Tuesday, February 27, 2018

OPINION: The Redevelopment of Sears Plaza is something to ponder

Redmond is growing, and faster than many of us imagine. One major new project is "Seritage" - a proposed redevelopment of Sears Plaza on 148th Ave into office space, hotel and residential units. 

If you live in Overlake, shop in the area or commute through it, or just want to give input, please consider attending the meeting on  Thursday, March 8, 2018 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  
Redmond Community Center At Marymoor Village Room 202 6505 176TH Ave NE Redmond, WA 98073 (425) 556-2300 to learn more and provide feedback on the project.

You may ask yourself why would one spend Thursday evening on knowing more urban planning? Let me try and give you few facts as to why this is not your typical few homes subdivision:
·         The project is huge! The site area is 14 acres, and the proposal will increase the buildings area by 800,000 sq.ft.
·         The buildings will be going up to 9 stories high, and will include both commercial space, hotel and residential units. This is not the scale we have in the area as of yet ...
·         When built, the project will generate over 13,000 vehicular trips a day. As currently planned, the developer-funded road improvements as part of a project are minimal, in fact the traffic study states that the traffic will improve when the project is complete (the cities of Redmond and Bellevue will bear the burden of road improvements as part of their infrastructure plans)
·         There will be 2,300 parking stalls (vs. around 1,000 today). Acc. to the studies, the amount should be sufficient for those trips mentioned above (both residential and commercial)
·         There is an already approved project next door (KCC Limited Edition) that will result in 885 homes, 173,000 square feet of office, 28,000 square feet of retail, an 80-room hotel. Adding new, larger project to the area will likely multiply the impacts of this development
If any of the design assumptions on the project are not correct, it is likely that the traffic gridlock in the area will intensify. The best way to influence the project is to get informed and provide comments to the city either at the meeting or via email. After all, there are 10,000 of us in Overlake today (in Bellevue and Redmond both) and many have a perspective on proposed development and its impacts.
As an aside - the city has already had two meetings for this project in 2017 (total of eleven residents showed up), and it took quite some effort by the Council to get this third meeting set up. If the community does not take part in a discussion, we may wake up one day to a row of high rises and traffic jams to rival Seattle.
Please attend the meeting on Thursday, March 8th 6:00 PM at new Redmond Community Center, 6505 176TH Ave NE, Redmond. To know more about the project, check out http://www.redmond.gov/seritage or reach out to David Lee at dlee@redmond.gov
Redmond is growing, and faster that many of us imagine. One major new project is "Seritage" - a proposed redevelopment of Sears Plaza on 148th Ave into office space, hotel and residential units. If you live in Overlake, shop in the area or commute through it, please consider attending the meeting on March 8th to learn more and provide feedback on the project.
You may ask yourself why would one spend Thursday evening on knowing more urban planning? Let me try and give you few facts as to why this is not your typical few homes subdivision:
·         The project is huge! The site area is 14 acres, and the proposal will increase the buildings area by 800,000 sq.ft.
·         The buildings will be going up to 9 stories high, and will include both commercial space, hotel and residential units. This is not the scale we have in the area as of yet ...
·         When built, the project will generate over 13,000 vehicular trips a day. As currently planned, the developer-funded road improvements as part of a project are minimal, in fact the traffic study states that the traffic will improve when the project is complete (the cities of Redmond and Bellevue will bear the burden of road improvements as part of their infrastructure plans)
·         There will be 2,300 parking stalls (vs. around 1,000 today). Acc. to the studies, the amount should be sufficient for those trips mentioned above (both residential and commercial)
·         There is an already approved project next door (KCC Limited Edition) that will result in 885 homes, 173,000 square feet of office, 28,000 square feet of retail, an 80-room hotel. Adding new, larger project to the area will likely multiply the impacts of this development
If any of the design assumptions on the project are not correct, it is likely that the traffic gridlock in the area will intensify. The best way to influence the project is to get informed and provide comments to the city either at the meeting or via email. After all, there are 10,000 of us in Overlake today (in Bellevue and Redmond both) and many have a perspective on proposed development and its impacts.
As an aside - the city has already had two meetings for this project in 2017 (total of eleven residents showed up), and it took quite some effort by the Council to get this third meeting set up. If the community does not take part in a discussion, we may wake up one day to a row of high rises and traffic jams to rival Seattle.
Please attend the meeting on Thursday, March 8th 6:00 PM at new Redmond Community Center, 6505 176TH Ave NE, Redmond. To know more about the project, check out http://www.redmond.gov/seritage or reach out to David Lee at dlee@redmond.gov

-- Eugene Zakhareyev
   Redmond

7 comments:

Bob Yoder said...

I was at a community center meeting at VALA last year when Jane Wither, a member of the One Redmond Foundation stated over time the largest population in Redmond will shift from the Downtown to Overlake. She indicated it's possible developers might be incented to raise the height of their buildings if they agreed to house a performance center, art gallery, etc. 12 stories anyone?!

Anonymous said...

Disappointed. I'll vote against every sitting councilmember and the Mayor until things change. I've had enough and want to take back my city.

Anonymous said...

148th Ave NE through the Overlake area, already well known for its heavy traffic congestion during commuting hours, will become the Eastside's version of Mercer Street in Seattle.

If you have a chance to attend these meetings or to provide any input, please emphasize the need to add (or at least preserve existing) traffic lanes in these areas. The LAST thing we need to do is what Seattle is doing (road diets) - removing general-purpose lanes to add transit-only or bicycle lanes.

Anonymous said...

The light rail station is driving this bus as this is near the ST2 terminus, hopefully that will reduce the amount of traffic with cars.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely inappropriate to put a building 8 or 9 stories tall in this location. I can only support a smaller, more intimate development. And, traffic congestion caused by inadequate infrastructure should be addressed and paid for primarily by the developer, not the citizens of Bellevue/Redmond. Congestion affects our quality of life. Our City Council should be protecting us from this way-too-big development. What are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

Redmond approves every plan no matter the height or impact. I saw only a handful of people went to the public hearings. Why should people bother to show up when the city just does not care what voters think?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing we can do. The East Bellevue development train has left the station.