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.

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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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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Wells Fargo is latest Issaquah Highlands tenant

February 2, 2013

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 2, 2013

Wells Fargo is the latest announced tenant for the long-planned Issaquah Highlands retail center, Grand Ridge Plaza.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo plans to open a 2,600-square-foot branch at Highlands Drive Northeast and Northeast Federal Drive by September.

Customers can expect to see “green” features in the business, such as energy efficient light fixtures, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and sustainably grown and harvested wood materials.

The company also announced plans to open 15 to 20 outposts throughout the Puget Sound region in the next five years.

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Issaquah milestones from 2012 reflect challenges, changes

December 25, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig June 26 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.

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Issaquah Highlands tenants to include RAM Restaurant & Brewery

October 9, 2012

Tenants for the long-awaited retail complex in the Issaquah Highlands include local restaurants and a beauty supply store, city officials announced Oct. 2, not long before project developers plan to unveil a more complete list of retailers.

The latest announcement for the $70 million highlands project, called Grand Ridge Plaza, adds RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Big Fish Grill and ULTA Beauty to the lineup alongside a Regal Cinemas multiplex, and a Safeway and associated gas station.

Lucy Sloman, city land development manager, and Keith Niven, city economic development director, announced the latest additions to the Urban Village Development Commission.

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Issaquah Highlands retail options to include RAM Restaurant & Brewery

October 3, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 3, 2012

Tenants for the long-awaited retail complex in the Issaquah Highlands include local restaurants and a beauty supply store, city officials announced Tuesday.

The latest announcement for the $70 million highlands project, called Grand Ridge Plaza, adds RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Big Fish Grill and ULTA Beauty to the list alongside a Regal Cinemas multiplex, and a Safeway and associated gas station.

Lucy Sloman, city land development manager, and Keith Niven, city economic development director, announced the latest additions to the Urban Village Development Commission. The project developer, Regency Centers, and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities plan to unveil more tenants at a community meeting Oct. 10.

In another major development for the highlands, Microsoft plans to sell long-vacant land once envisioned for a campus, Niven said.

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Construction starts on long-awaited Issaquah Highlands retail center

July 3, 2012

Earth-moving equipment works at the intersection of Highlands Drive Northeast and Northeast High Street on June 26 as construction starts on Grand Ridge Plaza. By Autumn Monahan

Finally, after years of plans and promises, developers and officials gathered in the Issaquah Highlands early June 26 to launch construction on a $70 million retail center in the neighborhood — a long-awaited amenity for residents and, in recent years, a symbol for the anemic economy and rebound.

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Construction starts on long-awaited Issaquah Highlands retail center

June 26, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig Tuesday at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 11:45 a.m. June 26, 2012

Finally, after years of plans and promises, developers and officials gathered in the Issaquah Highlands early Tuesday to launch construction on a retail center in the neighborhood — a long-awaited amenity for residents and, in recent years, a symbol for the anemic economy and rebound.

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