Downtown Catalyst Program

In April 2019, the City Council passed the Downtown Catalyst Incentive Program. This unique program is aimed at helping our downtown come alive. Right now, retail business struggles downtown and very few people can be found walking around after 5pm or on the weekends. The City is committed to building a downtown that is full of life, economic activity and thriving businesses.

The City has tried various incentives or programs over the last decades to support our downtown businesses but it has had little impact. It was time for something dramatic.

One key factor that thriving downtowns all share is developments that have businesses on the bottom and housing on top. If people are living within walking distance of their downtown, they shop, eat, and play in the downtown at all hours.

The Catalyst was developed by our planning commission and Community Development staff before being discussed, revised and ratified by our council.

The City solicits proposals that include:

  • A minimum of 3 stories
  • A minimum 15 dwelling units
  • A minimum of 5,000 square feet
  • Be a new construction project
  • All onsite parking must be provided within the building footprint or behind the building
  • All residential parking must be provided onsite
  • Downtown design guidelines must be met

These proposals are then scored and vetted by a special subcommittee of the City Council. Council selected Planning Commissioner Greg Crim, EAGLE Board Member Sean Hegstead and Councilmembers Rebecca Xczar, Greg Hansen and Teresa Taylor for that committee. The committee will forward a recommendation on to the council which can approve zero to three of these
proposals. If approved, the city will then waive one-time permit fees for the downtown project.

Below are application materials from the four proposals received by the deadline. More details are available on request. 

The City welcomes any feedback from the public on this proposals. Please send all comments to comment@cityofferndale.org and put “Catalyst” in the subject line.

For any questions about the Catalyst program, please call Community Development Director Haylie Miller at 360-685-2367.

The first Catalyst project under consideration, Fountain Place, has been scored by the Catalyst committee and forwarded on to the City Council for consideration at their Dec. 2nd, 2019 Council Meeting. You can read the staff report here.

Fountain Place

APPROVED 6-0 at the Dec. 2nd, 2019 City Council Meeting.

Address: 1985 Main Street.

Details: This five-story building would cover the majority of the project site and would include an underground parking garage, a street level ground floor with a mix of commercial and residential uses and three upper levels with residential uses.The project will have a total of 16,091 square feet of commercial spaces and will have a total of 119 multifamily units including studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

Applicant: David Braithwaite

Application Materials:

Updated Materials (11/25/19)

Committee Scorecard for Fountain Place

Staff and the Catalyst Commitee recommends APPROVAL – to be voted on at the Dec 2nd, 2019 Council Meeting. Staff report available here.

Twins on Main Street

APPROVED 5-1 (1 abstaining) at the Dec. 16th, 2019 City Council Meeting.

Address: 2130 Main Street

Details: The project consists of two buildings that will share access, parking and other infrastructure. The building fronting Main Street is a three story structure with 18,000 square feet of commercial space, with retail on the first floor and the middle and upper level intended for small professional office space and a larger sit-down type restaurant.

The building on the southern part of the property will include 32 residential units (one, two and three bedroom configurations) as well as a 5,200 square foot common area.

Applicant: Sam Boulos

Application Materials: 

Alder Plaza

APPROVED 5-1 (1 abstaining) at the Dec. 16th, 2019 City Council Meeting.

Address: Fourth Avenue

Details: This five story project includes 22-24 one and two bedroom residential units. It also includes 9,160 square feet of commercial space on the first floor with a parking garage installed below the structure.

Applicant: David Braithwaite

Application Materials:

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