City Council approves pact to transform gravel quarry to urban village

December 25, 2012

The gravel quarry carved into the hillside below the Issaquah Highlands is poised to transform into businesses and homes in the next 30 years, after the City Council approved a landmark development agreement to reshape the area.

The landowner and quarry operator, Issaquah-based Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed the pact last year for about 120 acres on both sides of Highlands Drive Northeast. The council approved the development agreement Dec. 17, despite concerns about building height, traffic congestion and contamination in the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer, a key drinking water source for the city.

“There was a lot of push and pull, a lot of compromise, and I think it’s an agreement that both is good for my family and is also good for the city of Issaquah, and that we will live to see a development on this site that enhances the city,” Lakeside Industries CEO Tim Lee said before the unanimous council decision.

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Who’s News

December 25, 2012

Swedish/Issaquah receives patient satisfaction honor

The Swedish/Issaquah emergency room was recently named a 2012 Summit Award Winner by Press Ganey Associates.

The ER received the award by achieving and maintaining patient satisfaction scores in the 95th percentile or above for at least three consecutive years. The Swedish/Issaquah team also won in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The Press Ganey Summit Award is the health care satisfaction industry’s most coveted symbol of achievement bestowed annually. The Swedish/Issaquah ER is one of 114 health care facilities in the country to receive the prestigious honor in 2012, and one of only 101 to receive it for achieving and sustaining excellence in patient satisfaction.

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Central Issaquah Plan proposes shift from suburban to urban in business district

December 11, 2012

Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.

The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.

Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.

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Planning continues for Rowley Properties land

December 11, 2012

The proposed development agreement between the city and Lakeside Industries is the latest long-term pact involving a major landowner.

In a landmark decision late last year, City Council members approved a 30-year agreement between the city and longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties to overhaul almost 80 acres along Interstate 90 and state Route 900.

The council agreed to allow buildings up to 150 feet tall and mixed-use development on up to 4.4 million square feet in Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center.

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Rowley Properties executive Richard Symms retires

September 25, 2012

Richard Symms

Longtime Rowley Properties executive Richard Symms retired Sept. 1 after 44 years as a leader at the Issaquah-based company.

Symms, as president and board member, served as a key component in Rowley Properties’ evolution.

“Rowley Properties was blessed with Richard Symms’ capable, caring and dependable leadership to do whatever needed to be done over the years,” CEO Kari Magill said in a statement.

Symms worked as a teacher in the Issaquah School District before joining Rowley Properties founder George Rowley Sr. to sell houses on Squak Mountain.

Residents can honor Symms by sending a 4-by-6-inch note card with thoughts or a story to Rowley Properties, Attn: RSS, 1595 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 1, Issaquah, WA 98027. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 5.

Organizers plan to compile the memories into a book for Symms.

Rowley Properties welcomes new employees

September 4, 2012

Ryan Scarnhorst and Marta McKie recently joined the Rowley Properties team.

Scharnhorst joined in April as a property accountant (residential and commercial). He is a certified public accountant and notary public, and holds a master of professional accountancy and a Bachelor of Arts in business from the University of Washington.

Scarnhorst’s most recent position was as controller for Fourpoints Outdoor, a multimillion-dollar advertising company.

Scarnhorst lives in Issaquah with his family and he’s also the treasurer for the South Cove Homeowner Association.

McKie joined in July as a residential property manager. She will be responsible for the Wildwood Apartment Homes, Kelkari and North Bend rentals, RV/storage and overall customer service. McKie’s most recent position was as the community manager for the Klahanie Homeowners Association.

McKie has 13 years of experience in operational and functional management for property and apartment communities.

She lives near Issaquah with her miniature greyhound, Rocket.

Issaquah School District, businesses earn ‘green’ honor from King County

August 7, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the Issaquah School District and Issaquah businesses for efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling July 25.

Dow Constantine

The school district, Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Pogacha of Issaquah and Rowley Properties ranked as Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Countywide, 92 businesses and government and nonprofit organizations achieved the distinction.

(The school district stretches from Preston to Newcastle, and from Sammamish to Renton.)

“From recycling Styrofoam and cellphones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” Constantine said in a statement.

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Issaquah organizations earn King County honor for ‘green’ practices

July 26, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. July 26, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the Issaquah School District and Issaquah businesses for efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling Wednesday.

The school district, Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Pogacha of Issaquah and Rowley Properties ranked as Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Countywide, 92 businesses and government and nonprofit organizations achieved the distinction.

“From recycling Styrofoam and cellphones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” Constantine said in a statement.

The county put Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets and Rowley Properties on a Business Honor Roll for making the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list for at least five consecutive years.

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Sammamish Symphony Orchestra to perform classics at POPS! Goes Issaquah concert

July 24, 2012

Listen as the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra performs homegrown classics Aug. 17 at the POPS! Goes Issaquah concert.

The concert is free for audience members, due to support from longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties. POPS! Goes Issaquah is meant to support arts on the Eastside and open the arts to a broader audience, including families unable to otherwise afford to participate in the arts.

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City Council decision advances dam project

July 10, 2012

Plans to replace a problem-plagued dam upstream from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery surged ahead July 2, as City Council members steered dollars to complete designs for a proposed replacement.

Crews intend to add boulder weirs to Issaquah Creek and demolish the dam, perhaps as early as next spring.

The legislation approved by the council increased city dollars for the project by $268,700 from the $155,000 municipal leaders initially set aside in the 2012 municipal budget for the replacement. Now, after the council decision, the total amount in the budget is $423,700.

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