Aerial shot of the city-owned property on Iverson Street in Poulsbo. Public Works is in the midst of moving its operations from this site to its new location on Viking Avenue. Courtesy Photo

Poulsbo Council discuss options for city-owned property on Iverson

Public Works in process of moving to new site on Viking Ave.

As Public Works is in the midst of transferring operations to its new location on Viking Avenue, the Poulsbo City Council discussed last week potential future plans for its current location on Iverson Street.

Public Works is expected to be moved in by 2023-24. The city’s goal is to repurpose the Iverson Street site to maximize community benefit, city documents read.

The Poulsbo Farmers Market, which currently operates at the nearby Gateway Fellowship church, and Coffee Oasis, a faith-based entity located next to the property, are two organizations that have been considered by the city to transfer the site at no cost. The city owns the Coffee Oasis location and leases the property to them. Other possibilities for the site will be considered, as well, officials said.

“This is the first bite of the apple,” Mayor Becky Erickson said. “We still have a huge amount of due diligence that needs to be done in order to get these contracts together, or if it’s even feasible at all for either of these tenants. This is a very important conversation and a very big decision. It’s a large piece of property that’s severely encumbered.”

The property, which is zoned C3 commercial, has been owned and used by the city for over 50 years. While councilmember Gary McVey was in favor of exploring potential uses to the property, he didn’t want it limited to just Coffee Oasis and the farmers market.

“We clearly need to explore possible uses for this property,” he said. “If we do not find partners to work with on this property and it is left abandoned, we are likely to face some significant costs for demolition. I am supportive of exploring potential uses for this property. I don’t think we should limit ourselves to these two possibilities right now.”

Councilmember Britt Livdahl mentioned that parts of the property flood often, so the “concept of affordable housing … is not feasible.” She said city staff and members of the farmers market checked out the site during the winter. The existing buildings already there could provide year-round shopping for the market but there’s a lot more to consider, according to Livdahl.

“There would be a tremendous amount of work for them with this site,” she said. “From their point of view, they don’t necessarily feel comfortable investing a lot of money in something that they don’t have security in. The truth is the farmers market being in Poulsbo at all is in jeopardy. We desperately want the farmers market to stay in Poulsbo. It’s a sensitive environmental area and I think the farmers market would take good care of it.”

Councilmember Connie Lord added: “I totally support the opportunity for both of these agencies to be able to permanently locate in our city. We’re not gifting them in the sense of doing something wrong by giving them a token lease. We did the same thing with SEA Discovery Center. That is an asset that everybody loves. The farmers market is an asset to the community, no doubt. Coffee Oasis is an asset to our youth.”

Potential next steps include property disclosures; agreement in principle with Coffee Oasis, farmers market or another organization; property transfer contracts (similar in approach to SEA Discovery Center with Western Washington University); and finalize/record BLA (complete in 2022).

More in News

Suquamish man arrested with lots of drugs, cash

A 29-year-old Suquamish man was arrested in Poulsbo after police allegedly found… Continue reading

Belgard Jr.
Man wanted in shooting north of Bremerton

A $1 million felony warrant has been issued for a Kitsap County… Continue reading

Youth will be able to ride free on Kitsap Transit buses. Courtesy Photo
KT to kids: Come on and take a free ride

Kitsap County youth will receive their “ticket to freedom” next school year… Continue reading

Man who died in P.O. fire identified

The name of the South Kitsap resident killed in a mobile home… Continue reading

Mike De Felice | Kitsap News Group
Too big, not a priority, city says in turning away park offer

Mayor says 48-acre property too big a maintenance issue

Firework cakes with prices attached, Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent
Fizzle or boom on fireworks with higher costs?

Fourth of July celebrations in Kitsap County are getting back to pre-pandemic… Continue reading

Downtown Port Orchard. Courtesy Photo
Funding advances for Port Orchard downtown revitalization

The House Appropriations Committee has advanced new funding championed by U.S. Rep.… Continue reading

Suquamish Councilmember Sammy Mabe speaks during the tribe's joint meeting with the city of Poulsbo. Courtesy Photos
Poulsbo, Suquamish officials meet for 1st time since 2020

Tribe suspended relationship following fatal shooting

Heraldnet photo
Former Bremerton High assistant football coach Joe Kennedy was placed on paid leave in 2015 following a dispute with Bremerton School District over his leading prayer sessions at the 50-yard line following games.
Supreme Court rules in favor of former Bremerton football coach

High court’s 6-3 decision states Joe Kennedy was terminated without justification

Most Read