Development in Issaquah Highlands

Residential Projects

Westridge South:

As of June 2018

  • 72 single family homes
  • Homes range from 2,200 to 3,550 square feet
  • Three configurations: 2-story, 2-story with daylight basement, and 3-story with “tuck under” garages
  • Prices start at $1M+
  • Sales office is located on Discovery Drive
  • Many homes are occupied while the neighborhood is under construction
  • New trail around the perimeter of the property will replace the pond trail

View all updates related to Polygon Homes >

Westridge North:

As of June 2018

  • Sustainable “green” construction
  • Designs reviewed by IHCA Builder Architecture Review Committee (ARC)
  • 222 townhomes, prices starting at $771K
  • Ten of the townhomes will be “affordable” (income-qualified)
  • 72 single family homes, pricing starts at $999K
  • 38 stacked flats, all “affordable”
  • One Life Enrichment Options (LEO) group home

Proposed Roadway Configurations:

  • High Street continues west and south to a new 6th Place NE
    West of 6th, High Street becomes non-motorized bike and pedestrian promenade
  • Federal Avenue continues west to 6th Place NE
  • Ellis Drive continues west to West Highlands Park
  • 7th Ave NE will be a new road north from Discovery Drive into the townhomes neighborhood (not direct through street)

Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) Recommends Approval of West Highlands Single Family Plat (Tuesday, April 17, 2018)
Application now advances to the City Council for review (perhaps in June)

Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) Approves West Highlands North Townhomes Permit Application (Tuesday, May 1, 2018)

Issaquah City Council is reviewing the Westridge Single-Family plat application and the proposal to convert a portion of High Street into a park/promenade (June 2018)

View all community updates related to Polygon Homes >

Block 19 Apartments:

As of June 2018

  • Received land use permit; other permits are under review
  • Vested with IHDA, IHCA Builder ARC
  • 5 stories on the east side
  • Two additional lower floors for townhomes, parking on west side
  • East facing includes a courtyard
  • Outdoor pool located on the 3rd floor
  • New community trail will connect WSDOT Pond trail to 10th Ave. NE
  • Roof top deck for residents

Tract D Single Family Homes:

As of January 2018

  • Vested in a “mini development agreement” to manage 100 Transfer Development Rights (TDRs) and Affordable housing in Westridge Block 4 (Polygon)
  • 10 single family homes

View all updates related to Polygon Homes >

Harrison Street and Grand Ridge Drive:

As of June 2018

The Harrison Streets and Grand Ridge Drive neighborhoods are managed by the Issaquah Highlands Custom ARC.

Number of homes under review or active construction:

  • Harrison – 12
  • Grand Ridge Drive – 13

Number of remaining empty lots:

  • Harrison – 1
  • Grand Ridge drive – 5

Commercial Projects

Central Park:

New Sports Fields Opened on Saturday, March 17, 2018

Central Park Pad #1 was rebuilt in 2017-18 with updated sports fields with synthetic turf, drainage, fencing and LED field lights, path lights and scoreboard. New roofs were installed over the dugouts. A temporary parking lot opened by the water reservoir, new lights and walkways were installed to help parking lot users.

A second picnic shelter was installed (which can be reserved through the City of Issaquah), and a new mound area with seat walls now provide community viewing for the sports fields.

The park will also feature unique public art by artist, Lydia Aldredge, commissioned by the City of Issaquah’s Arts Commission.

To mitigate increased traffic, Central Park fields will run at 75% capacity until a new traffic light is installed in future at the intersection of Park Drive and Central Park Lane.

City of Issaquah held a ribbon cutting on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

See all updates related to Central Park >

“Hilltop” Site for Elementary School Not an Option:

Updated June 14, 2018

At the Issaquah School Board meeting of June 13, 2018 the administration announced a halt to pursuing the property west of Westridge and Swedish Hospital as a site for a new elementary school. Find details here>>>.

The Issaquah School District began its due diligence work in 2017 to consider purchasing a portion of this land, owned by the City of Issaquah.

Early 2018 the School District began geotechnical soil testing, an inventory and assessment of the site’s trees, and topographic survey work to assess the viability of the property. They continue to work with the City of Issaquah on storm water and adjacent developer construction requirements along Discovery Drive.

The City of Issaquah City Council is expected to reopen the discussion at their May 14th work session.

The City still needs to determine if they will sell the property, and how they would go about selecting a buyer, if they decide to sell the property.

The Issaquah School District posted an update on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

This update covers the topics explained in the blog post reporting on the School Board meeting of April 25, 2018.

See all updates related to Issaquah School District >

The High Street Collection:

As of January 2018

Shelter Holdings (through their affiliate IHIF Commercial, LLC) continues to advance their plans to develop the 21.5 acre, undeveloped L-shaped property (formerly owned by Microsoft) located west of 9th Ave. NE. The development, referred to as “The High Street Collection,” is slated for commercial and retail use.

While the City of Issaquah processes a preliminary plat application to divide the property into ten lots, Shelter Holdings has also submitted applications for four site development permits for retail, office, medical office and storage facility uses.

  • New retail/services and restaurants (Lots 1-5 — see above image in blue)
  • Approximately 120,000 square foot office building with ground floor fitness use and retail (Lot 6)
  • Approximately 92,000 square foot medical office building, with ground floor retail or commercial uses (Lots 7 and 8)
  • Self-storage facility (Lot 9)

See all updates related to Shelter Holdings >

Grand Ridge Plaza, Block 5:

As of June 2018

  • Tenants open at High Street and 9th Ave NE (Grand Ridge Plaza’s final building under current permitting)
    • Orangetheory Fitness and Habit Burger celebrated grand openings in June 2018
  • These new tenants take up 5,325 square feet of retail space

See all updates related to Grand Ridge Plaza >

Block 20 CitySurf:

As of January 2018

  • Has a land use permit
  • Plans to submit a building permit application soon
  • Vested with IHDA, IHCA Builder ARC

See all updates related to CitySurf >

Bellevue College:

As of January 2018

A spokesman for the college repeated their stated position from last year, “The college is not moving forward with development of the site at this time and I am not aware of eminent plans to start building there.”

See all updates related to Bellevue College >

Swedish Hospital:

As of January 2018

Swedish has approved plans to double the size of the current facility, which could extend the building north of Blakely Drive. There are no definite plans available at this time.

Recent Development News

2017 Issaquah Highlands Development Stats

Land Use Overall

Total acreage: 2200 acres

Groundbreaking 2017-18

Total new homes expected: 438

Commercial, Retail and Institutional Development

Total entitled: 3,692,200 square feet

Helpful Development Terms

Affordable Housing (distinct from low income housing):

As governed by the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement (DA), 30% of residential development shall be “affordable housing”. The DA further defines “affordable” as that which is calculated as affordable to those earning 80, 100 and 120% of the King County median income. (Currently, the King County household median income is $73,000.)

Audience Comments:

An opportunity to speak publicly, addressing a body such as the City Council, on a topic that is not scheduled for a Public Hearing at that meeting. City Council provides this opportunity at the beginning of each meeting. The UVDC and City Council committees also welcome audience comments. (See specific agendas on the City website.)

Commercial Uses Include:

Office, Hotel, Restaurants, Fitness, Entertainment, Warehousing/Storage, Light Manufacturing, etc.

Development Agreement (DA):

An agreement (contract) between a land owner and a jurisdiction, such as a city, that determines how a property will be developed. The agreement has a term (i.e. 20 years) and “runs” with the land, if sold. The Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement was signed in 1996.

End of DAs:

A casual reference to the end of buildout period of the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement (DA), and the agreement’s termination. Even though undeveloped properties remain in the Highlands, the City or the Master Developer can choose to terminate the DA at the end of the buildout period, which occurs in 2017.

See all updates related to the end of the Development Agreement >

Entitlement: 

Amount of residential, commercial or institutional development allowed by a contract such as a Development Agreement.

Institutional Uses Include:

Schools, Churches, Cultural Facilities, etc.

Moratorium:

In September 2016, the City of Issaquah enacted a six-month moratorium on certain types of development. There are many exceptions. Notable to Issaquah Highlands is that all land governed by Development Agreements is excluded. In February 2017 the City Council extended this moratorium to September 6, 2017.

Public Hearing:

A scheduled opportunity to speak on the record on a specific topic. The Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) and City Council both hold Public Hearings. Public notice of a hearing will be provided at least 10 days in advance. Sign up on the City’s website, “Notify Me” to receive email notices of Public Hearings.

Retail Uses Include:

Stores and Shops, Grocery Stores, Banks, Winery/Brewery, etc.

Site Development Permit (SDP):

When a development is large or complicated the Site Development Permit application process is used, which includes a Public Hearing.

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR):

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) is a voluntary, incentive- based program that allows landowners to sell development rights from their land to a developer or other interested party who then can use these rights to increase the density of development at another designated location.

Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC):

A commission serving by appointment of the Mayor to review and approve (or recommend to approve) applications to develop land in the city’s Urban Villages, such as Issaquah Highlands.