City of Redmond studies proposed Overlake redevelopment

The Seritage Development would create apartments along with retail, office and commercial space.

A site map of the proposed Seritage Development in Redmond’s Overlake neighborhood.

A site map of the proposed Seritage Development in Redmond’s Overlake neighborhood.

Redmond city officials met this week to discuss a proposal by Seritage Growth Properties that would transform roughly 14 acres in the Overlake neighborhood into a mixed-use development.

The Seritage development is located on a plot of land at 2200 148th Ave. NE commonly known as the Sears site, which currently houses a Sears Auto Parts store scheduled to shut down on July 15 of this year. The first phase of development would see the construction of a residential complex that would hold 500 apartments, ground floor retail space and a smaller retail building along Northeast 20th Street. Future phases would include the addition of both a nine-story building that would house a 210-room hotel and offices, as well as two additional office buildings with retail.

If the project is completed it would accommodate more than 100,000 square feet of retail space, 23,000 square feet of market and food retail, 267,000 square feet of office space, two acres of park and 2,250 underground parking spaces for a total of 1.05 million square feet. At previous public meetings on the project, residents from Redmond and Bellevue expressed concerns about whether the Overlake neighborhood can handle an increase in population and traffic stemming from the project.

Redmond senior planner Dave Lee gave a presentation to the council at a study session on April 24 during which he outlined a city growth plan, drafted in 1999 and updated in 2007, which guides development in the Overlake neighborhood. The city is operating under a 2007 supplemental environmental impact study that projected growth through 2030. When the plan was last updated, it projected the neighborhood could accommodate a total of 4.5 million square feet of additional commercial space and up to 5,494 housing units before the plan would need a comprehensive update.

If the Seritage development is built out to completion there would still be room for 3.6 million square feet of commercial space and more than 2,000 housing units, Lee said. The anticipated population for the neighborhood is expected to be around 10,550 by 2030 according to city projections.

As part of the city’s analysis of the project, staff identified 17 intersections that would likely be impacted, Lee said. Despite an increase in residents, the analysis expected many of these intersections would be more congested if Seritage is not completed as the developer has opted to undertake public infrastructure improvements in exchange for an increase in building heights. These include building three new roads through the project, widening streets, building bike lanes and making intersection improvement.

As a result of the infrastructure improvements, the building housing the hotel and one of the office buildings could reach nine stories, while the residential building would only reach six stories. The residential building will have ground-floor commercial and restaurant spaces available.

Affordability for both housing units and commercial space was a concern raised by residents and council members. Redmond requires that developers reserve at least 10 percent of new units to be designated as affordable units, according to federal requirements. To be considered affordable, a unit’s monthly cost, including rent and utilities, must be at or below one-third of the monthly income for a family making 80 percent of King County’s median income. According to the city of Seattle’s calculations, a family of four making around $72,000 annually would meet this criteria.

Redmond council members Hank Myers and Tanika Padhye voiced concerns over affordable commercial space, which was echoed by other members of the council. Padhye was worried that higher commercial rents would drive up prices at grocery and retail stores in the development, forcing neighborhood residents to drive to other parts of the city to shop. Council member Hank Margeson urged the council to take a proactive role in looking for ways to keep commercial rents low.

“Let’s let Redmond be a leader,” Margeson said.

The next step for the city will be a public hearing between the council, residents and Seritage Group Properties. The project will additionally need to undergo an environmental review and be approved or denied by council.

More in News

Vader served the Redmond Police Department for more than seven years and enjoyed a four-year retirement as the Hovenden family pet. Photos courtesy of RPD
Former Redmond police K-9 Vader, dies at 13

Vader served the department for more than 7 years and spent his retirement as a full-time family pet.

Sarah Yount, former YES client, speaks at YES’s 50th anniversary celebration on Nov. 2. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Youth Eastside Services celebrates 50 years

YES celebrates 50 years of providing youth and family behavioral health services.

Sky Metalwala has been missing for seven years. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Police plead for help in search for missing boy

Sky has been missing since Nov. 6, 2011 and turned 9 years old on Sept. 2.

Suspect arrested after stealing paychecks | Police blotter

The Redmond police blotter from Oct. 22 through 24. Courtesy of the RPD blog.

Kuderer leads Tom; Walen over Bright

Legislative District 48 race. Results are preliminary.

Democrats lead in 45th Legislative District

Dhingra, Goodman and Springer earned about two thirds of the vote.

DelBene leads in 1st Congressional District in early returns

As of election night, incumbent Suzan DelBene was leading with 69 percent of the vote, to Jeffrey Beeler’s 31 percent.

Marcus Naylor and Joshua Schaer.
                                Marcus Naylor and Joshua Schaer.
Naylor leads Eastside judicial race

Results are preliminary.

King County property assessments have begun for some Eastside neighborhoods

County property appraisers visit around one-sixth of all properties in the county each year to ensure the homes are valued correctly.

From left: Samantha Areliz (VALA curator), Marisa Mouton Provo (VALA Communication Director) and Zachary Burns (artist) look upon the Gatesville exhibit at the new VALA Eastside in Kirkland. Madison Miller/staff photo.
VALA Arts moves to Kirkland; changes name to VALA Eastside

VALA Eastside makes Kirkland its permanent home.

Upcoming shelter for women and families offers hope to Eastside

The city of Kirkland anticipates the shelter for families and women to be completed in 2020.

PSE natural gas bills will be lower this winter

This is the lowest rates the utility has provided since 2004.