Swedish hospital eyes 2014 expansion

August 13, 2013

City planners expect to finalize a Swedish/Issaquah development agreement to expand the hospital in October.

Executives introduced plans to convert 28 acres adjacent to the existing hospital into an additional facility this past spring. To accomplish the goal, Swedish seeks the establishment of a new development agreement that will allow the addition of 150,000 square feet to 180,000 square feet in the form of a new multi-use building.

Talks with the city continued during the Aug. 6 Urban Village Development Commission meeting. City planners and Swedish leaders had hoped to come to an agreement by the end of the summer. However, the timeline has since shifted, according to city Development Services Land Development Manager Lucy Sloman.

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Microsoft to leave one of three Issaquah offices

August 13, 2013

Microsoft will vacate at least one Sammamish Park Place building.

The software giant let its lease expire recently on one of the three buildings it inhabits in the campus.

It was unclear what effect the departure would have on the local economy. City officials said they could not disclose how many employees worked within the property.

“Our employment numbers we get from the Department of Revenue,” Economic Development Manager Andrea Lehner wrote in an email. “In order to get this information from them, we must sign an agreement requiring nondisclosure of, among many things, employee numbers.”

She said the city expects some change to financial numbers, but highlighted what she viewed as positive signs within Issaquah’s economy.

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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opens in Issaquah

July 2, 2013

Texas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened a franchise in Issaquah June 27 at 5704 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway, directly behind Bartell Drugs.

The new restaurant is owned and operated by mother-and-son duo Sarah and Alex Forest.

Dickey’s serves beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, polish sausage, turkey breast and chicken, with an extensive array of home-style sides from jalapeno beans to macaroni and cheese. Buttery rolls are served with every meal along with complimentary ice cream and dill pickles.

Learn more by calling 296-1425 or go to www.dickeys.com.

Squak Mountain timber plan concerns conservationists, neighbors

February 8, 2013

NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013

High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.

Since a timber company purchased the forest and started the process to permit logging on the site, conservationists and nearby residents mobilized to fight the proposal to clear cut the land. The logging opponents said cutting trees on the land could lead to more flooding downhill, damage sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, and add a timber harvest site near conservation lands.

The proposal from Eatonville-based Erickson Logging to harvest timber on 216 acres on the mountainside above Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast galvanized residents on Squak Mountain and near May Creek, a destination for runoff from the mountain.

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Issaquah Highlands retail lineup adds coffee, liquor

February 7, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 7, 2013

The latest announced tenants for the long-planned Issaquah Highlands retail center, Grand Ridge Plaza, offer shoppers a chance to catch a buzz — spirits at BevMo! and coffee at Starbucks.

The recent additions to the $70 million highlands project add recognizable names alongside the Regal Cinemas multiplex, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and HomeGoods, and Safeway.

The project developer, Regency Centers, estimated for offerings to open starting in the summer and fall. Expect the movie theater and some restaurants to open initially.

BevMo! — a chain based in Concord, Calif. — intends to expand to Issaquah after opening outposts in Bellevue and elsewhere in the Puget Sound region after the state privatized liquor sales in June 2012.

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Arena Sports purchases Sammamish Club, announces changes

February 6, 2013

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

Change is coming to the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain.

Seattle-based Arena Sports intends to purchase the property. Plans call for the company upgrade the pool and fitness areas, and convert the tennis courts into a soccer field and indoor inflatable playground.

Arena Sports also operates facilities at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, South Seattle and Redmond.

The closing date for the Sammamish Club property is set for March 1.

The property consists of adjoining structures — a 24,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility built in 1978 and a 24,148-square-foot fitness facility built in 1999 — on 4.46 acres visible from Interstate 90 and Newport Way Northwest.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway, REI leader is choice for Cabinet

February 6, 2013

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

REI leader Sally Jewell, a leader in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, is President Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. interior secretary.

Jewell is Kent-based REI’s president and CEO, in addition to serving as a board member for the nonprofit organization underpinning the greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington.

Obama announced Jewell’s appointment Wednesday at a White House ceremony. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she is poised to succeed outgoing Department of the Interior chief Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

“Sally Jewell is a respected leader and passionate advocate for conservation, recreation and outdoor education,” Cynthia Welti, greenway trust executive director, said in a statement. “We are delighted with this news. Sally will serve our country well.”

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Residents sue Cedar Grove Composting over odors

February 5, 2013

In Mirrormont, longtime homeowner Cathe Avila can no longer keep windows open at home, or walk black Labrador retriever Django in the neighborhood.

The problem, she said, is the odor from the Cedar Grove Composting facility in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley, about seven miles southwest of downtown Issaquah.

Avila said the odor is traceable to 2004, once Cedar Grove starting accepting food scraps for composting.

“Then, after that, the smell just started getting worse and worse,” she said.

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Beat blues with brews at Gilman Village

February 5, 2013

There is a solution to chase away the doldrums of a rainy, cool Issaquah winter, and if the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is correct, it comes pouring from your favorite wine or pilsner glass.

The chamber will host its inaugural Beat the Winter Brews Fest, complete with spirit, beer and wine tastings, food and music, all scattered along the storefronts and boardwalk of Gilman Village on Feb. 26.

“We were looking to do something in the winter, when people are saying there is nothing to do, and we came up with this unique adult-friendly event,” said Robin Kelley, director of festivals for chamber.

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Issaquah workshop to offer energy advice

February 5, 2013

Residents can learn tips to reduce home energy use — and save 50 percent or more on energy bills — at a workshop focused on energy efficiency.

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