Safeway proposes Issaquah Highlands store

October 18, 2011

City Council allows gas station for grocer, a key factor in decision 

Safeway planners proposed a modern Issaquah Highlands store in a recent permit application to the city. Contributed

The plan to open a grocery store in the Issaquah Highlands — a still-unmet target from early goals for the community — reached a milestone in early October, as Safeway submitted a proposal for a store in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, City Council members adjusted longstanding development rules to allow a gas station in the highlands — a critical factor in Safeway’s proposal to build the store.

In a unanimous decision, council members adjusted the agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station in the neighborhood. The council also added rules to the development agreement to require a gas station to be built alongside a grocery store.

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Safeway proposes highlands store, council OKs gas station

October 5, 2011

Safeway planners proposed a modern Issaquah Highlands store (above) in a permit application to the city. Contributed

NEW — 4 p.m. Oct. 5, 2011

The plan to open a grocery store in the Issaquah Highlands — a still-unmet target from early goals for the community — reached a milestone Monday, as Safeway submitted a proposal for a store in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, City Council members adjusted longstanding development rules Monday to allow a gas station in the highlands — a critical factor in Safeway’s proposal to build the store.

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Press Editorial

July 26, 2011

Highlands strip mall design is not wanted

It’s good news that Regency Centers has agreed to purchase land and develop a shopping center in the Issaquah Highlands. Residents there have been vocal about their desire for a nearby grocery store and neighborhood services.

Sometimes you do get what you ask for, but in this case we hope the city has learned that not all shopping centers are created equal. Issaquah should not settle for another strip mall surrounding a grocery store, similar to nearby Pine Lake Village and Sammamish Highlands centers, both part of Regency Centers.

Strip malls were acceptable 30 or 40 years ago when they were springing up around the country to service new housing starts. But the city of Issaquah has spent the last two years creating a central business district redevelopment plan to address the abundance of paved parking areas and the separation of stores, homes, offices and recreation.

How ironic it would be to allow a strip mall to be built in the newest part of the city while the older parts begin moving toward a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented lifestyle!

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Port Blakely announces plan to build highlands shopping center

July 12, 2011

A view east toward Ninth Avenue Northeast shows the 14 acres being considered by Florida-based Regency Centers for a 175,000-square-foot shopping center in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

The plan to add more stores to the Issaquah Highlands, a subject responsible for much grumbling among neighborhood residents and city leaders, lurched ahead July 5, as highlands developer Port Blakely Communities announced a deal to sell 14 acres for a proposed shopping center.

If the deal is completed, as executives hope, construction could start as early as next year. The announcement also prompted some residents to point to similar — albeit unsuccessful — attempts in the past.

The agreement calls for Regency Centers, a real estate investment trust based in Florida, to purchase about 14 acres of highlands land and build a 175,000-square-foot shopping center along Northeast High Street and Northeast Park Drive — a site once set aside for a stylish retail destination called The High Streets.

Regency Centers also plans to acquire a retail-and-office building along Northeast Park Drive. Caffe Ladro and other businesses occupy the building’s 39,000 square feet.

The companies did not disclose terms of the transaction. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Jacksonville-based Regency Centers owns almost 400 shopping centers from coast to coast, including Pine Lake Village and Sammamish Highlands on the Sammamish Plateau.

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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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