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KPG is front-runner for Second Street design work

LANGLEY — City officials hope to hire the Seattle-Tacoma design firm of KPG to do the designing and engineering work on the reconstruction of Second Street.

The award-winning firm has worked on major projects throughout Puget Sound, including the South Division Street Promenade project in downtown Auburn, Burien Town Square, Bear Creek Parkway in Redmond, and Dumas Road in Mill Creek.

Jeff Arango, Langley’s director of community planning, told the city council this week that contract negotiations with the company were underway.

City staff hope to present a scope of work for the project, a contract and budget agreement and plan to the council at its next meeting in March.

The project includes the redesign and reconstruction of Second Street between Anthes Avenue and Cascade Avenue.

The $2.5 million street makeover project is expected to include more space for pedestrians, stormwater drainage improvements, the placement of utilities underground, landscaping, lighting and public art.

Mayor Larry Kwarsick has also announced his picks for an advisory committee that will help guide the project.

Kwarsick is planning to appoint Ron Kasprisin, an architect, urban designer and author; Fran Abel, a landscape architect and former councilwoman; local designer Eric Richmond; Planning Advisory Board Chairman Thomas Gill; former councilman Bob Waterman; Des Rock, owner of Useless Bay Coffee Co.; Shirley Owen, chairwoman of the Library Board; Janet Ploof, president of the Langley Main Street Association; and First Street businessmen Paul Sarkis and Fred Lundahl.

The mayor also hopes that another city councilman, Jim Sundberg or Hal Seligson, will serve on the committee. Kwarsick also wants to appoint Gene or Tamar Felton from the Star Store.

KPG was named to a list of finalists earlier this month that included LMN Architects; Barker Landscape Architects; Susan Black Landscape Architects; Makers Architecture

+ Urban Design; and Cascade Design Collaborative. All of the top choices are based in Seattle.

It was hard to make the final selection, Arango told the Planning Advisory Board at its meeting last week.

“We ended up with a lot of really good proposals,” Arango said.

“The committee, I think, was pretty much unanimous,” he added.

Arango also said the firm’s references had been checked, with good results.

“I got three outstanding references for them,” he said.

City officials have suggested a broad public outreach to get ideas on the Second Street project.

Arango said the design team may use space in one of Langley’s vacant storefronts to pull in passers-by for input and feedback on the project. The still-empty Dog House Tavern has been one suggestion.

City officials said earlier they expect to have a kick-off for the project on April 1, followed by a design charrette in May and a presentation of design alternatives at the start of July.

With time added for possible revisions, the council would then select its preferred design the following month.

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