City of Mercer Island will provide Island residents with a tremendous public benefit, subsidized almost entirely by private donors, by approving a lease for the Mercer Island Center for the Arts. Lease approval will enable MICA to begin the permitting, planning, and fundraising necessary to build a community arts venue.
In addition to creating a cultural and artistic heart for Mercer Island and fostering economic vitality in the Town Center, MICA provides the following specific benefits and amenities to the City and to all MI residents:
- Removal of old Recycling Center buildings
- Public/City use of facility for:
- Arts and education classes
- Public meetings
- Back-up Emergency Operations Center
- Support storage facilities and utilities for Farmers Market and Summer Celebration
- New public restrooms
- Public plaza with benches, tables and drinking fountains
- Upgrades to Northwest Native Garden
- Upgrades to Bicentennial Park
- Outdoor theatre stage facing Mercerdale Park
- Cafe and bar
Once a lease is secured for the site, MICA will follow the prescribed process of obtaining permits and meeting its obligations before starting construction. Below is a list of key provisions:
- Before the start of construction by MICA:
- Design must be approved by the City
- Parking plan must be approved by the City
- All permits (land use, building, etc.) must be issued by the City
- MICA must raise through contributions, pledges and financing 100% of the construction costs
- Operations plan and budget must be approved by the City
- MICA will carry liability insurance to protect itself and the City from any claims arising from the use of the facility
- The lease terminates after 50 years and the facility then will become the property of the City or the lease may be further renewed.
A large majority of Island residents support building this asset for our community.