Energizing East Bay

New Children's Museum, Public Plaza, LOTT Alliance Administrative and Education Center, Walking Trails, and Much More ...

IMAGINE - A vibrant and inviting East Bay area with a dynamic public plaza as its hub ... where people come together to enjoy the waterfront, take advantage of new learning opportunities, and access public services ...


Anchor projects for the multi-million dollar renewal of Olympia's East Bay waterfront are the Hands on Children's Museum and the LOTT Alliance.

Envisioned for the 14-acre prime parcel are waterfront walking trails that connect the East Bay area to Olympia's mile-long Percival Landing Boardwalk, a public plaza for playing and gathering, a permanent home for Olympia's award-winning Hands on Children's Museum, the LOTT Alliance's new administrative headquarters and innovative Water Education Center, restaurants, shops, offices, and a destination hotel.

Planning partners in Energizing East Bay are the City of Olympia, Hands on Children's Museum, LOTT Alliance, and the Port of Olympia.

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Public Benefits to Energizing East Bay

In combination, the community benefits of this partnership will be much greater than the sum of the individual projects.

The community will benefit with ...

  • New amenities for residents and visitors
  • Revitalization and environmental clean up of a prominent portion of Olympia's waterfront
  • Major education attractions, including indoor and outdoor learning places
  • A centrally located, lively public plaza and gathering space with water features, green space, and gathering space
  • Development that is a model of environmental stewardship and is designed at a scale to fit the downtown Olympia area.

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Plaza and Gathering Space

At the heart of the renewal lies a new public plaza. Located in front of the Hands on Children's Museum and diagonally across from the LOTT Administrative/Education Center, this lively open public space will integrate attractive landscaping, a reclaimed water feature, water resource educational exhibits, walking paths, public art, family activities, meeting areas, and more.

LOTT is purchasing the .72 acre site from the Port and will oversee the development, environmental cleanup, operation, and maintenance of the plaza. The partners will work together on plaza design, and the City and LOTT will share cleanup and development costs.

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Hands on Children's Museum

After a decade of steady growth, the Hands on Children's Museum will build a larger, permanent home. The award-winning Museum will expand its early learning resource center, increase access to the arts, add outdoor education, stimulate economic development through tourism, and promote revitalization by attracting more families to downtown Olympia.

The Museum will feature many exciting new exhibits in the 25,000 square feet of indoor space and 10,000 square feet of outdoor space.

All of the projects planned for the East Bay will have a focus on water and the area's maritime industry. At the Hands on Children's Museum, a large exhibit near the entry will focus on creatures of the Puget Sound. Children can travel on slides through the exhibit, which will include a structure modeled after wooden water towers found in the area.

A public/private partnership will make the Museum a reality. The City of Olympia is planning to purchase the 1.8 acre Museum site from the Port of Olympia, and will lease it to the Museum. Major capital funding includes $8 million in Public Facility District funds, $1 million from the City of Olympia, other public funds, and private contributions.

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LOTT Alliance

The LOTT Alliance - a partership of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and Thurston County for wastewater cleaning and renewal - is building a new Administative/Education Center at its Budd Inlet Treatment Plant located at East Bay.

The building's Education Center will provide a new opportunity for the public to learn about water conservation, reclaimed water, the science of wastewater treatment, Budd Inlet water quality, careers in wastewater management, and related topics. The Center will include interactive and interpretive exhibits, classroom space, and an outdoor water feature showcasing LOTT's Class A Reclaimed Water. The water will flow from LOTT's property into the public plaza, providing additional educational and interactive opportunities.

The $16 million project will also include a new, larger LOTT board room on the first floor to improve public access for a variety of meetings and expansion of the Water Quality Laboratory.

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Port of Olympia - East Bay District Revitalization

The Port is actively coordinating the master planning and redevelopment of the 14-acres East Bay property to transform it into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly district.

A gateway along Marine Drive to the Port's Market District, Swantown Marina & Boatworks, and NorthPoint on the Port Peninsula, the district will be home to a dynamic potential mix of uses, including shops and restaurants, attractive commercial buildings, a destination hotel, and possibly urban housing.

The Port is laying the foundation for Energizing East Bay with investment of over $8 million in environmental cleanup, road construction, planning, and infrastructure investment.

Read a flyer with answers to frequent questions about the Energizing East Bay project (pdf file).  

Site Cleanup

A major community benefit of the Energizing East Bay project is cleanup of site contamination.

The site was used for timber-related industries from the late 1880s until 1968. Previous users included sawmill, planing mill, shingle mill and plywood manufacturers. From 1968 to the present, the site was used for commercial and light industrial activities and storage.

In 2007, the Port of Olympia entered the State's Voluntary Cleanup Program. The site was transferred to a formal cleanup process in February 2008 to expedite the cleanup and to ensure State Department of Ecology oversight.

The State Department of Ecology is seeking public comemnts on the Agreed Order from September 2 - October 2, 2008. Information is posted on Ecology's website.

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