its code regarding the height limits of the King Street lot as it lies in the in two zoning areas – the historic overlay district and the community business retail – with two different height limits: 30 and 35 feet.
City staff is recommending amending the code to add clarity to the height limit and to address variances related to flood code and building apparatuses.
The topic was discussed at length at the June 25th city council meeting at which point the council sent it back to the committee level for more discussion. The Community Development City Council Committee discussed the topic again on July 16th with no firm decision made.
There has not been a new building constructed in Snoqualmie’s downtown historic district since 2002 – and not all downtown buildings are under the current 30 ft. limit. The Woodman Lodge is the tallest at 36 feet (roof pitch).
Hofman said the city council will take up the height clarification ordinance after the discussion is completed at the August 6th Community Development Committee meeting and a council recommendation is provided. A city council discussion and vote could potentially happen by the end of August or in early September.
Sigillo Cellars Building Conceptual Design
The conceptual designs for Sigillo’s new King Street building include a two-story, warehouse-style building with approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of wine production space, as well as a new restaurant, meeting space, and a second story boutique hotel.
In an October meeting, Sigillo Cellars owner Mike Seal said the building concept was inspired by the old brick warehouses in Portland’s Pearl District, so it would be designed to look like a historic building that’s been restored, remodeled and repurposed.
The first floor has production space with glass walls, barrel storage rooms and a restaurant with garage-style doors that open to an outdoor seating area fronting Railroad Ave.
The second floor has an interior solarium that is open to the roof and could be used as meeting space. The conceptual design also includes approximately 12 boutique hotel rooms, with an estimated price point somewhere between the Salish Lodge and the new Hampton Inn. Seal said they would market the building as a complete wedding venue.
There is concern from some business owners and residents about losing parking that the King Street lot currently provides. City officials stated in previous meetings that between past and future downtown remodeling work, additional parking spaces have been and more will be added to the downtown area.
The Sigillo building project will also include developing the Falls Ave easement that extends behind the King Street lot, where the city expects parking stalls to be added. Public access to Sandy Cove Park and the Snoqualmie River on Falls Ave will remain intact.
In October the council agreed to address the parking concerns as a separate issue, and discussed wanting to find ways to provide as much downtown parking as possible while still following the direction of the comprehensive plan for the downtown core.
All the designs provided to the city thus far are in the conceptual – not final plans. During the planning department and historical review process, specifications to code – including height – would be required. Any required public hearings would abe held and final designs and materials will also be determined during that process.
Below are Sigillo conceptual exterior designs presented in October 2017:
Front of Building – Facing Railroad Ave
Side of Building from King Street
Side of Building from Bowling Alley
Back of Building from Falls Ave