Saturday, July 9, 2022

Updated, 7/21/2022 Imagining Town Center's Redevelopment

Pam relaxing on our way to the Center after dinner at BJ's / credit Bob Yoder / click to enlarge
Check this out: As we walked through Redmond Town Center today enjoying the VALA Eastside Arts Festival we found this beautiful plaza walkway.  Former Mayor Ives calls it "a sliver of oasis."  The landscaping is gorgeous (and even more so with my wife in the scene!)  Almost a promenade, it separates two large parking lots functioning as a pedestrian friendly Town Center connecter.  (But where are the pedestrians?)  The row of benches and potted flowers are a great ornamental touch to the beautiful, treed  landscaping. Notice the lamp posts.  

I've become more aware of Redmond Town Center (RTC) since word got out the new owner, President David Harvey of Fairbourne Properties, LLC is planning a "re-make."  In fact, if you can believe it, RTC was built in 1997 and is a quarter century old.  The structure is sound and architecture modern but it's 2022, and light rail is coming, along with thousands of jobs.

According to a Mr. Harvey's letter to Council,  "Fairbourne will make much-needed capital investments including streetscapes, entry points, and the center-facing downtown, the new Light Rail station, landscaping and pedestrian access and building facades." Before & after renderings of  the entry points show off exciting, creative improvements.   

Harvey says his intent is not to "tear it down and start over."  This may be the case for the most part,  but once the parking lots (either side of my wife) are dozed this attractive walkway could go with it.  

It's rumored 12+-story building(s) with lots of commercial and some residential may be sited on these old parking lots.  One or two levels of public parking is a possibility.  A "SR 520 gateway" at Bear Creek Parkway could improve vehicular circulation.

The good news?  According to Mr. Harvey, "20% of new units would be priced at more affordable rents using the city's inclusionary and Multifamily Tax Exemption programs."  Fairbourne can do better.

Harvey sees an opportunity to "elevate Town Center above the Bellevue Square of the Eastside."  He wants to "keep it as a homebase for local restaurants and shops as well as unique national tenants."  His goal is to double restaurant space.  Retail space?  Unknown.  Could there be indoor shopping and recreational space? 

The Arts Festival was a fun stroll, meeting friends along the way.  It will be open again tomorrow, along with Derby Days.  Cheers!

-- Bob Yoder, 7/8/2022

Source:  Letter to Redmond City Council Members, Co-Signed by David Harvey, President Fairbourne Properties and Patrick Woodruff, Managing Director, Pacific NW Hines Interests. April 8, 2022 

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