The Sammamish Town Center has finally got a good kick-start for development of 100,000 sq ft, with a mixture of commercial/retail/office and residential, and the anchor tenant of Metropolitan Market, the locally owned grocery chain.
The Sammamish Reporter first broke the news today. Details were brief, so I called City Councilman Tom Odell, who filled in some of the information.
The project will face 228th Ave. SE on the corner of SE 4th St., on what’s commonly called the Caboose property–where the green, old caboose is located. The project will continue up the hill on SE 4th St. to the plateau. Odell didn’t have handy a breakdown of the mixture of services and residential in the project, however.
The development will be designed to meld into the topography and include structured and open air parking. The City will contribute to stormwater and road infrastructure as part of its contribution to kick off the Town Center, which has been stalled since the original plan was approved by the City Council in 2009 and the enabling ordinances in 2010.
Although some residents within the Town Center blamed what they characterized as a poorly conceived plan and ordinances, these were approved in the wake of the global financial meltdown of 2008 that plunged the US into the deepest recession since the Great Depression, drying up financial markets and stalling projects in mid-stream. For example, build out of Issaquah Highlands and development of the next phase of Lincoln Square in Bellevue were put on hold.
This project is conceived in the parameters of the Town Center Plan, Odell said.
Odell said that in his view, three things occurred to finally enable the Town Center:
- The country had to work its way out of the recession;
- Developers had to clear their own backlogs of stalled projects; and
- With continued low financing costs, developers then looked around to see where there were new opportunities–and the Sammamish Town Center was one.
Odell also said that filing applications for projects to be vested under current state stormwater regulations “was a driver.” The State is mandating new rules that will make it more difficult for projects everywhere to be undertaken, including within Sammamish.
The “Metro Market” (my term) project is to open in late 2016.
Odell said there are other projects that should be announced before the end of the year. One is a mixed use project in the Town Center’s SE quadrant and another is a project in the NE quadrant.
Sammamish’s infrastructure contribution is also part of the plan to help Town Center develop.
The traffic should be interesting on 228th with 3 high schools, a new planned development and now the Town Center. 244th will be the next congested point. Hopefully we will be able to retire and move away in the next 5-8 years.
And another school on the Lake WAshington property plus Mars Hills, the Lutheran, Mary Queen of Peace and Hari Krishna churches.
I have lived on the west side of SE 4th for 25 years. With just a 1/4 inch of snow or just a touch of ice, you cannot stop coming down that steep hill. I’ve seen many accidents and near accidents and ditch landings trying to avoid skids into traffic on 228th. Good luck! Yet another reason for us to leave Sammamish after 30 years…..