PORT ORCHARD — The city is inching closer with its plans to build the South Kitsap Community Events Center and redevelop the downtown waterfront by closing on a real estate agreement to acquire the Kitsap Bank property at 619 Bay St.
The commercial property along the waterfront was acquired for $2.5 million. The state Legislature contributed $1.2 million for the acquisition, according to City of Port Orchard officials. Kitsap Public Facilities District also contributed $1 million. In addition, $300,000 in local funding was secured to help procure the property.
The acquisition is the next step in the city’s plan to redevelop the downtown waterfront and relocate the Port Orchard branch of Kitsap Regional Library to the community events center.
Officials said as part of the agreement, Kitsap Bank will lease its current building from the city while a new regional headquarters on adjacent property is built over a four-year period.
“Planning for this major project has been in the works for a number of years,” Port Orchard Mayor Rob Putaansuu said in a news release.
“Kitsap Bank has been a fantastic collaborator and their new headquarters will be a perfect complement to the events center. The property acquisition is a meaningful step in the process as we complete the design phase of the new community center.”
When completed, the South Kitsap Community Events Center will provide a central gathering place and multi-purpose facility in downtown Port Orchard that will support various local and regional events and activities, officials said. In addition to housing the relocated local library branch, the facility will host large and small public events and meetings.
Concurrently, city officials said they are performing cost estimates on schematic drawings developed by Rice Fergus Miller, the architectural and planning firm that has been contracted to develop the facility. The cost evaluations are being done in advance of the start of the final design phase of the downtown revitalization project, Putaansuu said.