Reimagining the Cornforth-Campbell Property

Cornforth Campbell Lot Aerial

Summary

The City is reimagining one of its downtown properties, which has been undeveloped for many years. Dubbed the Cornforth-Campbell Lot, this 1.5-acre parcel located at 115 2nd ST SE, is comprised of three separate properties, the Cornforth Campbell Lot, the Hill Lot, and a covered parking lot. The City currently owns these properties and is seeking a talented developer to implement a concept that will revitalize that area of downtown, build quality housing, preserve parking, and create synergy with other planned City projects, most notably the Meeker Festival Street Project.

Meeker Street, located next to the Cornforth-Campbell parcel, currently hosts a range of public events, including the annual Meeker Days Festival. The recently completed Meridian and Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project determined that Meeker should be Downtown’s primary “festival street.” In 2023, staff will work with a consultant to create a Festival Street concept. That project combined with the Cornforth-Campbell redevelopment will help accomplish the City Council's goal of a vibrant, healthy downtown.

The City is seeking an experienced and creative development team to build a combination of housing and commercial space that could exist on this parcel. Development teams, who are interested in submitting their qualifications and a high-level proposal for the Cornforth-Campbell properties should download the Request for Proposals here. Submittals are due on March 9, 2023, at 4 pm. A Site Tour and open house will be held on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 1:30 pm at the site (115 2nd St SE in Puyallup). Developers, who are interested in submitting a proposal, are encouraged to attend this Site Tour. Attendance at the Site Tour is optional and not a requirement of RFP submission.

This web page contains information about the project, its background and why we are doing it, how you can get involved, and other pertinent items. Please check back here for updates.

  1. Background

Background

HO Wilen Motors

Like much of Downtown Puyallup, the Cornforth Campbell Lot has a rich history. The oldest structure on the site was built in 1941 by H.O. Wilen and housed H.O. Motors. The original building contained a car dealership retail store and a service garage. It was there that a young Evan Cornforth worked as a parts manager for Wilen, eventually moving up the ranks to partner in 1961. The business was renamed Wilen-Cornforth Motors in 1965.

On the north side of the property was another auto dealership called Gifford Motors. On the second floor of this early 20th-century building was the popular Puyallup Roller Rink, owned and operated by brothers Curly and Shorty Campbell. This building tragically burned down in 1964. The empty lot was acquired by Wilen-Cornforth Motors, which was to be used as a parking lot to display their used vehicles. Then, in 1994, Wilen-Cornforth Motors changed to Cornforth-Campbell Motors. Although the car dealership closed in the 2000s, the name Cornforth-Campbell, and the enduring legacies of the men who gave their names to the sites, have lived on in Puyallup’s local lore.

In 2002, the City purchased the property and used it primarily for public parking. In 2022, the City Council and staff worked with a consultant to re-look at the property and its potential to reinvigorate the surrounding area of downtown. Development concepts were created to be illustrative of the City’s vision and intent for these properties to represent the type of development that might be appropriate, not to create precise specifications that developers must follow. Staff has incorporated these concepts into an RFP for prospective developers, which was released in January 2023.

  1. Documents
  1. FAQ
  1. Public Outreach
  1. Conceptual Design Options

Contact Us

For developers, who have questions about the RFP and the opportunity, please contact:

Meredith Neal, City Economic Development Manager, 253-841-5496, mneal@puyallupwa.gov   

Brian Vanneman, Leland Consulting Group (LCG), 503.780.1676, bvanneman@lelandconsulting.com    

For residents, who have general questions about the project, please contact:

Meredith Neal, City Economic Development Manager, 253-841-5496, mneal@puyallupwa.gov