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2021 Development Update: West Issaquah Highlands

Connections 2021 Development Update

Westridge

As of September 2021, developer Taylor Morrison built and sold over 72 homes in Westridge South and 37 homes in the actively selling Westridge North single-family community. In addition, 131 Westridge townhomes have sold, and 45 are actively selling in the Westridge North townhomes community. For more information and appointments, visit the sales office or the Taylor Morrison website.

Westridge Timeline

  • High Street Linear Park: Estimated completion November 2021.
  • Life Enrichment Options (LEO) group home: Under construction, includes six units for adult tenants. Estimated completion in December 2021, followed by licensing. This is the second LEO home in Issaquah Highlands; the first is in the Black Nugget Park neighborhood.
  • Westridge Community Garden: To include 70 3 feet by 5 feet plots in 13 beds. Estimated completion in March 2022.
  • Affordable Housing Units: 38 units to complete, estimated by May 2022.
  • Single Family Homes: 47 units to complete, estimated by December 2022.
  • Townhomes: 84 units to complete, estimated by February 2023.

Swedish Issaquah

Swedish Issaquah has a development agreement with the city of Issaquah that runs through 2033. The project contains approximately 28 acres and 1,077,000 gross square feet; about 538,000 square feet are complete, leaving 539,000 square feet yet to develop, essentially doubling Swedish Issaquah in size by 2033.

According to the city of Issaquah, Swedish received an extension last September, allowing the temporary parking lot on the northeast corner of NE Blakely Drive and 8th Avenue NE to remain until December 2022. By December 2022, Swedish will need a master plan and a building permit for the remaining 539,000 square feet or remove the parking lot. According to Swedish Chief Executive and Highlands Council Trustee Chris Beaudoin, there is “nothing public to share at this time.

Swedish Issaquah

Shelter Holdings

Developer Shelter Holdings owns the L-shaped property located along 9th Avenue Northeast from Northeast High Street to Northeast Discovery Drive and from Northeast Discovery Drive to 5th Place Northeast. Since 2014, Shelter Holdings has desired to develop this property with uses it feels will serve our community. In 2017, Shelter Holdings began subdividing the 1.8 million square foot property zoned retail/commercial and pursued approvals for several development proposals that complied with the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement. The proposals included:

  • Retail: Pedestrian-oriented retail development similar in scale to the existing Grand Ridge Plaza, to include several restaurants, an entertainment facility, specialty grocer, pharmacy, daycare, and other daily goods and services. The proposal consists of 107,000 square feet of building area distributed among 11 buildings on five lots, with off-street surface parking for about 545 stalls. The buildings would primarily be single-story retail with opportunities for an additional 13,000 square feet of second-story retail, restaurants, or deck space to take advantage of views from the site. This second-story option would increase the total building area to 120,000 square feet.
  • Medical Office: A medical office building (sized 88,000 square feet) to complement and support the existing Swedish Hospital and Proliance medical facilities, including 391 parking stalls.
  • Self-Storage: A 108,385 square feet, four-story self-storage facility with three stories above grade and one story below grade.
  • Corner of 9th Avenue NE and NE Discovery Drive: The site includes a proposal for 120,000 gross square feet of office space, an 18,000 gross square feet fitness center, and 5,000 gross square feet of retail to complement and support the existing community, including Swedish Hospital and Proliance medical facilities, and the previously mentioned medical office building. The site is adjacent to Northeast Discovery Drive, approximately 154,030 square feet (3.54 acres), with approximately 291 parking stalls (including 17 on-street). The building would be sited to the southeastern portion of the site to activate the corner of 9th Ave Northeast and Northeast Discovery Drive. According to the city of Issaquah, this portion of the project only went through a pre-application process and Shelter Holdings did not submit a Site Development Permit. The city has not denied development of this parcel.

The city denied Shelter Holdings’ applications because they do not comply with the new regulations adopted after termination of the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement. Shelter Holdings argues it submitted its applications before termination of the development agreement, and the new regulations should not apply to their plans for the parcel.

The current Issaquah Highlands development regulations adopted by the city in 2018 require a minimum of over 900,000 square feet of dense commercial development. In a statement to Highlands Council, Shelter Holdings said, “the type of large-scale office buildings that the regulations require is not economically feasible in Issaquah Highlands.” The dispute remains in litigation.

Block 20

In August, hotel developer Sycan sold the former City Surf location to BML Development Corporation. According to the company’s real estate broker, BML has “hired consultants to analyze the property and make recommendations for the best use of the land.” This 90,000 square foot parcel, located behind Dick’s Sporting Goods at the corner of 10th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Falls Drive, is zoned for retail/commercial use.

Alexan Heartwood

Issaquah Highlands’ newest high-rise apartment building is now leasing. Learn more in “On the Cover: A Look Inside the Alexan Heartwood Apartments.”

Alexan Heartwood

Stay informed on development updates in Issaquah Highlands on our development web page.

Read the full 2021 development update in Fall 2021 Connections online here.

As published in Fall 2021 Connections >> 

Christy Garrard is the Highlands Council executive director, and a Dahlia Park resident.