Microsoft sells Highlands property
October 22, 2013
By Keith Ervin
Microsoft, which once envisioned a major campus in the Issaquah Highlands, has sold the 63-acre tract to a local developer for a mixed-use project.
Microsoft representatives signed paperwork Oct. 18 to sell the land to a company apparently affiliated with Bellevue-based homebuilder Polygon Northwest.
“We no longer had requirements for office developments in Issaquah,” Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said.
He declined to state the purchase price or other details of the transaction.
The company buying the land, Issaquah Highlands Investment Fund, is in the same suite as Polygon, and its registered agent, Derek Straight, is a Polygon executive. Straight was unable to be reached for comment.
Although Polygon is best known as a homebuilder, it also has done mixed-use projects. This year, it bought more than 100 acres on the Snohomish River in Everett from a developer who had rights to build homes, stores, offices and a hotel.
Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the new Highlands developer hopes to break ground within a year on a project that would include multifamily housing and commercial uses that could be retail, offices or both.
“We’re committed to working with a new owner on a quick and efficient development process,” Frisinger said. “It fulfills the largest vision of the Issaquah Highlands as a place where people can live, work and play in one location.”
Fewer people will work in the planned community than officials hoped in 1998, when Microsoft optioned 150 acres. The company only bought 63 acres and then put that on the market after deciding to direct most of its Eastside growth to Redmond and Bellevue.
Microsoft, which had rights to build 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, once submitted plans to build mostly four-story office buildings in an area zoned for buildings up to seven stories.
The land is near Swedish Medical Center’s 2-year-old hospital and medical offices, and across the street from Grand Ridge Plaza, a new Regency Centers retail complex anchored by Safeway, a Regal Cinemas multiplex, Marshalls and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or email@example.com. Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu contributed to this report.