City, Rowley may partner on redevelopment plan

March 30, 2010

By Staff

City Council members will take a step April 5 to reshape almost 90 acres in the city’s commercial center.

Under a proposed development agreement headed to the council, longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties aims to partner with the city to redevelop about 87 acres. Planners envision the area — now a string of low-slung offices and automotive services arranged along busy thoroughfares — as a walkable town center with businesses and residences, possibly connected to a regional light rail network.

Council Major Planning & Growth Committee members reviewed the proposed agreement March 22, and sent the measure to the full council for approval. The council meets at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

City planners proposed spending $750,000 to complete the development agreement. The total includes money for community outreach.

The proposal calls for Rowley Properties to reimburse the city for the time city staff devotes to elements of the project, as well as city-incurred consultant costs.

Representatives from the city and the developer announced the deal in early January. The preliminary proposal calls for Hyla Crossing — almost 62 acres near Northwest Gilman Boulevard and state Route 900 — and Rowley Center, about 26 acres in the same area, to be redeveloped during the next several decades. Combined, the properties account for 7.1 percent of the land in Central Issaquah.

If the full council opts to move forward with the agreement, as expected, the city administration will work with Rowley Properties to prepare a draft development agreement. Then, a group comprised of residents and Central Issaquah Area Task Force members will provide input about the agreement. The city Planning Policy Commission and Major Planning & Growth Committee will review drafts as well.

City planners hope to deliver the draft agreements to the appropriate groups by October.

Meanwhile, the Central Issaquah Area Task Force should deliver recommendations for the surrounding area by September. Mayor Ava Frisinger appointed the group last year to re-envision development in 915 acres along Interstate 90.

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