WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center Redevelopment
Client: City of Wenatchee
Location: Wenatchee, WA
About the Project
The City of Wenatchee is home to Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center (TFREC), which supports key agricultural research in Washington State as part of WSU’s mission as a land grant university. WSU is considering future uses for approximately 9 acres of this property and may transition ownership to the city. The city secured an Integrated Planning Grant in partnership with WSU to evaluate community benefit in developing affordable housing to support the research center on the site.
Evaluating Redevelopment of Former Agricultural Property into Affordable Housing
The City of Wenatchee was interested in acquiring and redeveloping WSU TFREC property into affordable housing. The city suspected the presence of contamination related to historical agricultural operations, including the use of pesticides and other chemicals as well as petroleum fuel products. MFA assisted the city in securing an Integrated Planning Grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology to evaluate potential community benefit from developing affordable housing for WSU students, staff, and visiting faculty, as well as for local workers in the research and education field.
Key Project Solutions
Grant application support
The MFA team assisted the City of Wenatchee with its IPG application and secured a $200,000 grant to fund this project.
MFA conducted remedial investigation to characterize the nature and extent of potential contamination as a fundamental and first step in planning for cleanup and redevelopment of the property of interest. This investigation included Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments (ESAs).
Focused feasibility study
Upon completion of the remedial investigation and the Phase II ESA report, MFA developed potential options for cleanup of identified contamination in support of future use of the property, aligning these with the master plan and associated cost estimates.
Existing conditions assessment—In an effort to minimize costs, MFA reviewed available data regarding regulatory codes for allowed uses, density, parking requirements, and other standards; location, capacity, and condition of water, sewer, and power systems to support redevelopment; a topographic and boundary survey of the property; and a natural, historical, and cultural resource assessment to identify any potential development constraints.
- Housing assessment—MFA conducted a study of housing demand, with a focus on affordable housing models and graduate student housing, relying on relevant studies, including the City of Wenatchee Housing Demand Study and Our Valley, Our Future’s Housing Solutions Group. Representatives from Wenatchee Valley College, Washington State University, and the Chelan County and City of Wenatchee Housing Authority were engaged in an advisory group to identify desired types and number of housing units.
- Site plan—MFA prepared a site plan supporting the development of affordable housing on the property, including building locations, housing unit counts, access and circulation, parking, utilities, open space, landscape areas, and stormwater facilities.
- Integrated plan—An integrated plan that distilled key findings of the planning process was delivered to the city with next steps needed to successfully implement the project, including potential cleanup activities and redevelopment concepts. This plan also included an approach to risk management, development phasing, and financing.
The WSU TFREC project was tailor-made for an Integrated Planning Grant and our team. This project required that our planning, environmental, and civil disciplines work together to identify and solve potential challenges to reuse of the property to advance the development of affordable housing on the site.
Senior Planner/Project Manager
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