Redmond mayor John Marchione presented his annual State of the City address Thursday morning at the Marriott hotel in the Redmond Town Center.
Marchione is in his third term as mayor and gave a history of the city’s development since 2007.
“We knew that we were gonna grow,” he said.
During the Recession, the city was working to modernize its infrastructure to continue attracting businesses, Marchione said.
This has included the creation of urban centers in the Overlake and downtown neighborhoods, a two-way conversion of key downtown roads and the development of more and denser housing.
There are 1,443 housing units downtown currently, with 1,651 under construction and 695 in the permitting process.
Marchione said on average, some 5.6 percent of a Redmond resident’s income goes toward funding the city government, a percentage which hasn’t changed much since 2010.
Redmond has around 62,000 residents and roughly 87,000 jobs. The number of jobs is projected to increase to around 120,000 by 2030.
“We are by far one of the most prosperous and productive places in the county,” Marchione said.
Challenges still facing the city include heavy traffic, mental health issues and homelessness.
Traffic, Marchione said, was a by-product of growth.
“Problems with prosperity are traffic, because people want to be there,” he said.
This makes it more critical to partner with Sound Transit, which will be opening two light rail stations in the city by 2024.
“We have to be a part of the regional mass transit system, we can’t build enough roads,” he said.
On issues surrounding mental health, the city is working with King County to create a mental health board and locally it is setting up a community court, both designed to keep people out of jail and connect them with services.
Last year was the first full year with a dedicated homeless outreach coordinator and saw the specialist make contact more than 500 times with unsheltered people.
Marchione said more than 200 people were paired with services and around 40 ended up in housing.
The city will be focusing on ensuring the smooth construction of the light rail stations and a planned Microsoft campus expansion in coming years, Marchione said.
Residents concerned with the direction of the city or future developments should get involved with the planning processes now, Marchione said.
“I’m very excited and optimistic about the future of Redmond and the King County area,” he said.
The address was sponsored by OneRedmond, which the Redmond Reporter is a member of.