May 11, 2010
The long process to preserve the Park Pointe property inched forward last week, as the City Council agreed to initiate the complicated steps to preserve the Tiger Mountain land and, in exchange, allow more residences in the Issaquah Highlands.
Mayor Ava Frisinger proposed the transfer of development rights in September 2008. The recent bankruptcy of the developer behind Park Pointe and subsequent foreclosure on the property by a Seattle bank presented city leaders with the latest opportunity to complete the exchange.
If city officials and landowners can pull off the proposed transfer of development rights, about 140 forested acres will be preserved — 102 acres at the Park Pointe site near Issaquah High School and another 43 acres adjacent to the highlands.
Before the land can be set aside for conservation, however, officials must sign off on separate bills to initiate the transfer of development rights and amend the agreement with highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to address the undeveloped land near the hillside community. The amendment seeks to allow Port Blakely to build 500 additional residential units in a proposed highlands town center.
City Council members referred the dual measures to the Council Major Planning & Growth Committee. Members will discuss the legislation May 24.
“So, what we’ve done is try to develop a scenario that might work in a few different ways that could ultimately lead us to preserving 140-plus acres of open space that the community would see as being a benefit,” Keith Niven, program manager for the city Major Development Review Team, told council members May 3.
Port Blakely owns 78 acres near Central Park in the highlands. Under the existing zoning, the company could develop the unincorporated King County land as five-acre residential properties or for institutional uses, like a church or a school. Instead, Port Blakely offered some of the land for preservation, or as part of the transfer of development rights.
March 16, 2010
A Seattle bank foreclosed on the developer behind Park Pointe last week, and took control of the Tiger Mountain land near Issaquah High School where the developer wanted to build hundreds of residences.
Meanwhile, a federal judge dismissed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case tied to the developer, Wellington Park Pointe LLC.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen Overstreet dismissed the case after attorneys for the developer withdrew a plan to finance and build Park Pointe. Court documents dated March 3 allowed Regal Financial Bank to proceed with the foreclosure.
“The parties wish to avoid incurring additional attorneys fees, in what has been a very expensive matter, and what in all likelihood would be a very expensive trial,” the documents state.
March 2, 2010
The developer behind the stalled Park Pointe project and a Seattle bank cancelled a hearing in bankruptcy court last week, as the case appears to near a coda. Read more
December 22, 2009
The developer behind Park Pointe said ground could be broken for the embattled Tiger Mountain residential project as early as a year after it emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearings. But city officials, accustomed to long delays related to Park Pointe, described the timeline as ambitious. Read more
November 6, 2009
NEW — 11:05 a.m. Nov. 6, 2009
The developer behind the troubled Park Pointe project filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, just before the Tiger Mountain land where the development would rise headed to a foreclosure auction.
The project developer, Wellington Park Pointe LLC, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday as the company worked to restructure a loan from Regal Financial Bank. The developer failed to make payments on a loan from the Seattle-based bank and in June defaulted on nearly $12 million. Wellington held $29 million in assets but owes about $15 million, court filings show. The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tacoma halted the foreclosure auction planned for today at the King County Administration Building.
Park Pointe developers envisioned hundreds of homes on 67 forested acres on the west slope of Tiger Mountain, behind Issaquah High School. Developers proposed Park Pointe in the mid-1990s, but the project withered amid community opposition, zoning changes and a tough construction climate.
November 3, 2009
City planners detailed last week how the long-planned Park Pointe project could impact Tiger Mountain views, wetlands and wildlife. But the information could be useless because the land where Park Pointe would be built heads to auction Nov. 6.
The project developer, Wellington Park Pointe LLC, failed to make payments on a loan from Regal Financial Bank and in June defaulted on nearly $12 million owed. Developers envisioned hundreds of homes on 67 forested acres on the west slope of Tiger Mountain, behind Issaquah High School.
City planners released the long-awaited environmental impact statement for the project last week. The timing carries a particular irony: The final environmental impact statement for Park Pointe was released Oct. 30 — a week before the land heads to auction.
Meanwhile, city officials hope to smooth the way toward a development-rights transfer to keep the Park Pointe site undeveloped. The transfer of development rights between the Park Pointe developer and Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities would leave Park Pointe undeveloped; additional houses would be built in the highlands instead.
Major Development Review Team Manager Keith Niven said city officials still want the development-rights deal to materialize. He said city officials entered discussions with developers to gauge interest in the Park Pointe site and a transfer of the development rights. Read more
August 25, 2009
Housing developer defaults on loan
A parcel of land on the lower west slopes of Tiger Mountain known as Park Pointe development will be auctioned Nov. 6, county documents state. Read more
June 16, 2009
Tiger Mountain land could go to public auction
Wellington Park Pointe LLC — developer of the planned Park Pointe community — has failed to make payments on a loan and defaulted on nearly $11.6 million. A default notice issued June 11 said Wellington did not meet payment deadlines for the loan. Read more