The McNish Family Trust, landlord for the city of Sequim’s rented Suite 17, created several new offices. Jeff Edwards, Sequim facilities manager, stands near offices for the city attorney and human resources director. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
by MATTHEW NASH
The long-empty Suite 17 in Sequim Village Shopping Center, 609 W. Washington St., is becoming the new Sequim City Hall Annex. Six staff from the city’s human resources and information technology departments and the city attorney’s offices will move in this week.
City Manager Steve Burkett said Suite 17 would relieve cramped working conditions in Sequim City Hall and Public Works. On Monday night, councilors approved a new lease agreement with the landlord, the McNish Family Trust. The lease is about $4,500 per month through Dec. 31, 2015.
The landlord agreed to make improvements to 3,000 square feet of the 5,280 square feet in Suite 17, adding offices and work stations. An increase of nearly $1,100 per month in rent offsets renovations and increased value of the space.
A remodel of Suite 16, the home of the Sequim Police Department since 1985, is awaiting final touches including an interrogation room, a new front-counter window, new carpeting and paint. The lease agreement for that space is about $4,100 a month through Dec. 31, 2015. Remodel costs increase the rent by about $533 a month. Councilors will vote on the lease Jan. 24.
Plans for remodeling Suite 17 date back to former Interim City Manager Robert Spinks’ proposal for more briefing room and office space, a physical fitness area and armory for the police.
The city council approved that project and $300,000 for the remodel in August 2009. The city has paid rent on Suite 17 since December 2008 despite not occupying it until now.
In August 2010, councilors stopped the remodel, estimated at $248,468, after Burkett and Paul Haines, public works director, found actual costs would be about $663,000.
Burkett found that excessive considering the council’s goal to build a city hall to house all staff, including police. Burkett surveyed police staff to find they weren’t in favor of the expansion. After stopping the remodel, the city agreed to pay $34,100 to L.P. Hanna Construction of Port Angeles for work it already had done.
Burkett and staff sought to stop renting Suite 17, but the landlord declined to cancel the city’s lease, which continued through the end of 2013. Instead they negotiated a contract to remodel the two suites and a lease that allows the city to end the lease with payment of a penalty fee.
Contact Sequim City Hall, 152 W. Cedar St., at 683-4139.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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