Owners of flooring business eye new site for development

June 9, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

An artist’s drawing shows Long’s Floors plans for a new commercial plaza (above) located at 22141 Southeast 56th St. Below, an aerial photo shows the proposed location of the new store.Contributed

An artist’s drawing shows Long’s Floors plans for a new commercial plaza (above) located at 22141 Southeast 56th St. Below, an aerial photo shows the proposed location of the new store.Contributed

Long’s Floors owners submitted a proposal to city planners to build a new showroom as part of a new commercial plaza on Southeast 56th Street.

Business owners proposed building a 2,976-square-foot showroom and a 1,230-square-foot addition to a 2,400-square-foot warehouse on the site during the first phase of construction. The first phase would also include a 1,440-square-foot temporary structure. A second phase calls for removal of the temporary structure and construction of a 3,850-square-foot building for restaurant and retail space, according to plans submitted to city officials.

Owners proposed the construction for a parcel at 22141 S.E. 56th St.. The property is next to Brown Bear Car Wash and the adjacent Chevron, and across Southeast 56th Street from FedEx. The site is slightly less than an acre.

City development commissioners reviewed the proposal last week during a two-hour community conference. The conference, set up for citizens to weigh in on proposed development, did not attract any members of the public.Applicant Jeff Long said a new location along busy Southeast 56th Street would increase his business’ visibility. The existing Long’s Home Fashion Center is on Northwest Poplar Way, sandwiched by Interstate 90 and car dealerships.

“We want to make it an economical building, but we want it to look sharp,” Long said.

Commissioners raised concerns about the proposed layout of the site, particularly the proximity of the site to the East Lake Sammamish Trail and whether the parcel would be easy for emergency vehicles to access.

Commissioners also asked questions about what signs should be allowed on the property.

“Since the early ‘80s, I’ve been off and on this board,” Commissioner Terry Davis said. “Signage is like taking a root canal. You can look around the city and find any number of ways the commission has flip-flopped over the years.”

City Senior Planner Jerry Lind said the future of the project would depend on when Long addresses issues raised by the Development Commission. Applicants update their plans and resubmit them to city planners.

Merrill Design, an architecture firm based on Front Street, is handling the project. Architect Jim Merrill praised Long for the expansion.

“Jeff is a brave man,” Merrill said. “He’s undertaking this in a down market.”

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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