According to data listed in the Urban Center Element of the Comprehensive Plan link, the 2030 target for dwelling units in the downtown is 6,170. 2300 units are on record as built as of 2010. So 2300 + 711 units = 3011 in 2012 for at least a 50% density.
In the town meeting, Mayor Marchione confused some members of the viewing public saying "We're planning to be an urban community that's going to be over 2200 units." He went onto say "There will be $330 million in private investments in building out this vision including 200+ affordable housing units" to achieve a variety of incomes and choices.
With Overlake residential redevelopment getting off to a slow start - and "One Redmond" in hibernation - it's possible the private sector will build more aggressively downtown. In fact, an Evergreen Health Hospital official said their parcel west of Redmond Medical Center is slated for apartments rather than another clinic.
One of the drawbacks in building downtown is coping with the high water table when installing underground parking. The downtown is built over the city aquifer and wellhead protection zone and according to City Planner Gary Lee constrains underground parking. Lee says the city requires 1.25 parking places for every residential unit which puts a pinch on parking for the downtown.
Despite emerging traffic, parking and pedestrian crosswalk issues from Redmond's rapid downtown residential growth, the Mayor was happy with downtown progress, saying "to have any cranes now in this economic environment is remarkable; to have two cranes and a third one here in 30 days show people want to come here and want to live here and the demand is high.." According to statistics presented by Steve Bailey, Dir. of Finance in an earlier meeting there are three jobs in Redmond for every living unit.
Councilmember Emeritus President Richard Cole said before his retirement he felt the City over-committed to taking additional density. The Mayor said plans and decisions to grow to 4-6 stories downtown were made in l997-1999, long before his time as Mayor.
Below is a list of current residential downtown construction projects with their number of units totalling 713. These projects don't include existing projects already built like Veloce (300 units), RED 160 (250 units), and the Cleveland Building, etc.
85th Street Apartments
85th St. NE and 158th Ave. NE
includes 3,000 square feet of retail
16345 Cleveland St.
6 stories; 212,556 square feet (includes retail)
16175 Cleveland St.
6 stories; 205,390 square feet (includes retail)
7977 170th Ave. NE
2 4-story buildings with a parking garage below
15815 Bear Creek Parkway
plans call for mixed-use space
approved but on hold due to economy
8525 163rd Court NE
8 units with 96 single-room occupants; 37,168 square feet
At the current pace of downtown construction it appears the city could significantly over-shoot their 2030 density target of 6170 dwelling units.
Opinion By Bob Yoder