Edmonds development news on menu at July Chamber lunch meeting

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From new multi-use buildings to potential changes along Highway 99, Edmonds will be seeing its share of changes soon — and City of Edmonds Economic Development Director Shane Hope provided a lively update on upcoming projects during the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce’s July meeting at Epulo restaurant Thursday.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the entire region, but especially in our corner of Snohomish County,” Hope said. “The region is expanding at an almost unprecedented rate, picking up 58,000 new jobs in just the past year. This means more people moving in, greater demand for services, and for us in Edmonds, a record-setting demand for both residential and commercial building permits.”

Hope went on to cite specific examples of prominent development projects both planned and currently in progress, including the new multi-use buildings under construction at the old post office site and Westgate Village; the new 41,000-square-foot Magic Toyota headquarters; the Cedar Creek Memory Care facility; the planned Graphite Studios arts center that will replace Mar-Vel Marble on Main Street, and a host of single-family, townhouse and multifamily residential projects.

“Why is this happening?” she asked. “It’s a combination of a robust economy, the fact that Edmonds is increasingly an attractive place to be, and that more people and businesses simply add value to our community.”

Hope spent considerable time talking about the changes coming to the Highway 99 corridor pending Edmonds City Council approval next month of the proposed Highway 99 subarea plan.

“This plan has been in the works for more than a year,” she said. “We’ve had a number of public meetings to get input, and have had tremendous cooperation from property and business owners.

“The overall goal is to make the Highway 99 corridor a better place for both existing and new businesses and residents,” Hope added. “We’ve worked on simplifying regulations and standards, providing a more walkable environment while keeping a smooth traffic flow, building in enough flexibility in parking requirements to meet both residential and business needs, and special tax incentives to promote affordable housing.”

The council will be briefed on the Highway 99 plan at its upcoming July 31 meeting, and is scheduled to vote on Aug. 15.

Hope concluded her presentation by reminding the chamber members of their role in moving Edmonds forward. “You are an integral part of what makes this work,” she said. “It’s your dedication and drive that fuels our local economic engine, and we owe much of our current good fortune to all the individual actions you take every day to keep our community vital and vibrant.”

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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