Alf Christianson

Commercial development has been proposed for part of the old Alf Christianson Seed Co. property near downtown Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON — Proposed development of the former Alf Christianson Seed Co. plant is moving forward.

This development is set to bring about 24,300 square feet of commercial space to Mount Vernon alongside Interstate 5 south of East Kincaid Street, replacing what is now a vacant lot, said Rebecca Lowell, senior planner with the city.

Lowell said the project includes a public pedestrian trail.

The Skagit County Hearing Examiner will evaluate on Thursday traffic impacts caused by the proposed development, Lowell said.

Visconsi, an Ohio-based property developer, expressed interest in buying the property in 2017 and is now set to buy the northern section, Lowell said.

In initial talks with the city, Visconsi expressed interest in buying the entire property and putting in commercial buildings and 200 to 300 apartments.

But during an environmental review, Visconsi and the site’s current owner, Sakata Seed America, discovered soil contamination in the southern section of the property, said Chris Phillips, the city’s planning and development services director.

He said Visconsi and Sakata Seed America agreed to split the property. Visconsi will buy and develop the northern 4.5 acres.

Sakata, meanwhile will work to clean up the southern 6 acres. That process will take at least a year, Phillips said.

Based on current plans for the property, any residential development would be done on the southern section, Lowell said.

Phillips said Visconsi has not discussed specific plans for the part it intends to buy, but has submitted a permit application to build a 7-Eleven at the northwest corner.

He said the store would have to comply with the downtown’s new design standards, meaning it will not look like a traditional 7-Eleven.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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