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A new retail-office complex is planned for Fourth St., across from the Anacortes Cinemas. The plan is to build two buildings on the property adjacent to How It Works. 

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How It Works

A new retail-office complex is planned for Fourth St., across from the Anacortes Cinemas. The plan is to build two buildings on the property adjacent to How It Works. 

Developer 3 E Development wants to build one building immediately west of How It Works and the other immediately east of the existing building. The plan includes a central garden courtyard.

But, parking has become an issue for the project, which would add 11,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Under current rules, the developer would normally be required to have 48 parking spaces for the project. But, the developer is proposing to have only 16 on-site parking spaces, but with the city reconfiguring Fourth St. and O Ave. to add another nine spaces.

At a recent Planning Commission hearing, several residents argued against the plan. One person suggested the plan would be acceptable if the developer would pay the city $10,000 for each parking space not provided on-site below the required 48. One Commissioner pointed out that would be $320,000.

But, developer Mike Underwood, argued that a project like his would attract visitors to downtown Anacortes, where they would visit other businesses. He said some cities are re-thinking their downtown parking requirements in favor of better uses of land than pavement.

The Planning Commission has set an on-site visit for Nov. 26 at 3 pm.

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