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Mad Crab project hits title snag
Developers of the old Mad Crab building on Front Street encountered a bit of a road block in the permitting process this month.
Thom Kroon, owner of the building, approached the commissioners for Port of Coupeville last week after learning that part of the building he owns is actually sitting on port property.
The land in question is roughly 864 square feet of tidelands and Town of Coupeville will not move forward with any permits until the issue is addressed.
Kroon said he wanted to keep the issue as simple as possible and proposed purchasing the property from the port.
Prior to Kroon contacting the port, commissioner weren’t even aware they owned those tidelands.
Commissioner Marshal Bronson said it was unclear exactly how much of the tidelands the port actually owns.
“We’re going to have to do some significant survey work,” he said.
However, two of the commissioners aren’t so keen on the idea of selling.
“I’m less inclined to sell,” said Commissioner Bill Larsen,”but I’d explore a longterm lease option.
“So the port can retain ownership.”
Commissioner Mike Diamanti concurred.
Executive Director Tim McDonald said an independent appraiser would need to be hired to determine the value of the property.
That appraisal cost would need to fall on Kroon, he said.
While discussions are just beginning on how to address a purchase or lease option, Kroon said he can continue with his project as long he gets signed permission from the port to present to the town.
Commissioners agreed to draft a letter letting the town know they were in discussions with Kroon to come to an agreement with the property.
Kroon purchased the Mad Crab building in December 2012 and is proposing creating a mixed used space in the three story building. It may include four retail spaces on the street level floor, and residential space on the lower level and existing attic space.
Part of the space down include a deck, which will feature additional public beach access.
“It’s great to see progress being made on this and the plans for beach access,” Diamanti said.