Redmond council approves Overlake’s Seritage development

The approval paves the way for mixed-use development on 14-acres in the Overlake neighborhood.

The 14-acre mixed-use development known as the Seritage development was approved Aug. 21 by Redmond City Council, paving the way for developers to begin construction.

The project was approved by a 6-0 vote at the meeting, which was a continuation of a July 17 public hearing on the development that is proposed for a site currently housing an old Sears building at 2200 148th Avenue Northeast. Seritage Growth Properties submitted a project application to the city in 2015 for the mixed-used development, which will include 100,000 square feet of street-level retail space, 266,800 square feet of office space and nearly 62,000 square feet of restaurant space.

Included in this would be 500 apartments, a 210-room hotel, around two acres of parks and open space and 2,245 underground parking stalls for a total of 1.05 million square feet of new development in Redmond’s Overlake neighborhood.

One resident expressed concerns over how Seritage would impact traffic but no one else spoke at the Tuesday meeting.

Council member Jeralee Anderson proposed an amendment, which was passed, that asked the developers to try and seek green certification but a specific certification was not required.

Bart Phillips, CEO of OneRedmond, an economic development organization, said the decision will put the Overlake neighborhood on a path toward becoming a second downtown core, which has been a goal of the city for years.

“You’re starting to see that sort of evolve into Redmond’s downtown,” he said.

The project would be built in phases with the first creating a residential complex with apartments above a ground floor-level of retail. Another smaller retail building and office building would be built as well as two additional office buildings, which would also include retail space.

Phillips said more residential-oriented retail businesses will likely supplement the existing larger tenants like Fred Meyers. The city will also see an increase in funding through sales and retail taxes as well as fees paid by Seritage during construction.

At the July 17 council meeting, Seritage representatives said that 50 apartments would be priced at 80 percent of the area’s median income, with another 50 being marketed at those earning between 60 to 80 percent. Redmond council member Tanika Padhye had asked the developers to market the lower-priced apartments toward the lower end of the income spectrum to create more affordable housing options though this was not required. A family of four bringing in around $72,000 annually would qualify as making 80 percent of the area’s median income.

The development was approved under a 2007 supplemental environmental impact study that projected growth in the neighborhood through 2030. It envisioned a total of 4.5 million square feet of additional commercial space and nearly 5,500 housing units would be built before an update would be required. The Seritage project, once completed, would still leave room for 3.6 million square feet of commercial space and space for more than 2,000 housing units.

“It’s not just happening, it’s planned and has been planned for 10-15 years,” Phillips said.

Before construction begins, an old Sears Auto Parts store will be demolished. It was closed earlier this summer.

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