UPDATE | October 26, 2017
On Monday, October 23, 2017 in a unanimous vote, the Snoqualmie City Council approved the conceptual design direction of the new Sigillo Cellars Building. Per the option purchase agreement for the property, the concept had to be approved in order for the sale to move forward.
Sigillo now must secure financing in November as the second key component per the terms of the purchase agreement. If secured, the deal can be finalized in February. At that juncture, other building requirements and approvals, as well as public hearings, would occur before construction could commence.
During Monday’s meeting, the loss of parking was a big discussion topic. 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.
You can read more about the proposed building and see conceptual renderings below.
The downtown Snoqualmie landscape may be changing in the next couple of years if a real estate deal for the empty King Street lot between Sigillo Cellars and the City of Snoqualmie goes through.
At the October 18th meeting of the City’s Economic Development Commission, Sigillo Cellars owner Mike Seal presented the second set of conceptual drawings for a new, two-story warehouse-style building that would provide approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of production space for the growing winery, as well as a new restaurant, meeting space, and a second story boutique hotel.
The city owns the vacant King Street lot that is currently used for parking, but the downtown master plan envisions the property eventually holding a business. Earlier this year Sigillo and the city entered into an option purchase agreement that includes two [option] steps before the deal is finalized: 1) the building’s conceptual idea is approved by council and 2) financing of the project is secured.
Seal said the concept for the new building was inspired by the old brick warehouses in Portland’s Pearl District, so it’s designed to look like a historic building that’s been restored, remodeled and repurposed.
The revised conceptual designs scaled down the building to two stories and added parking on the north and east sides of the property. The design also has the building raised three feet to meet flood code. 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 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 as wineries have become very popular spots for weddings, they would market the building as a complete wedding venue.
Sigillo is also proposing to shore up part of Sandy Cove Park where it borders the property to create additional parking and outdoor deck space.
Earlier in the process, there was some concern about parking since the King Street lot can serve as parking for about 40-60 cars . The city said between past and future downtown remodeling work, additional parking spaces have been and more will be added to the downtown area – along with stalls included on the property and along an easement of Falls Ave that extends into the property.
Sigillo in Downtown Snoqualmie
Sigillo Cellars moved to Snoqualmie about 5 1/2 years ago. It opened a small tasting room in its current production facility located at Meadowbrook Way and Park Street where they bottled about 400 cases of wine annually. That number has since grown to 4,000 cases with 1,200 wine club members.
As they grew, the tasting room was relocated to the Migone Building in the heart of the historic downtown core, where Sigillo also loans out the space to community groups free of charge. Mike Seal said, “We love being here. We were courted to move to Woodinville, but we want to be right here in downtown.”
Seal said they feel they’ve done their part to help with the revitalization of downtown. Even with plans for a new building, Sigillo is exploring the idea of leaving the tasting room in its current space at Migone, as he says patrons have said they feel the space is a ‘gem of downtown.”
The conceptual drawings will be presented to city council on Monday, October 23rd. With council approval that the concept is a good fit for downtown, Seal anticipated working to finalize financing by November. The purchase option could then be exercised in February.
As far as a construction timeline, that part could still be a year or so off, as many planning and permitting, as well as historic design reviews, would need to be completed.
At this point all the designs are in the conceptual stage. They are not working plans. During the planning department review process, specifications to code would be required and any required public hearings would be held. Final designs and materials will also be determined during that process.
Sigillo Cellars used skB Architects for the designs and plans to hire Cornerstone Construction to build the facility, which has also constructed high schools in Redmond and Issaquah.
All Economic Development Commission members expressed support for the conceptual designs, with one member saying it could serve as “an anchor to the look and feel of downtown.”
[It was noted that the King Street lot serves as a sandbag filling station during flood events. City officials said the sandbag station would be relocated to a different city site.]