November 21, 2020

Mallory Herrmann
Staff Reporter

The city council has given initial approval for a new two-story building at New Longview. They approved the preliminary development plan for the five-suite 10,000-square-foot building at their Nov. 17 session.

The commercial development is located at 420 SW Longview Boulevard, between Sensation and Tower Park Drives and adjacent to GoodVets. It is designed for office or retail use.

The initial preliminary development plan for the New Longview Farm development, approved by the city council in 2002, indicated a one-story building with approximately 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

While the development will be part of the New Longview TIF (tax increment financing) plan and a portion of tax revenues collected will go toward historic preservation projects in the area, the developer will not be seeking any additional economic incentives to fund the project.

David Gale, the original developer of the New Longview project, said he had “minor opposition” to the project based on its shared parking model. But he praised the architecture as “first-class” and approved of the development plan’s concept.

Gale said that parking can be a challenge in the area, particularly in winter months when snow removal causes complications among shared parking spaces.

But the city has long strategized about how to increase density in areas like New Longview and the downtown district. Increasing surface parking would decrease density – and walkability.

The shared parking model allows the development to take existing parking in the area into consideration when meeting parking requirements. The presentation from city staff noted that a total of 68 parking spots would be required with a shared parking model. Without a shared model, just six spots more would be needed for a total of 74 spaces.

“I love the area,” Mayor Bill Baird said. “I’m excited about the building being built there.”

The planning commission recommended approval of the application at their Oct. 8 meeting.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the preliminary development plan. Councilmember Trish Carlyle was absent.