Big Lots, Spirit Halloween take root in Issaquah

September 4, 2012

The closeout retailer Big Lots is coming to Pickering Place, as months of closings, openings and shuffling continues among tenants at the retail center.

Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots is due to open the space last occupied by Leathers Gallery, a local furniture store. Leathers moved to a space across the parking lot recently, and Big Lots is renovating the former furniture store.

Big Lots executives could not be reached for details about the store opening.

Before Leathers moved into the then-vacant space, Linens-N-Things operated in the 37,500-square-foot storefront.

Elsewhere, Spirit Halloween opened in the former Albertsons along East Lake Sammamish Parkway. The seasonal tenant offers Halloween makeup, costumes and other holiday items.

Albertsons closed in April 2008, and the space has remained vacant since then.

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City Council delves into Central Issaquah Plan growth blueprint

September 4, 2012

City Council members advanced the historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

In a special meeting billed as a retreat on the long-term growth blueprint Aug. 27, council members discussed issues related to Central Issaquah and determined how the council can tackle the plan’s components.

The council intends to act on the measure before the year ends.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Central Issaquah encompasses 915 acres — including retail destinations, such as Pickering Place, and the Meadows and Issaquah Commons shopping centers. The area does not include historic downtown Issaquah.

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City Council hosts public retreat on Central Issaquah Plan

August 14, 2012

Citizens can learn more about the historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

The far-reaching Central Issaquah Plan is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, City Council members will have a retreat Aug. 27 to discuss the proposal.

The retreat is open to the public. The council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Eagle Room at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Central Issaquah encompasses 915 acres — including retail destinations, such as Pickering Place, and the Meadows and Issaquah Commons shopping centers. The area does not include historic downtown Issaquah.

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City Council hires lobbyist to represent Issaquah in Olympia

August 7, 2012

Issaquah needs a lobbyist to advocate in the marble corridors beneath the Capitol dome — and coax state legislators to support local projects, City Council members said in a contentious decision to hire a longtime Olympia lobbyist.

The council agreed in a 5-2 decision July 16 to hire Doug Levy to represent Issaquah in Olympia. Members spent $21,700 to hire the former congressional staffer and onetime journalist through December.

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Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal supports, hosts President Obama

July 24, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. July 24, 2012

Costco cofounder and former CEO Jim Sinegal endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election Monday and defended the president’s economic policies, less than 24 hours before Sinegal hosts Obama at a campaign fundraiser.

Jim Sinegal

Sinegal and cofounder Jeffrey Brotman launched Costco in 1983. Sinegal stepped down as CEO in January and handed the reins to Craig Jelinek.

Costco relocated corporate headquarters to Issaquah in the mid-1990s. The company is the largest employer in the city, encompassing about 2,700 people in corporate offices and at the flagship warehouse in Pickering Place.

Sinegal’s support for Obama’s economic policies comes as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked Obama for the phrase, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Romney used the out-of-context remark to portray Obama as denigrating the success of small business owners.

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Central Issaquah Plan hearing continues July 19

July 17, 2012

Citizens can still comment on the historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

The far-reaching Central Issaquah Plan is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid at a Planning Policy Commission public hearing.

Commissioners held the initial hearing July 12, and then continued the hearing to July 19 to accommodate citizen comments. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Central Issaquah encompasses 915 acres — including retail destinations, such as Pickering Place, and the Meadows and Issaquah Commons shopping centers. The area does not include historic downtown Issaquah.

The environmental review, or environmental impact statement, for the project arrived June 28.

The commission is due to send the proposal to the City Council for consideration in the weeks ahead.

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Offer input on Central Issaquah Plan for business district

July 10, 2012

The historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Before the proposal reaches the City Council for discussion and possible implementation, citizens can comment July 12 at a public hearing hosted by the Planning Policy Commission.

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Prepare for detours amid Costco gas station expansion

June 19, 2012

Motorists should expect lane restrictions and detours near Costco in the months ahead, as the Issaquah-based warehouse giant expands the gas station at the flagship warehouse.

The changes should occur along Lake Drive and 10th Avenue throughout the summer.

In addition, the sidewalk along the north side of Lake Drive should be temporarily closed for most of June and some of July.

Crews plan to post detour signs to guide pedestrians.

Several months ago, city planners approved Costco’s application to add two fueling islands to the gas station, and to expand the parking area adjacent to the warehouse for a net increase of 101 parking spaces, including upgraded handicapped parking stalls.

Plans call for about one-fourth of existing wetland to be filled for the parking lot. Costco plans to mitigate for the impact by creating about 2.2 acres of wetland and 2.8 acres of wetland buffer on land east of Pickering Place and Issaquah Creek.

The gas station expansion is adjacent to the intersection of 10th Avenue and Lake Drive. The parking area expansion is located along Lake Drive east of 11th Avenue.

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Prepare for detours amid Costco gas station expansion

June 14, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 14, 2012

Motorists should expect lane restrictions and detours near Costco in the months ahead, as the Issaquah-based warehouse giant expands the gas station at the flagship warehouse.

The changes should occur along Lake Drive and 10th Avenue throughout the summer.

In addition, the sidewalk along the north side of Lake Drive should be temporarily closed for most of June and some of July. Pedestrians can instead use the existing sidewalk along the entrance and exit to Costco on Lake Drive along the front of Costco and the tire center and to a sidewalk to connect to Northwest Sammamish Road.

Crews plans to post detour signs to guide pedestrians.

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Trader Joe’s to occupy former Issaquah Commons party store

June 5, 2012

The longtime party store in the Issaquah Commons along Northwest Gilman Boulevard moved the celebration elsewhere last week to make way for Trader Joe’s.

Party @ Display & Costume settled in a space next to Best Buy in the same shopping center as Fred Meyer and The Home Depot along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. The relocated party store opened to customers May 31.

The 60-year-old company also operates stores in Everett and Seattle.

Party @ Display & Costume left a space at the Issaquah Commons near Lane Bryant and Ross Dress for Less to make room for a relocated Trader Joe’s.

The specialty grocer’s existing location in Pickering Place does not meet the 10,000-square-foot threshold for retailers to sell liquor, but the former party store space in the Issaquah Commons offers enough space.

Trader Joe’s is expected to relocate within the next several months.

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