Proposed multi-use development aims to revitalize Westgate

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    Updated to reflect latest information from the builder

    Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling in his State of the City address Thursday cited projections that Edmonds will need additional housing by 2035, and referenced a new combined residential/office/retail development in the works for Edmonds’ Westgate neighborhood.

    A closer look at documents filed with the City of Edmonds reveals details of the new building, the first multi-use development to be proposed since the Westgate commercial area was rezoned by the Edmonds City Council in April 2015 to include taller buildings and mixed residential/commercial use.

    Late last year, the commercial real estate firm of Henbart LLC — an affiliate company of Bartell Drugs and owned by the Bartell family — submitted a package to the Edmonds Architectural Design Board outlining plans for the building, which Earling noted will include units renting at below market, creating a pool of affordable housing.

    In the most recent project narrative submitted to the City of Edmonds, the builder describes the project as including “approximately 59,100 square feet of multifamily residential (91 units), 3100 square feet of retail space, 10,360 square feet of underground structured parking (35 stalls), 2560 square feet of open-to-air on-grade structure parking, and 26,100 square feet on on-grade surface parking (71 stalls).” It would occupy a parcel on the southwest corner of the Westgate intersection at 10032 Edmonds Way, currently containing an empty retail pad and the remains of an old building foundation in the area of the current Bartell Drug.

    According to Henbart’s Dave Barber, the land is owned by the Bartell family, who will also own the new building. Barber and his wife Jean Bartell Barber, vice chair and treasurer of Bartell Drugs, are 19-year Edmonds residents. There are no immediate plans to relocate the current Bartell store to the new building, Barber said.

    “We really love the Edmonds the community, and are very pleased to be part of the effort to revitalize Westgate” he said.

    In keeping with the goal of providing walkability and creating a vibrant public space, the proposal calls for large landscaped plaza area adjacent to the building, and de-emphasizing the mass of the building by tucking it back on the site to visibly merge with the steep slopes on the south edge of the property.

    The proposal also calls for materials and landscaping that reflect the Northwest style, but also provide a unique identity as encouraged by the City of Edmonds design guidelines as contained in the Edmonds Comprehensive Plan. Other amenities include a green roof planted with evergreen/deciduous Sedum (stonecrops), and landscaping with a variety plant materials offering year-round seasonal interest.

    Next steps include Architectural Design Board review and permitting. Depending on how quickly these progress, construction could begin “later this year,” according to Henbart LLC president Mark Craig.

    Interested persons can follow the process at the City of Edmonds online permitting site here.

    — By Larry Vogel

    21 COMMENTS

    1. I am concerned about traffic at that intersection, particularly at rush hours where there is heavy ferry traffic and no alternative routes or sidestreets to alleviate traffic congestion.

    2. I think that this is a great addition to our community. I love that they are residents and know the history and needs. They say in the plans that they are restructuring the parking so hopefully they know that this is a concern for our area. I hope that this goes through quickly and construction does start this year!!

    3. As a long time Edmonds Westgate resident, I’m hoping the color scheme isn’t like the Compass Apartments at the corner of Edmonds Way and 232nd. I hope Bartells stays right where they are and doesn’t move. What’s up with the vacant lot by the car wash further up Edmonds Way? Is anything ever going to be built there?

    4. Does Westgate really need to be ‘revitalized’ ? Or is it simply a ruse to sweeten someone’s coffers?

      …Just sayin’

    5. “Revitalize Westgate” sounds like Mayor-speak for shoving inappropriate and unwanted density down the metaphorical throats of nearby residents. Westgate is already economically vital. The two grocery stores, the two drug stores, the bank, several small restaurants, and various other small businesses already draw capacity crowds. And as another comment noted, SR 104 is extremely busy with ferry traffic. This sounds more appropriate for Highway 99, where there are multiple bus routes including bus rapid transit. Building 91 units at Westgate without adequate parking is traffic nightmare waiting to happen. Who said we want to become Seattle?

    6. All of the people commenting against new development at Westgate must have been on another planet the past few years when this topic was discussed at numerous city meetings, public hearings and even at least one town hall meeting.
      Regarding placing the apartments on Hwy 99, undoubtedly there will be other apartment projects there. But in this situation the developer’s property happens to be at Westgate!

    7. Ron – Not on another planet. Just didn’t attend the meetings. However, I do seem to recall completeing a survey several years ago about the Westgate project. My biggest concern is the increased traffic at that intersection. Does anyone know if the Community Transit bus stop (route 130) will be affected by the construction project?

      • Fortunately it wasn’t necessary to attend any of the meetings to learn what transpired. They were well covered by: this website (much of that coverage can be found by doing a search of the site), The Beacon, TV channel 21, and the city’s website.

    8. Thanks Ron for the information…

      It is not for the lipstick of ‘revitalization’..it is for someone’s coffers.

      Thought so…

      A spin is so often put on something to cover-up for something else…very subtext or Orwellian

    9. The work for Westgate was started by the Economic Development Commission and approved by council years ago. The actual study for Westgate and 5 Corners started in Oct 2010. You can see the original study work and learn of all the public engagement sessions by going to this link:

      http://www.edmondswa.gov/five-corners-westgate-studies.html

      Now that work is underway for 5 Corners folks may want to look at the above information now and not be surprised when the council potentially deals with code changes for 5 Corners. There will be many public input sessions as the 5 Corners process moves along. For those interested you can keep track of the progress by looking as Planning Board and Council agenda.

    10. I’m a daily MEN reader so yes, I know that the development project has been underway for years. It’s just I was hoping that the developers would change their minds and build somewhere else. No one has answered my question about the vacant lot by the car wash. Is anything ever going to be built there or is just going to sit vacant?

    11. The property just east of the car wash is actually 2 parcels. One is about a .25 acre and is just east of the car wash and is owned by an LLC. The larger parcel to the east is 1.1 acre and is owned by Columbia Bank. This type of information is available on the County Assurors web site and gives all the details. You can learn the ownership, size, taxes and a number of other data by going to the interactive map and clicking on a property you may be interested in.

    12. Darrol – I’m familiar with the County Assessor’s page. I just didn’t know the address of the property I was asking about….

      Ron – the property I was asking about is nowhere near Westgate Chapel… and Darrol answered my question.

      • I know the property’s location. I speculated that the Chapel may own it because a number of years ago when there was construction at the Chapel they used that property for parking by some of their members. They may have sold it since then, or never owned it.

        Finding an address for vacant property is sometimes impossible because an address is not finalized until the property is developed.This property has not had any development in the 37 years that I’ve lived here.

    13. I used the mapping function of the site and found the properties in question by drilling down and finding the properties that way. No address needed.

      Now that the zoning codes have been updated in this area it would be nice to see a plan to develop this site. Such a development would add revenues for the city.

      • The current planning permit number is PLN20160054. The item dated 2/2/17 ABD update contains lots of specific information, drawings, floor plans, parking plans, etc. There is also a TIA item on this permit list, which is the traffic impact analysis. Enjoy!

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