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Overlake development plans continue with design approvals

A rendering of Capstone Partner
A rendering of Capstone Partner's Esterra Park in Overlake.
— image credit: Courtesy of Capstone Partners

With design approvals in hand as of last week, Capstone Partners, along with its financial partner Lionstone Investments, is nearly ready to move on the first phase of its 3 million-square-foot Esterra Park project located at the old Group Health Cooperative site at 2464 152nd Ave. N.E. in Redmond.

While plans for the two apartment buildings and one office building have been approved by the City of Redmond’s Design Review Board, associate planner Dennis Lisk said there is still work to do with Capstone and AvalonBay Communities — the company tasked with developing the apartment buildings — on finalizing things.

“It’s getting down to the technical details,” he said.

Lisk said this work should take about two to four weeks to complete and they hope to apply for building permits sometime next month. He added that since the three buildings are located on separate parcels of land, they will each require separate sets of permits.

AN URBAN VILLAGE

Esterra Park, a blend of “east” and “terra,” is the 28-acre sustainable, transit-oriented, mixed-use project within Overlake Village. The site will be the first urban live-work campus created in the Pacific Northwest with additional park and hotel components. The project will include more than 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, more than 1,400 residential units and a 250-room hotel, all surrounding a new 2.7-acre park.

Lisk said there will be about 10 buildings total on the site.

In addition to what’s to come, the Overlake neighborhood has 1.5 million square feet of existing retail and is located adjacent to State Route 520. A future light rail station is also planned.

Capstone estimates 7,000-8,000 people will live and work at Esterra Park. The project is the first phase of Redmond’s 170-acre Overlake Village master plan, which will house 30,000-40,000 people when completed — about half the size of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

Overlake Village is one of two urban centers the City of Redmond is developing — the second being downtown. Lisk said they see Esterra Park as a catalyst for development in the rest of Overlake.

“I think it’s very exciting,” he said about having the first phase of the project preparing to break ground as well as seeing some of the city’s planning work come to fruition.

In addition to city planning, Imagine Overlake member Tom Hinman wrote in a recent guest editorial to the Reporter about the importance of community involvement in developing the new urban center. He described Overlake as Redmond’s “other downtown” and wrote, “it takes multiple focal points to make a community desirable and livable…it takes a community to make such a place livable by adding a human dimension to the built environment under development….a brew pub, bookstore or neighborhood-centered coffee house, for example.”

Imagine Overlake is a community group focused on shaping the neighborhood’s growth.

FUTURE TIMELINE

Capstone started demolition of the 500,000 square-foot hospital and medical buildings in spring 2013. Roadway construction has commenced and building construction will start this summer.

This month, Capstone expects to receive final approval from the Redmond Design Review Board for the first of the three office buildings, which total more than 650,000 square feet of the 1.2 million planned. The firm also expects to be ready for construction this year.

“We will be ready to break ground in June on the first building and by year end on the remaining two buildings of this first phase,” said Mike Hubbard of Capstone.

When the demand arises, a second office phase will add another 550,000 square feet. Capstone said it will break ground with a 100,000-square-foot pre-lease tenant.

“Designed for technology companies, these buildings have big floor plates, plenty of power, ample parking, situated next to a 2.7-acre park,” said Scott Davis of CBRE, who was hired to market the office project. “Tenants will walk across the park to get home or stop off with friends at new neighborhood bars and restaurants.”

The Redmond Design Review Board also gave approval for roughly 500 units to be developed by AvalonBay Communities. Construction is scheduled to start this summer. These sustainable units are designed to fit the lifestyle of young professional technology savvy workers as well as families. AvalonBay is one of the most active multi-family developers in the region with more than 900 units currently under construction in the Capitol Hill and University District neighborhoods of Seattle as well as in Lynnwood.

Another portion of Esterra Park is the hotel portion, which Capstose said will be announced shortly and construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS

In addition to the building developments, Lisk said Esterra Park will bring new roads within the site. Currently, he said they are calling the main road that runs east to west across the site, the “spine road.” There will also be the addition of 153rd Avenue Northeast, running north to south, as well as a short Northeast 28th Street, which will enter the development from the east and meet with the planned park.

Lisk said they are still working on the details of the roads at the moment, but they hope to wrap things up and receive approval by the end of March so they can begin construction.

Developers and city planners are also in the process of designing the 2.7-acre park located within Esterra Park.

“Think South Lake Union with a two-block park right in the middle,” said park designer Kristen Lindquist of Brumbaugh Associates about how it will fit within the development.

Lisk said for the last few months, developers have taken community input gathered from previous public meetings to come up with a preferred concept for the park.

For more information, visit www.capstone-partners.com or contact Hubbard at (206) 652-3364 or mhubbard@capstone-partners.com, or Kirk Johnson at (206) 652-3365, kjohnson@capstonepartners.com.

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