Planning continues for Rowley Properties land

December 11, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The proposed development agreement between the city and Lakeside Industries is the latest long-term pact involving a major landowner.

In a landmark decision late last year, City Council members approved a 30-year agreement between the city and longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties to overhaul almost 80 acres along Interstate 90 and state Route 900.

The council agreed to allow buildings up to 150 feet tall and mixed-use development on up to 4.4 million square feet in Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center.

The landowner, in turn, is required to pay for transportation upgrades, affordable housing construction, Tibbetts Creek restoration efforts and storm-water system improvements.

Kristi Tripple, Rowley Properties community development executive, said the company is at work on plans to redevelop the land but could not reveal details.

“We are exploring the potential of a project right now and we’re conducting our due diligence on it,” she said. “We’re hoping that in the next couple of months that we can make a formal announcement. We’re really excited to get going on what we committed to doing for the community.”

City leaders said the potential for change in Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center offered a rare opportunity to reshape Issaquah as the city prepares to implement the Central Issaquah Plan — a document to guide redevelopment from strip malls and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

“The good news is, we planned the development agreement so that it could be successful even if, for some reason, the CIP was not successful moving forward,” Tripple said.

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3 Responses to “Planning continues for Rowley Properties land”

  1. What about schools? on December 12th, 2012 3:04 pm

    When is the City Council going to wise up and require developers seeking approval for their plans to not only to pay for transportation upgrades, affordable housing construction, creek restoration, etc. but also upgrades in schools and education infrastructure that are also impacted by their development activities – and please spare me the response that such school issues are the responsibility of the Shool Board and not the City Council.

  2. Ralph Montez on December 13th, 2012 10:08 am

    Asking a developer to pay for transportation upgrades and creek restoration is one thing, given that the impact would be directly seen from people living there. However, it is not the developer’s responsibility to upgrade schools. As a single guy with no kids, I don’t really care about schools. I know that the bill for these upgrades isn’t coming out of the developer’s pocket, it’s coming from mine if I buy the property that is being sold!

  3. Carlos on December 14th, 2012 12:26 am

    My understanding is that this particular “developer” is of the local variety and has been for many many years…it’s the best type of developer to trust.

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