ARLINGTON – The Arlington City Council awarded a $277,800 contract to Burlington-based Trico Construction to remodel a shuttered gas station downtown that fueled plenty of automobiles in its day.
In its new calling, city officials hope the station will fuel ideas.
Trico was the lowest qualified bidder among a half dozen to remodel the 1940s Shell station at E. 4th Street and Olympic Ave. for an innovation center and business incubator. The city-owned Howell property will serve as a public pocket park with restrooms and a bicycle parking lot.
Sarah Lopez, city community revitalization manager, said Trico is eager to get going on the 150-day project, which could start as early as next month and be completed by summer.
The project will be completed in three stages, pouring concrete and remodeling most of the interior space to start, then adding a new roof, installing pocket park amenities, new windows and other colorful features.
The city received a $267,000 state Commerce Department grant a couple years ago to develop the innovation center, adding another piece in economic redevelopment plans for downtown. Funding for the pocket park totaling $45,000 was also as part of the 2017 capital budget process.
“Creating an innovation center provides co-working and incubator space for entrepreneurs of all industries and will provide access to services and education resources,” Mayor Barb Tolbert said. “We are excited to provide an innovation center in our community to support that growth.”
In other council action:
• City Councilwoman Jesica Stickles was voted by her peers to serve as Mayor Pro Tem, which means she will run meetings and conduct business in the mayor’s absense. • Approved a $340,600 agreement with Carletti Architects to provide architectural and engineering services for the future Fire Station 48 to be located on Airport Boulevard.
• Voted to freeze utility rates for water, sewer and stormwater at their current levels. The city mandated modest annual increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area; however, Public Work Director Jim Kelly said revenues are steady and grant acquisition has been robust for the department.