Builder plans to add 70 townhouses in the highlands

February 1, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Homebuilder Pulte Homes has purchased land to build 70 townhouses in the Issaquah Highlands, the company announced last week.

The planned neighborhood, Sunset Walk, is on 5.86 acres adjacent to Sunset Park and near planned retail offerings. The project is Pulte Homes’ first foray into Issaquah.

The homebuilder purchased the land from highlands master developer Port Blakely Communities in late December. Urban Village Development Commission and City Council members approved the project late last year.

“We have been looking for the right location and time to expand locally, and this is an excellent opportunity for us to do so,” Pulte Homes Division President for the Pacific Northwest John Ochsner said in a press release.

City Major Development Review Team Program Manager Keith Niven said construction should start in the spring.

Plans call for Sunset Walk to feature five two- and three-story townhouse floor plans ranging from 1,460 to 2,054 square feet.

Pulte Homes plans to build the homes to 4-Star Built Green and Energy Star-certified standards. Built Green is a nonprofit offshoot of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.

The homebuilder plans to start sales on the units in the fall.

The company cited opportunities for outdoor recreation and proximity to major employers as reasons for building in the highlands.

“Issaquah Highlands is one of the most sought-after places to live in the area and our new neighborhood is ideally situated in this beautiful community,” Frank Anderson, Pulte Homes’ local director of land acquisition, said in the release. “The neighborhood is adjacent to parks, trails and shops, but also has easy access to job centers in Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond.”

The project is the latest to take root in the highlands. The construction of a Swedish Medical Center campus and YWCA residential units in the neighborhood could lure other builders and businesses to the area. The initial Swedish phase, a medical office building, is on track to open in mid-2011.

Despite the milestones, residents often grumble about a lack of retail options in the community. Construction on a proposed cinema and grocery store has failed to materialize.

Pulte Homes has built communities in 26 states and Washington, D.C.

“We welcome Pulte Homes to Issaquah Highlands and thank them for recognizing this vibrant community is both a great community and a great investment,” Port Blakely Communities President René Ancinas said. “As one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, Pulte Homes joins a lineup of several best-in-class newcomers who are part of a next phase of commercial, retail and residential development that will both enhance Issaquah Highlands and generate a positive impact on the region’s economy.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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