Design competition looks at new role for Snoqualmie's big lot

Festival grounds, overflow parking, disaster assembly point — Snoqualmie's King Street lot has played a lot of roles in past years.

The future of the lot moves in new directions this spring with the Snoqualmie City Council's approval last week of a design competition for development at the city-owned gravel lot.

King Street is adjacent to the Northwest Railway Museum, Sahara Pizza and Sandy Cove Park. It is used during Snoqualmie's Railroad Days festival and was the assembly point for sandbagging and clean-up in the wake of the 2009 flood.

"I'm interested in making sure we get the right occupant on that corner," said Bob Cole, economic development consultant to the city.

What would fit best in Cole's mind? "Something that will appeal to people beyond the city limits," he said. Cole envisions businesses that mesh well with the railroad museum, tourism and history.

While development would change how the community uses the King Street lot, Cole is confident that changing design rules for downtown Snoqualmie will create new plazas for public use.

"Because it's available and there are no restrictions on it, it gets used for a lot of different events," Cole said. "Use is inconsistent. With the new downtown master plan design and the things we're going to do with King Street and the extension of Falls Avenue, we're going to get a really good area to have some celebrations and events."

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