Tumwater to receive grants to redevelop old brewery site and WSDOT facility


Tumwater is set to receive $700,000 in grants to fund various planning activities to redevelop the old brewery site and the former Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on Capitol Boulevard.

On Tuesday, March 5, Tumwater City Council approved two grant agreements, one with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for $500,000 and the other with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) for $200,000.

Economic Development Program Manager Austin Ramirez told the council that most of the two grants will be used to hire consultants to conduct environmental work.

For the EPA grant, $430,000 will be allocated to perform an inventory of brownfield properties in two areas, namely the Brewery District and what the city refers to as the Capitol Boulevard Corridor, which is the segment of the boulevard between Israel Road and the Southgate shopping area.

This grant portion will also support environmental assessment activities for the old four-acre brewery facility, the adjacent 22-acre warehouse complex, and the vacant 12-acre WSDOT office complex.

The Ecology grant only focuses on funding environmental assessment activities for the former WSDOT property, which was used as a multi-purpose headquarters and housed a material testing lab.

Tumwater is looking to purchase the site from WSDOT, but additional environmental analysis needs to be conducted on the property due to chemical pollutants such as trichloroethylene.

The city is looking to use the site for a residential and retail building, as well as a small public park, according to the project description in the grant agreement. Tumwater also plans to reserve a third of the development for affordable housing.

The brownfield community-wide assessment program funded the EPA grant, which helps local communities that are just beginning to address brownfield challenges. The other grant was funded through Ecology’s integrated planning grant program, which helps local governments make informed decisions before buying and redeveloping brownfield properties.

Ramirez said that city staff had already selected a contractor to carry out the environmental work specified in the two grant agreements after issuing a request for proposals in November last year. City staff will bring the consultant’s contract to the city council for approval at a future meeting.


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  • JudyOliver

    What is meant by "brownfield properties?" We certainly need more housing and especially affordable housing.

    Judy Oliver

    Thursday, March 7 Report this

  • Bigjules

    It’s about time

    Thursday, March 7 Report this

  • Hill_Folk

    This is wonderful news! Judy, a brown field property means that something has already been built there and it is abandoned or not maintained.

    Friday, March 8 Report this

  • JW

    This is Tumwater, so they will develop revenue-generating construction and businesses. If this was in Olympia they'd cover the property with tiny home overdose villages and affordable no-barrier housing to increase the crime rate significantly in the surrounding area and then pat themselves on the back and move on.

    Friday, March 8 Report this

  • griffithga

    Dear City of Tumwater, please preserve the WSDOT Regional Headquarters and adaptively re-use while retaining its great architecture...one of the last intact State Highways Department Headquarters by Joseph Wohleb.

    Saturday, March 9 Report this