Committee questions Polygon development cooperation

December 31, 2013

Many questions surround discussions about a huge Issaquah Highlands development that city officials hope will bring a high-tech college campus to the parcel.

Economic Development Director Keith Niven introduced a draft development agreement between Issaquah and Polygon Northwest to the City Council Land and Shore Committee at its Dec. 10 meeting. The committee voted to recommend to the full council that the administration proceed with negotiating a new development agreement, but did not reach the decision unanimously.

Microsoft sold its 63-acre Issaquah Highlands property to Polygon Northwest in October.

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Mayor Ava Frisinger leads her last council meeting

December 24, 2013

Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) and incoming mayor Fred Butler pose for a photo by a member of the audience Dec. 16, as she received a certificate of appreciation at her last City Council meeting after 28 total years as an elected official. By Peter Clark

Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) and incoming mayor Fred Butler pose for a photo by a member of the audience Dec. 16, as she received a certificate of appreciation at her last City Council meeting after 28 total years as an elected official. By Peter Clark

Mayor Ava Frisinger presided over her final Issaquah City Council meeting Dec. 16.

After 16 years as the head of Issaquah’s administration, the four-term mayor decided not to run in this year’s election. The council and city officials held a reception in her honor before the meeting. Once it began, the first 30 minutes were spent praising her and her accomplishments. Many residents attended the mayor’s send off.

Council President Fred Butler, who won the election to replace Frisinger, introduced a certificate of appreciation to honor her for overseeing Issaquah’s booming transition over the past 16 years.

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Big Fish offers a fine seafood dining alternative

December 17, 2013

Yelp is no help.

The best way to discover a new restaurant, such as Big Fish Grill at Grand Ridge Plaza in the Issaquah Highlands, is to avoid the personal vendettas and experience it in person.

With locations also in Kirkland and Woodinville, Big Fish is still finding its footing in Issaquah (the website is still not up and running yet).

By Greg Farrar Big Fish Grill staff split an order of Alaskan cod tacos (left) and seafood gumbo into half portions so two diners could enjoy a taste of the other’s meal.

By Greg Farrar
Big Fish Grill staff split an order of Alaskan cod tacos (left) and seafood gumbo into half portions so two diners could enjoy a taste of the other’s meal.

I popped in for a meal with a dining companion recently and enjoyed the experience. We arrived in the late afternoon, having missed the lunch crowd, too early for the dinner service. We almost had the side dining room and the entire wait staff to ourselves. So, you’ll have to discover for yourself how Big Fish operates at peak hours.

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What happened to the Issaquah Highlands?

December 11, 2013

NEW — 10:40 a.m. Dec. 11, 2013

At some point recently, the Issaquah Highlands became a place that people would actually want to go to. I don’t really know what happened.

Jacob Brunette Issaquah High School

Jacob Brunette
Issaquah High School

Whenever I thought of the highlands, I thought of an ugly place. The main image that came to mind was a neat grid of streets, with nothing but flat wasteland separating them. Farther up the hill was a huge neighborhood of houses that were eerily similar and spaced too close together.

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City wants a college to replace Microsoft campus

December 10, 2013

An educational institution might replace the vision of an Issaquah Highlands Microsoft campus.

The city will begin the process of establishing a development agreement with the new landowner, Polygon Northwest, in the coming weeks. Microsoft sold the 63-acre parcel in October for an undisclosed amount. In the meantime, Issaquah Economic Development Director Keith Niven gave a view of what the city hopes to see in the final document.

“That land would allow for a lot of different things to happen, including residential,” Niven said, explaining what the aim is for the final deal. “We’re just trying to work towards where they can build what they want and the city can work to find an employment hub up in the highlands.”

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Santa Comes By Stagecoach to Grand Ridge Plaza / Dec. 6, 2013

December 10, 2013

Shop small businesses Saturday

November 26, 2013

Shoppers this holiday season are being asked to join the nation in paying tribute to local venues when purchasing gifts for family and friends.

Several locations throughout Issaquah will participate in the national Small Business Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 30.

In a bit of serendipity, shopping options this year include the new Grand Ridge Plaza in the Issaquah Highlands and Gilman Village celebrating its 40th anniversary. The two locations are in addition to the shops in the downtown corridor.

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Bellevue College Issaquah campus gets a master plan

November 26, 2013

Seven buildings and an amphitheater are included in a Bellevue College Issaquah campus master plan.

Bellevue College submitted an aspirational plan to the city in August and the Development Services Department is in the process of a land-use review. It makes use of the 20 acres purchased by the college in 2010 and envisions what the area could look like when fully built.

Contributed This mock-up in the master plan details how the area would look if Bellevue College can find sufficient demand and funding. According to the plan, a full build-out would not happen for 20 to 30 years.

Contributed
This mock-up in the master plan details how the area would look if Bellevue College can find sufficient demand and funding. According to the plan, a full build-out would not happen for 20 to 30 years.

“It’s a nice looking plan,” city Development Services Department Project Oversight Manager Christopher Wright said. “We’re in the middle of reviewing it, and it should go straight through the Urban Village Development Commission early next year.”

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Swedish/Issaquah receives new highlands development agreement

November 26, 2013

Swedish Hospital will build new medical offices in the Issaquah Highlands after receiving a new development agreement from the city Nov. 18.

In a unanimous decision, the Issaquah City Council finished a process it began last spring to craft a new agreement with Swedish. The agreement encompasses 28.26 acres north of the existing Swedish/Issaquah campus between Northeast Blakely Drive and Northeast Discovery Drive. Swedish has signed a preliminary agreement to purchase the blocks north of the existing hospital, about 10 acres, for medical offices.

The latest milestone comes as Port Blakely Communities, master developer of the Issaquah Highlands, winds down its active involvement in the urban village. Port Blakely is negotiating with landowners to complete sales of remaining property.

Seahawk Festivities at Grand Ridge Plaza Party / Nov. 16, 2013

November 18, 2013

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