Officials to break ground June 19 on Issaquah Highlands retail complex

June 14, 2012

NEW — 9 p.m. June 14, 2012

City leaders and representatives from Issaquah Highlands developers plan to gather June 19 to break ground on a long-awaited retail complex in the neighborhood.

Regency Centers, a real estate investment trust based in Florida, intends to build the retail complex, dubbed Grand Ridge Plaza, on vacant land along Highlands Drive Northeast between Swedish/Issaquah and the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride.

The proposed retail complex morphed throughout the years to reflect the developers involved and the economy.

In the latest iteration, announced tenants include a Regal Cinemas multiplex, and a Safeway and associated gas station.

Regal Cinemas and Safeway intend to open next year. Other tenants could open in 2013 as well.

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Developer announces July groundbreaking for long-planned Issaquah Highlands hotel

June 12, 2012

The rendering above shows a long-planned, 111-suite Residence Inn by Marriott hotel scheduled to break ground in the Issaquah Highlands next month and open to guests next year. By InnSight HMG

Construction is expected to start on a long-planned, much-anticipated hotel in the Issaquah Highlands next month, the developer announced June 5.

InnSight HMG plans to break ground on the hotel, a Residence Inn by Marriott, in mid-July. Plans call for the hotel to include 111 suites and employ more than 40 people. The developer expects the hotel to open in spring 2013.

The hotel site is located across Highlands Drive Northeast from Swedish/Issaquah. City officials expect the hospital to attract guests to the hotel, as people seek a nearby place to stay as family members undergo treatment.

The hospital opened in the neighborhood almost a year ago and started offering inpatient services in November.

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Developer announces July groundbreaking for Issaquah Highlands hotel

June 5, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 5, 2012

Construction is expected to start on a long-planned, much-anticipated hotel in the Issaquah Highlands next month, the developer announced early Tuesday.

InnSight HMG plans to break ground on the hotel, a Residence Inn by Marriott, in mid-July. Plans call for the hotel to include 111 suites and employ more than 40 people.

The hotel site is located across Highlands Drive Northeast from Swedish/Issaquah. City officials expect the hospital to attract guests to the hotel, as people seek a nearby place to stay as family members undergo treatment.

“Although we have already completed some initial site work, we are excited to officially break ground and become part of the Issaquah community,” InnSight Executive Vice President Pat McShane said in a statement. “Issaquah Highland’s focus on sustainability, community and growth make it an ideal setting for our Residence Inn. It will provide visitors an opportunity to feel like they are part of the neighborhood while enjoying all the comforts of home.”

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City’s sales tax revenue is down so far in 2012

May 8, 2012

Issaquah municipal government did not collect as much revenue January through March as it did during the same period a year ago, although planned developments could strengthen city finances.

In 2011, sales tax revenues increased almost 10 percent from 2010, but only due to sales tax on construction, mostly related to Swedish/Issaquah.

However, the city received about $6.1 million in revenue through March, down 6 percent — or $393,286 — from the same period a year ago. The figure includes sales tax revenue, building permits, grants and other funding sources.

The construction of Swedish/Issaquah bolstered the 2011 total.

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Commission to consider Issaquah Highlands retail plan

April 10, 2012

Residents can offer input soon on the latest plan to build a retail complex in the Issaquah Highlands.

The plan for the proposed Grand Ridge Plaza, a highlands retail center, is scheduled to go before the Urban Village Development Commission April 17 and May 1. (The commission oversees large-scale development in the highlands and Talus.)

The proposal is the latest in a long-running effort to add more retail offerings to the hillside neighborhood.

The commission is due to consider the Grand Ridge Plaza site development permit April 17. Then, commissioners plan to hold a public hearing on the permit May 1.

The commission meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way, at 7 p.m.

The developer, Florida-based Regency Centers, intends to transform 14 acres into shops, restaurants and parking areas. The proposal also includes a cinema and a grocery store, although the city approved both projects in separate actions.

Effort to boost local economy focuses on competitiveness

April 3, 2012

Issaquah faces ‘much more aggressive’ cities in hunt for businesses

In another step to attract businesses to Issaquah and encourage existing entrepreneurs to remain in the city, leaders promised a more robust economic development effort March 27 in a series of other changes to City Hall.

In recent months, officials unveiled a plan to streamline the permitting process for businesses, create a municipal Economic Vitality Commission and add employees dedicated to economic development.

The effort is meant to turn Issaquah into a more desirable place to do business than other Eastside cities. The competition among cities for businesses is fierce, especially since the recession caused construction to lag.

“Communities are much more aggressive and much more competitive for the amount of economic development that exists out there,” City Administrator Bob Harrison said in a presentation to the City Council.

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Issaquah Highlands retail plan comes up for review

March 20, 2012

Residents can offer input soon on the latest plan to add retail offerings to the Issaquah Highlands.

The plan for the proposed Grand Ridge Plaza, a highlands retail center, is scheduled to go before the Urban Village Development Commission in April and May. (The commission oversees large-scale development in the highlands and Talus.)

The commission is due to consider the Grand Ridge Plaza site development permit April 17. Then, commissioners plan to hold a public hearing on the permit May 1.

The commission meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way, at 7 p.m.

The developer, Florida-based Regency Centers, intends to transform 14 acres into a cinema, shops, restaurants and parking areas.

Developer requests $3 million from city for Issaquah Highlands retail center

November 22, 2011

In order to complete a long-planned business district in the Issaquah Highlands — and transform 14 acres into a cinema, shops, restaurants and more than 1,700 parking stalls — the developer behind the project said about $3 million in city funds is needed.

The developer, Florida-based Regency Centers, said the highlands project needs the dollars to complete roadwork and other infrastructure.

Regency and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities announced a deal in July to sell the land for a retail center, but before Regency completes the deal, company planners asked city leaders to commit public dollars to the project.

City officials said the retail complex could generate about $1 million in sales tax revenue each year.

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Press Editorial

November 22, 2011

Say no to $3 million for highlands developer

The developers of the proposed Issaquah Highlands retail center have asked the city to kick in $3 million for infrastructure improvements.

They’ve got to be kidding!

We’re glad to see the city encouraging economic development, but this is not the right project.

Regency Centers, a Florida-headquartered strip mall developer, estimates the city could receive about $1 million each year in sales tax revenue once the retail center is up and running. “Could” is the operative word.

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Developer requests city funding to complete Issaquah Highlands retail center

November 17, 2011

NEW — 9 p.m. Nov. 17, 2011

In order to build more stores in the Issaquah Highlands — and transform 14 acres into a cinema, shops, restaurants and more than 1,700 parking stalls — the developer behind the project said about $3 million in city funds is needed.

The developer, Regency Centers, said the highlands project needs the dollars to complete roadwork and other infrastructure.

Florida-based Regency Centers and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities announced a deal in July to sell the land for a retail center, but before Regency Centers completes the deal, company planners asked city leaders to commit public dollars to the project.

Port Blakely is also expected to contribute about $1 million to the project after shifting dollars from other commitments, such as a planned bus route expansion to the highlands.

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