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Council to review requests for city hall proposals

Examples of “request for proposals” for building a new city hall and police station will be reviewed by the Sequim City Council at next Monday’s meeting.

They will include examples of requests for both “lease-purchase” and “build to suit” arrangements.

Interim city manager Robert Spinks said he wanted to “refocus our efforts” to develop a new city hall and police station.

The city has four leases that are either month-to-month or about to expire, which could put the city in a precarious and expensive position of buying portable buildings or leasing commercial space, he said.

Capital projects manager Frank Needham said after a public process conducted in 2005, it was determined the city needed buildings that could last for 50 years and be part of an expandable campus.

They are seeking a city hall building of 20,000 square feet plus 80 parking spaces, the 60 required by city code plus an additional 20, he said.

It would not include the police station because that department has different requirements, hours and clientele, Needham said.

They would like to break ground by August 2009, he said.

The two issues are financing and who will build it, Needham said.

A builder has offered a “lease-purchase” arrangement — where the property is leased with an option to buy — but the city would have to put out a “request for proposals” to get competing offers from other builders as well, he said.

There’s vacant space available in the city but landlords are “asking for arms and legs — and getting it,” Needham said.

There are better opportunities for partnerships with other agencies such as the library district but not in the downtown core because of space restrictions, he said.

Following a one-hour executive session to discuss potential sites, Needham said he would bring back examples of “request for proposals” at the July 28 meeting for discussion and possible action.

The examples would include requests for “lease-purchase” as well as “build to suit” if the building is built on city-owned land, he said.

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