Ground work begins on waterfront apartments

Josh Dunagan, at left, of Molitor Development, and Doug Beierman of Harden Construction of Moses Lake do site preparation for construction of a 312-unit waterfront apartment complex at the corner of Ninth Street and Riverside Drive in Wenatchee.

WENATCHEE — Ground preparation work is under way on what will become the valley’s largest apartment complex and a key addition to the city’s developing waterfront.

“We’re really excited to see something happening on the site,” said developer Mitch Molitor. “It’s been a long time coming and now it’s for real. We are really going forward with this.”

Molitor Development LLC of Moses Lake is building the $30 million, 312-unit apartment complex along Riverside Drive at Ninth Street.

The company began doing preliminary work last week, cutting down and chipping some trees, leveling the ground, putting in water and building a construction office.

In about two weeks, they plan to start on the apartment buildings, first putting in the foundations, then plumbing and utilities before the apartments start going up.

The project was granted a shoreline substantial development permit in May, after agreeing to add more parking across Riverside Drive from the complex. Molitor had originally asked for a variance to have just 330 parking spaces — far short of the 547 that the city required for that size of an apartment complex.

The city and developer reached a compromise with Molitor potentially adding up to 107 more parking spaces if needed.

The developer has said he expects the apartment dwellers to walk, ride bikes and use public transit and not have as many personal vehicles as homeowners typically do.

Molitor said his company will work through the winter and hope to have some apartments available for rental by next spring.

Michelle McNiel: 664-7152