Port Blakely announces partner to develop highlands retail

July 6, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. July 6, 2011

Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities and a Florida-based developer have teamed up to revive stalled commercial development in the neighborhood.

Port Blakely and Jacksonville-based Regency Centers announced the agreement Wednesday morning.

Under the agreement, Regency Centers, a real estate investment trust, is due to purchase about 14 acres of highlands land and build a 175,000-square-foot neighborhood retail center along Northeast High Street and Northeast Park Drive.

Regency Centers also plans to acquire a 39,000-square-foot mixed-use retail and office building along Northeast Park Drive.

The companies did not disclose terms of the transaction. No tenants have been announced for the proposed retail center.

Craig Ramey, senior vice president and senior market officer for Regency Centers, said the company intends to pursue a grocer, retailers, restaurants and service providers for the complex.

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Swedish/Issaquah is projected to create 1,000 jobs

July 5, 2011

Hospital could also prompt other businesses to consider city

Swedish/Issaquah is expected to deliver about 1,000 jobs to Issaquah and, city officials and hospital executives hope, spur more commercial construction in the neighborhood surrounding the hospital.

The initial phase, a medical office building, is responsible for creating 450 jobs. Come November, as the portion containing the hospital beds opens to patients, the job figure is expected to rise to 700. By July 2012, as Swedish/Issaquah prepares to celebrate a year in the community, the total should rise to about 1,000 jobs.

Though determining the economic impact related to the $365 million hospital could require years, officials remain optimistic about the possibilities.

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Construction progresses on highlands townhouses

July 5, 2011

Homebuilder Pulte Homes has started construction on the $20 million Sunset Walk project in the Issaquah Highlands.

Plans call for Sunset Walk to feature 70 two- and three-story townhouses ranging from 1,460 square feet to 2,055 square feet. Sunset Park is located near the neighborhood.

Groundwork on the 5.86-acre project started in early June. The developer estimates model homes could be ready for tours as early as January.

“Issaquah Highlands is one of the most sought-after places to live in the area, one of the last true master-planned communities, and Pulte Homes is thrilled to become part of it,” Frank Anderson, Pulte Homes vice president of land acquisition, said in a news release. “Adjacent to a beautiful park, in a diverse and thriving community, with great schools, and close to high quality employment — this neighborhood is a terrific fit for people looking for a great new home community in the Northwest.”

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Highlands mastermind Judd Kirk leaves Port Blakely

July 5, 2011

Judd Kirk, a visionary behind the Issaquah Highlands urban village, is due to depart from highlands developer Port Blakely Communities on June 30.

“Judd has brought an extraordinary breadth of skills and experience in community building, real estate and sustainable development to Port Blakely Companies,” Port Blakely Communities President Rene Ancinas said in a statement. “His creative ideas and collaboration with public officials, builders, residents and so many others helped create the successful community we have today.”

Following the long-planned move from Port Blakely, Kirk plans to serve as a consultant in the real estate industry.

Kirk served as Port Blakely Communities president from 1990 through December 2008, and later as senior real estate strategist for the company.

Judd Kirk, highlands mastermind, to leave Port Blakely

June 28, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. June 28, 2011

Judd Kirk, a visionary behind the Issaquah Highlands urban village, is due to depart from highlands developer Port Blakely Communities on Thursday.

“Judd has brought an extraordinary breadth of skills and experience in community building, real estate and sustainable development to Port Blakely Companies,” Port Blakely Communities President Rene Ancinas said in a statement. “His creative ideas and collaboration with public officials, builders, residents and so many others helped create the successful community we have today.”

Following the long-planned move from Port Blakely, Kirk plans to serve as a consultant in the real estate industry.

Kirk served as Port Blakely Communities president from 1990 through December 2008, and later as senior real estate strategist for the company.

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Homebuilder starts construction on highlands residences

June 8, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. June 8, 2011

Homebuilder Pulte Homes has started construction on the $20 million Sunset Walk project in the Issaquah Highlands, developers announced Wednesday.

Plans call for Sunset Walk to feature 70 two- and three-story townhouses ranging from 1,460 to 2,055 square feet. Sunset Park is located near the neighborhood.

Groundwork on the 5.86-acre project started in early June. The developer estimates model homes could be ready for tours as early as January 2012.

“Issaquah Highlands is one of the most sought-after places to live in the area, one of the last true master planned communities, and Pulte Homes is thrilled to become part of it,” Frank Anderson, Pulte Homes vice president of land acquisition, said in a news release. “Adjacent to a beautiful park, in a diverse and thriving community, with great schools, and close to high quality employment — this neighborhood is a terrific fit for people looking for a great new home community in the Northwest.”

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Bellevue homebuilder purchases 48 Issaquah Highlands lots

May 31, 2011

Taylor Development, a Bellevue-based real estate firm, is joining Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to foster development in the Harrison Street neighborhood, a ritzy collection of custom homes perched on Grand Ridge.

The real estate firm purchased 48 lots in the neighborhood for $6.36 million. Taylor Development and Port Blakely announced the deal May 23.

The sale encompasses more than half of the lots along Harrison Street. The neighborhood includes about 90 home sites. So, far 35 have been sold, and of those, 24 are completed or under-construction.

The neighborhood features a panorama — on clear days, at least — of the Bellevue and Seattle skylines, plus the Olympic Mountains.

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Bellevue homebuilder purchases Issaquah Highlands lots

May 23, 2011

NEW — 1:15 p.m. May 23, 2011

Taylor Development, a Bellevue-based real estate firm, is joining Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to foster development in the Harrison Street neighborhood, a ritzy collection of custom homes perched on Grand Ridge.

Taylor Development has purchased 48 lots in the neighborhood, and plans to work alongside custom homebuilders and homebuyers to complete the neighborhood. The companies announced the deal Monday.

“Issaquah Highlands is among the Northwest’s premier communities and the acquisition of a large number of home sites in the highly desirable Harrison Street neighborhood represents a key opportunity for Taylor Development,” company President Kevin Taylor said in a release.

The neighborhood includes about 90 home sites — 35 have been sold, including 24 completed or under-construction.

The acquisition is part of a series of construction projects planned, completed or in progress for the highlands.

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Issaquah’s innovative zHome community to open Sept. 14

May 3, 2011

NEW — 10:30 p.m. May 3, 2011

The opening date is Sept. 14 for zHome, a groundbreaking cluster of carbon-neutral townhouses under construction in the Issaquah Highlands, the project manager announced Tuesday morning.

Construction is scheduled to conclude earlier, but the additional weeks should allow crews enough time to prepare the units for public open houses. The grand opening is scheduled on the same day as the Built Green Conference, a yearly gathering for building industry professionals interested in eco-conscious practices.

Plans call for tours to run from the conference at Pickering Barn to zHome in the highlands. Brad Liljequist, zHome project manager, announced the grand opening date.

The project is designed to produce as much electricity as residents consume — hence the zero-net energy name — and is meant to be a leader in energy and water conservation.

Construction crews also used a high percentage of salvaged, reclaimed and local materials to build zHome.

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Come behind the scene at zHome to meet the experts

April 19, 2011

What is zHome?

When it opens this September, zHome — just east of the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride — will be the first multifamily, production, zero-energy, carbon-neutral community in the United States.

Brad Liljequist

ZHome is a template for what 21st century, carbon-neutral housing looks like. It will use:

Zero net energy by balancing out its carbon emissions during the course of the year.

70 percent less water than a typical home.

Materials that come from some of the greenest sources possible.

Who is behind this project?

The city is spearheading the project. ZHome, however, is also a collaborative effort of several organizations and companies, including Ichijo USA, Built Green, King County, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.

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