Fircrest has a unique situation when it comes to further development, according to Ray Gilmore, Planning & Building Director for the city.
“We are virtually built out,” he explained. There are a couple of residential developments underway near the southern boundaries of the city, he explained, and at the north end on Mildred some buildings have been rehabbed into some restaurants and other small businesses.
He said Columbia Bank, at the intersection of Mildred and Regents Boulevard, will be doing some remodeling and Regents Boulevard was recently resurfaced. Princeton Street, a block off Regents, is also being rebuilt currently.
Of course, the issue of major conversation in the area is a proposed Wal-Mart Superstore on Mildred. It would be located on a vacant lot just north of the Columbia Bank location and south of the rehabbed buildings that are now known as Sunrise Center.
Gilmore said negotiations are currently underway among Wal-Mart people and the cities of Fircrest and University Place concerning access off Mildred into the Wal-Mart proposed site.
The planned store is 135,000 square feet, large for the area but certainly not among the biggest of the Wal-Mart floorplans.
The Fircrest officials said Wal-Mart hopes to break ground for the store in the last quarter of 2006 and open for business in mid-2007.
A 184-unit single-family development ¬? the Commons @ Fircrest – is nearing completion, Gilmore noted. It is located at Emerson and Orchard Streets. It is designed in the cluster format with homes on smaller lots and open spaces available throughout the area. A second project ¬? Fircrest Greens ¬? contains homes in the 1,800 to 3,600 square foot range. It ultimately will contain 36 units and applications for 14 are already on file.
Other than these areas, Gilmore confirmed that businesses located on regents have been remodeled and he said there has been scant talk about converting any of the residential properties to commercial entities. Gilmore also said from time to time there was been talk about homes being built around the Fircrest Golf Club, but not recently.