Nisqually Indian Tribe proposing to build substance-abuse treatment clinic in Olympia

Former site of Frankie’s Sports Bar is set to become multimodal place of healing and recovery


The Nisqually Indian Tribe proposed building a facility on a 53,660-square-foot parcel at 3663 Pacific Avenue SE during a presubmission conference with the Olympia Site Plan Review Committee yesterday.

The building will house what the tribe calls a “Substance Use Disorder Integrated Care Clinic, to include “medication-assisted treatment” (MAT), basing it on “a successful model created by the Swinomish Tribe that has reduced deaths by 50 percent.”

American Indian and Alaska Natives as a group experience death rates that are three times the national and Washington state averages, according to a document from the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

The tribe plans for the facility to serve up to 500 tribal and non-tribal clients per day starting sometime in 2024. To ensure the success of these clients, the facility will also provide related healthcare services, including mental health counseling, dental, primary medical, psychiatric medication management and other categories of service.

Focusing on the opioid epidemic, the Nisqually Indian Tribe says in its materials that it will “offer patients a treatment approach that honors and incorporates Nisqually culture, as well as Native perspectives on health and healing.” Further, it promises to “bring health and wellness to those who do not live in the Nisqually community as well.”

MAT involves using individual and group counseling as well as various medications, including Methadone, Suboxone, Subutex and Vivitrol, according to materials provided by the tribe.

Plans for the facility

A narrative submitted to the review committee by the tribe through applicant Sherry Marquardt describes the 20,000-square-foot two-story medication-assisted treatment facility.

According to Blake Webber, the project manager, the former site of Frankie’s Sports Bar has three existing structures that have been or will be demolished.

He said the site floor plan layouts would allow patient drop-off and emergency service patient pick-up. All patients can enter the building along Pacific Avenue SE to the north or from patient/visitor parking provided around the site.

The other features of the project include a backup emergency generator to keep services uninterrupted.

Planning review

Olympia associate planner Lydia Moorehead noted the area is in the High-Density Corridor-4 (HDC-4) zone, which allows outpatient but not in-patient services.

She said the design standards include the building being up next to the street with parking in the rear.

As for the landscaping plan, Moorehead said they require different types of landscaping for the project:

Perimeter landscaping --  Moorehead said they require 10 feet of landscaping in the south property line, five feet along the east, a minimum of five feet at the west property line or 10 feet where parking is abutting the street.

Interior parking lot landscaping --  Moorehead said the city requires minimum square footage based on the number of parking stalls. "If you have more than 41 stalls, you will need 35 square feet of landscaping per standard stall and 26 square feet for the compact stall."

As for the parking, Moorehead calculated that the project is allowed to have 80 stalls. But the site is in the HDC zone, which requires a 10% reduction.

"In addition to 10%, you are allowed to go plus or minus 10% either way. So if you put that minus 20% that gets you down to 64 stalls," Moorehead told the applicant.

HDC zone design requirements

For the HDC zone, Moorehead said, the design standards require that the primary entry face the streets and provide direct access from the road to the building with pedestrian access to the nearest bus stop.

She advised the applicant to show pedestrian circulation routes from the parking lot to the building and the street to the building.

According to Moorehead, 60% of the street walls along Pacific Avenue and Poplar Street will need windows.

An extension of services being provided on its reservation

The tribe has built a 21-bed unit inside its 310-bed Nisqually Correction Center, designed to be “an alternative to punitive sentencing,” and provides MAT services there. This facility also serves non-tribal clients, in this case, inmates, who are brought there by cities and counties under contracts with the tribe.


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  • Deskandchairs

    by all means, let's focus on getting the landscaping right!

    Friday, January 20, 2023 Report this