Tom Rogers, Mill Creek’s Community Development Director, gave an update on the progress of the East Gateway Urban Village at the December 11th City Council meeting.
Economic development of underutilized areas of Mill Creek has been the City’s focus since the adoption of Mill Creek’s Strategic Plan on April 10, 2012.
Mill Creek’s Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Plan both highlight the East Gateway Urban Village as a main source of revenue for this City.
Mill Creek’s Community Development Department recently spearheaded changes to the East Gateway Urban Village Comprehensive Plan policies and zoning regulations to help foster economic development.
Two-story medical/office building construction update
Director Rogers said that construction of the two-story, 24,000 square foot medical/office building just west of the Advent Lutheran Church is making good progress and should be complete by May 2013.
His written statement said, “Only the northern portion of the site directly adjacent to 132nd Street SE is being developed at this time. Two lots remain and can be developed in the future. The east/west spine road through the property has been dedicated to the City; however, road construction is not expected until development of the two remaining lots, which will take access from the road.”
Polygon NW’s East Gateway Urban Village development proposal
The City of Mill Creek announced on August 16th that they received a mixed-use development proposal from Polygon Northwest for the 18.5-acre Nash property at the east end of the East Gateway Urban Village.
Polygon NW proposes to develop 29,000 square feet of commercial capacity in three separate buildings, 104 townhomes/condominiums, and 201 apartments. The proposal also includes installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of 132nd Street SE and 44th Avenue SE, and a public neighborhood park.
His written statement said, “The City deemed the application complete on August 28, 2012 and published a Notice of Application as required by law.”
“After publishing the notice, the City conducted a Technical Review of the project for compliance with City regulations and policies as well as the requirements of other agencies with jurisdiction. This review resulted in a request for additional information and revisions to the proposal.”
“The City is also in the process of negotiating the Development Agreement with the applicant, which establishes City and Applicant responsibilities for the implementation of the project such as phasing of development, ensuring that commercial uses are a part of the development plan consistent with the Comprehensive Plan/Design Guidelines, neighborhood park dedication and development, and the scope of required public improvements.”
Director Rogers said that Polygon Northwest’s East Gateway Urban Village Development Agreement is almost complete and is currently scheduled to be presented to the Mill Creek City Council at their January 8th City Council meeting.
Potential Development Activity on Remaining EGUV Properties
In the July 3rd, 2012, Mill Creek City Council meeting Acting City Manager, Tom Gathmann, said that Target is working with a property owner at the west end of the East Gateway Urban Village to produce a development plan. Gathmann said that a Target store at the west end of the East Gateway Urban Village would work much better than the east end from a land use perspective.
“The big unknown is what is going on with the remaining properties,” said Rogers at the December 11th Mill Creek City Council Meeting.
“Assuming that the Nash property will be developed by Polygon NW, the remaining undeveloped parcels will include only the properties fronting Seattle Hill Road (Dunn properties plus three single-family homes) and the properties west of the office building under construction. Of these sites, only the properties west of the office building would be suitable for a large retail store.”
“The owners of the most westerly properties have also expressed an interest in developing their property consistent with the EGUV vision. As a result, staff efforts have been focused on these westerly properties.”
“Over the past few months, City staff has had discussions with the owners of the two most westerly properties (John Graham of Penny Creek Partners and Bob Molgaard). Both property owners have expressed interest in the sale and/or development of their properties.”
“The City has made it known to these property owners that there is potential for a public/private partnership for some of the public improvements if the proposed development would generate significant sales tax revenue.”
“As has been discussed with the Council previously, if the City Council determines that City participation in the public improvements is in the City's interest, the City's costs could be financed through a 1% Public Works Trust Fund loan and a portion of that loan could be reimbursed through Local Revitalization Financing (LRF).”
“City staff has also been in contact with the real estate representative of Target and staff believes that Target is still interested in developing a store in the EGUV.”
“City staff has also had discussions with representatives of the Sno-lsle Library District. The District is actively exploring locating a regional library in the EGUV.”
At the December 11th Mill Creek City Council meeting Councilmember Donna Michelson said that the Sno-Isle Library plans on closing the existing Mill Creek Sno-Isle Library if the larger regional Sno-Isle Library is approved and built in the East Gateway Urban Village.