Community reviews Overlake park designs

Deborah Benaloh adds her comments to one of the park plans presented at the community meeting Wednesday evening at Redmond City Hall. - Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter
Deborah Benaloh adds her comments to one of the park plans presented at the community meeting Wednesday evening at Redmond City Hall.
— image credit: Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

Planning for a new urban park in Overlake continues as the City of Redmond held a public meeting Wednesday night to present two potential park designs for the community to review.

The 2.7-acre, triangular park will be part of a 28-acre, mixed-use development at the old Group Health Cooperative site at 2464 152nd Ave. N.E. in Redmond.

Capstone Partners, a Seattle-based development firm, has been tasked with developing the site and they brought in landscape architecture firm Brumbaugh & Associates to act as consultants on the park portion of the project.

Kristen Lundquist, a partner and principal at Brumbaugh, gave a short presentation on the two park options before a breakout session that allowed attendees to look at plans up close and ask questions.

Lundquist said the designs were based on comments and feedback they received from the public at a previous meeting held last month.

“That feedback was instrumental,” she said.

Lundquist said community members were clear on the things they wanted and didn’t want to see in the new park. Some of the things they wanted included a simple, natural park with opportunities for imaginative play such as outdoor chess and bocce ball, a water feature, amphitheater for movie nights, concerts and other entertainment, picnic and gathering areas and wooded trails. Some of the things the community did not want included a dog park, big open concrete spaces, shadows and an obstructed view.

The first option (above) Lundquist presented was a park divided into angular “rooms” that would contrast with the park’s lush greenery. The second option (below) was a more open plan with the park lawn framed by a looped path. Both options offered various entryways into the park, gathering terrace space and an accessible path or ramp.

Paul Etsekson owns property in Overlake and he and his daughter Michele attended Wednesday’s event to learn more about what is going on in the neighborhood and how that may affect their property.

“We’re fairly close and this area is slated for a lot of growth,” he said.

Etsekson said having access to a public park is an appealing amenity because it will help residents and workers in the area — which is designated for urban development — feel like they are not trapped in a concrete jungle.

When asked, Etsekson said he preferred the second, more open park design, whereas his daughter said she liked the first option more.

“Either one of them is actually pretty nice, I think,” Etsekson said.

Deborah Benaloh, whose family lives in Overlake likes the idea of adding a park to the neighborhood. The 20-year-old currently attends Colgate University in New York but has been home for winter break. In addition to her interest in the neighborhood, she said she attended the meeting because she is interested in studying architecture.

Lundquist’s presentation, including the two park plan options, are posted on the city’s website and the city will accept comments until Jan. 31 via email ( The comments will be used to refine the park design, which will be presented at a joint meeting of the Parks and Trails Commission and Design Review Board, with an opportunity for public comment. The date will be determined soon, but it is anticipated to be scheduled in February or March.

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