Future downtown housing will offer variety of options
February 1, 2013 · Updated 12:43 PM
Since 1993, about 2,250 new housing units have been built in downtown Redmond.
These units have come in the form of traditional apartments and condominiums, town homes and sustainable living communities and offer people several options when looking for a place to live.
“We want to look at a variety of housing,” said Jeri Rowe-Curtis, chief policy adviser for the City of Redmond.
This variety includes units for residents ranging from young professionals to young families to empty nesters who want to move out of their bigger homes and into something smaller. In addition, about 10 percent of the units built must be affordable housing.
The City of Redmond is focusing on development downtown to turn the neighborhood into an urban center. According to city documents, officials plan to bring the number of downtown dwelling units up from 2,300 in 2010 to 6,170 by 2030. This would more than double the number of residents from 4,270 to 11,350.
The city saw a big wave of developers in 2004 but senior planner Gary Lee said things stalled and paused a bit with the economic downturn in the last few years, adding that there have been two recessions since then but Redmond has fared better than other cities.
“It’s been going in waves with the economy,” said he about housing developments in the neighborhood. “We’ve been really fortunate compared to other cities.”
Lee said according to the urban vision set for downtown, development and construction activity has been brisk during the past few years, and it looks like it will continue for the next several years if the economy holds steady.
There are a number of four- to six-story buildings currently under construction through private development in downtown.
Lee said they are the 154-unit Redmond Square Apartments on 170th Avenue Northeast at Northeast 80th Street, the 130-unit Center Pointe development on Cleveland Street at 164th Avenue Northeast (above), the 150-unit Old Town development on Cleveland and Brown streets (below), the 150-unit 85th Street Apartments on Northeast 85th Street at 158th Avenue Northeast and the 96 mini-suites Vision 5 development near Northeast 85th Street and 163rd Avenue Northeast.
Natural and Built Environments is the company behind the Vision 5 development, a living community focused on the arts, and owner and CEO Robert Pantley said working with the City of Redmond has been a good experience for him. He said he has high development standards and helps facilitate the process for them to meet those standards more efficiently.
Tudor Manor at 16552 N.E. 84th Ct. in downtown is another one of Pantley’s developments.
He said one of the appeals of downtown Redmond is the neighborhood’s walkability. Downtown Redmond has a walking score of 98 out of 100 and there are many services in the area and Pantley wanted to be part of it.
Lee said Pantley is not the only one to see the neighborhood’s appeal.
“This place is completely walkable,” he said. “That’s why it’s so desirable."