Gateway Development Construction May Begin Next Month

At Monday's City Council meeting a briefing was provided on the preliminary development agreement that would need to be agreed on between the City and the developer of the Gateway project

From the meeting notes:

Development Agreements are binding contracts between the parties (City and developer) and are often used for large mixed use projects with complex elements constructed over extended
development periods – usually three or more years. The Gateway TOD project falls into that
category – it is a large project that will be built over an extended period of time, and includes
features and proposals that require a coordinated approach to both develop and maintain over
time. For example, the developer intends to create a unified landscape design on site that would extend into the right-of-way median, and he would like to maintain the landscaping within the medians to ensure consistency in design and quality. That could be addressed under a development agreement. He would like to have the assurance of vesting so that he can phase his project over a multi-year period without concern over changes to codes and development
standards. Vesting is a common purpose for development agreements. Other features of the
proposal would also be appropriately addressed under a development agreement.

One slide in the presentation had a preliminary schedule as seen below. According to the schedule, work to retrofit the existing bridge near the Umpqua bank building, as well as site clearing and grading, could begin as early as April 2016. Utility construction would begin in May 2016 and construction of the Gateway Boulevard extension and Building #1 would begin in July 2016.

A couple of other items of note that were mentioned about the project:

  • The total number of residential units has been slightly reduced to allow for a greater number of 3 bedroom and 2 bedroom/den units.
  • The developer has worked on some preliminary ideas for an expanded plaza/park area at the NW corner of the 236th and the future Gateway Boulevard which would better tie in with Sound Transit's light rail station. See the "Terrace Green" image below.
  • The developer had attempted to entice a grocer to lease a portion of the space in Building #1 but have been unsuccessful so far. Even so, 75% of the commercial space in the building have letters of interest from businesses.
  • One of these businesses is a restaurant which the developer says is "a local family owned business with a national presence", "a name everyone would recognize"
  • In addition to the restaurant, talks are also ongoing with a financial institution that would like to open a branch, a fitness related business and a daycare of some sort.
  • Currently, the developer is estimating that the project will construct nearly $6 million worth of public improvements and the total project costs will be close to $110 million.