New downtown Edmonds building will house post office and 43 apartments, many with sunset views

Artist's rendering of the new building that will occupy the northwest corner of Bell Street and Second Avenue N.  Developed by Edmonds 2020 LLC, the building will offer 43 apartment rental units, 57 underground parking spaces, and will house the Edmonds Post Office.
Artist’s rendering of the new building that will occupy the northwest corner of Bell Street and Second Avenue N. Developed by Edmonds 2020 LLC, the building will offer 43 apartment rental units, 57 underground parking spaces, and will house the Edmonds Post Office.

Downtown walkers and others have probably noticed the traffic cones, temporary fencing, and construction equipment being staged in the vacant space just north of the Edmonds Post Office. It’s all part of preparing for construction to get underway later this month on a new mixed use residential/commercial building at Second Avenue North and Bell Street.

“We’re really excited to get moving on this project,” said Doug Spee of Edmonds 2020 LLC, who is managing the project. “We’ve owned this site (the western half of the block along Second Avenue North between Main and Bell) for about five years now, and have been actively working with the City of Edmonds to get the project permitted and ready to go.”

The Edmonds Post Office will move from its current location to the new building in late 2015.  According to project manager Doug Spee, the old building will be taken down and replaced with something that fits with the super location at Second and Main. "I'm just getting started on ideas, and would welcome suggestions," he said.
The Edmonds Post Office will move from its current location to the new building in late 2015. According to project manager Doug Spee, the old building will be taken down and replaced with something that fits with the super location at Second and Main. “I’m just getting started on ideas, and would welcome suggestions,” he said.

In keeping with the character and ambiance of the downtown core, the residential side of the new building will be set back 11 feet from the sidewalks along Bell Street with grass and landscaping filling the space. The commercial space occupied by the new post office will border the edge of sidewalk along Second Avenue.

The facade employs a mix of brick and other materials and a staggered roof line to impart a varied overall look. It will offer 43 residential apartment units and 57 underground parking spaces. The U.S. Post Office will be the sole commercial tenant, and will occupy the space on the new building’s southwest corner.

Construction equipment is being staged in the vacant area at Second and Bell in preparation for breaking ground on the new building later this month.
Construction equipment is being staged in the vacant area at Second and Bell in preparation for breaking ground on the new building later this month.

“The post office will continue to operate in its current space until construction is complete,” said Spee. “Look for a fast switchover late next year, when the post office will close on Saturday in the old location, and open Monday in the new space.”

The new design utilizes the existing Post Office loading dock, and gives the Post Office a more efficient space within which to operate. The current space is approximately 8000 square feet. The new space will be about half that.

“We’ve been working with the Post Office to design a space that meets their needs and helps them control costs,” added Spee. “The current space is about twice as large as they need, so we worked with them to design the new facility to be smaller, more efficient, and most importantly, more cost-effective.”

Spee plans to demolish and redevelop the old post office building into something that fits in with the great location on Main Street. “We’re just getting started on several ideas and would welcome suggestions from the community,” he said.

Spee expects that the new building will be complete sometime in late 2015.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel


65 Replies to “New downtown Edmonds building will house post office and 43 apartments, many with sunset views”

    1. It meets the present height restriction. I’ve worked on many sites for other apartment projects in Edmonds. Needless to say they each had to be no higher than the height limitation dictated. There are no exceptions.


  1. Long time coming and glad to see a wonderful addition to downtown. More feet on the ground means more activities, $ and community.


  2. Wondering where all those people in the building without the parking spaces (and guests) will park on the street?…..Often now people are parked all the way up to Edmonds street…..Recently new people moved into two homes on 2 nd just north of Edmonds and have 10 vehicles between them….parking on the street all of a sudden easily becomes a problem on sunny days because of Sunset and business there…Ideas…..
    It would be nice to see a small., quaint hotel at the Main St. side….or bed and breakfast and then out of towners could linger longer and shop at our businesses and take in our beach…….parking accommodations underneath of course……more people would come from afar and see what Morris Graves saw here……How about a Morris Graves weekend!?… bring ’em in…..thinking of culture…..ideas


  3. Good to see there will be additional revenue to the tax local base (ie. condo owners paying taxes). Parking in Edmonds is always an issue. We should float a bond for a parking garage. But where to put it? Not sure where to direct this comment, and it may not matter if the builder and owner are the same, but some websites indicate “Edmonds 2020, LLC” dissolved on 3/31/2014. Hence, future advertising of the project should be under a valid name, assuming is accurate in their assessment “Edmonds 2020, LLC” is infact, dissolved.


    1. I formed the LLC when I purchased the property. It is alive and well. Edmonds 2020 LLC is also licensed as a General Contractor and will be the builder. These units are for rent and are not condos. I also have included parking for Post Office customers. Total count is 70.


      1. I may be interested in renting one of the apartments. Is there more information available on floor plans, price, etc? Can’t wait to see!


      2. Doug~ How can I get more information regarding a rental application, floor plans, pricing, etc? I am VERY interested in this new property.


      3. Hello Doug, I see that you have additional folks interested in renting your apartments. I also have a client that is wanting to rent.
        Please advise as to who to contact.


  4. Concerning the issue of parking spaces in the area, we will be losing all the parking spaces on Sunset Ave. north of Edmonds St. if/when the proposed Sunset Ave. walkway is built.


    1. Where do these people come up with these bizarre ideas…lose all parking north of Edmonds st? That is not on any plan so far, but final plan is still coming for Sunset


  5. Tere, Email the city council and express your support for a quaint hotel downtown very much needed.


  6. It would be great to have space to rent for Seminars in this location for 30 to 50 people. Out of town attendees can stay at the Harbor Inn Motel within walking distance. A Latee Coffee location would also be good.


  7. This will be a great project for our city. But it could have been even better if our city council had allowed only four additional feet in height that would have impaired nobody’s view. The additional height would have permitted one more floor of apartments; and that would have enabled Mr. Spee to lower the rental charge for all of the building’s apartments. The city would have received more sales tax during the construction phase and more property tax each and every year. Revenue that’s badly needed to help remedy the atrocious condition of our streets and sidewalks.

    City councilmembers often talk about their support for the availability of more affordable-housing. Apparently they fail to recognize that the most likely way to achieve that objective is to make it possible for developers to increase the ratio of living space square footage to the square footage of ground coverage. In other words, 15,000 square feet of living space can be built at less cost per square foot than 10,000 square feet on the same footprint. Thus a little more height brings about more affordability.

    City council had a “tool” available to allow the additional height – its called a development agreement.

    The Planning Board thoroughly studied the BD (business district) zones for several months. They completed their work in June 2011 and sent several recommendations to city council for action .City council began their work on those recommendations a couple of months later at their Aug 23, 2011 meeting. The following is from the minutes for the Aug 23, 2011 city council meeting:

    “Council President Peterson clarified tonight’s discussion did not include development agreements. The City Attorney will review the issue of development agreements and make further recommendations. Mr.Chave advised the City Attorney will provide background on development agreements at a future work session. Council President Peterson advised he has been working with Mr. Taraday to schedule a work session on land use issues.”

    Well, to the dismay of many, because of Mr. Taraday’s tardiness that work session did not occur until January 22, 2013 – 17 months after the matter was turned over to our city attorney! And that January meeting ended with no clear direction for the next step. Development agreements have once again fallen into an abyss.

    How can any of this be acceptable to any elected official, staff member, or Planning Board member. This unbelievable and unnecessary situation is clearly hindering economic development.

    If city council continues to fail to apply any kind of a sense of urgency to facilitating economic development, there undoubtedly will be insufficient support from taxpayers for any kind of a future tax levy.

    The development agreement proposal from the planning board would open new opportunities for controlled flexibility – developers would have the possibility of more flexible code, but city council would retain full veto power over any of that flexibility.

    The proposal provides for extending the height limit by 5’ to 35’; that is almost certainly city council’s biggest concern. It probably would surprise most, if not all, to learn that most of the very few buildings that have been constructed in the downtown in the past 10 years are legally over 30’ in height. Sloping lots made that possible.

    *The building on the southeast corner of 5th and Walnut is a little over 36’ above 5th Ave.

    *The building on the northeast corner of 5th and Walnut is 34’ above 5th Ave.

    *The building on the northeast corner of 3rd and Dayton is a little over 34’ above 3rd Ave.

    *The building on the northeast corner of 3rd and Bell is 32’ above the street.

    *The building near the southeast corner of 3rd and Bell is just under 35’ above 3rd Ave.

    *Several condominium buildings have also capitalized from being on sloping lots. For example the building that I’m in is as much as 39’ above Dayton St.

    The bottom line is that because of the topography in the downtown area the vast majority of the redevelopment exceeds 30’ – that means that the minority who build on relatively flat lots are height disadvantaged. The availability of a development agreement could remedy that disadvantage.

    I’m urging citizens to press councilmembers to bring the development agreement back before council for an objective discussion and action. The availability of this “tool” cannot now change anything with this current project, but it may be a benefit for the redevelopment of the post office-building site and could encourage redevelopment of the building across the street that houses the marble business – a building that looks like its brick facing is about to collapse any moment.


  8. Let’s have a public vote on the Sunset project…not just the few sanctimonious council members salivating at a few buckos from the Federalies…


  9. Ron,Well written and so correct. I strongly urge citizens to get the council to open up discussion of developmental agreements. Thursday we had many tourist in our store( Garden Gear & Gallery) and most were staying in Seattle They were surprised Edmonds didnt have a boutique hotel in its downtown like so many successful tourist towns.


  10. “This did NOT happen under my watch…”
    “I ran on no taller buildings and those buildings have not gone any taller.”


    This is what Council President Buckshnis wrote after she was the swing vote that changed Edmonds building code so that taller box buildings can be built in Edmonds.

    The code use to be that above 25 feet had to be modulated. Now a building can go up to 30 feet as a box.

    The actual language that is new in code states, “, an additional five feet of building height –
    increasing the overall building height to a maximum of 30 feet.

    So Mrs. Buckshnis can say she didn’t vote for taller buildings but the people of Edmonds can see it right before their eyes. A box in downtown Edmonds.

    For my 14 years on council we always opposed the idea of taller box building in downtown.
    Then on April 23, 2013 after Council Mr. Buckshnis – after being told in a council meeting this new language would lead to taller buildings in Edmonds – was the swing vote on a 4-3 vote to take out modulation and replace it with taller box language.

    She ask her about the vote and she said, “this did not happened on my watch,” “…buildings have not gone any taller.” Then look at the box proposed for downtown Edmonds.

    Welcome to the new downtown Edmonds of box building apartments. But don’t worry according to Diana Buckshnis, “this did not happen” what you will see is not really taller or a box even if it looks like that to you.


    1. When we moved to Edmonds 4 years ago, we wrote a letter to the editor of the Beacon newspaper regarding a comment we had read from Ms. Bucksnish in regards to how she envisioned the waterfront of Edmonds, and at that time she had responded with something along the lines of “SKYSCRAPERS.”………

      We were shocked and so we sent a letter to the editor of the Beacon newspaper of WHY we had moved to Edmonds and it had NOTHING to do with big box buildings, skyscrapers, cheap development, etc. We were trying to get away from THAT and wanted to live in a quaint, intimate town on a beautiful beach with mountains, water, birds, wildlife, etc.

      The people that are here that are in a certain industry, including financial institutions that support that industry, cannot seem to see that this type of thinking has not benefited the coffers of this town for just even basic infrastructure, but has enriched the few and continues to enrich the few.

      It has been hard to get that “skyscrapers” image out of my head, so the people that do not wish to have this TYPE of development for the select FEW to gain (and the visual ugliness of these buildings) need to keep fighting it and be ever aware of those who continue to pursue this over and over , no matter what the CITIZENS SAY AND DO NOT WANT. The government of Edmonds WORKS FOR US! again, NOT the other way around. The CITIZENS of Edmonds know whats BEST for Edmonds…….


      1. Ms. Ryder makes the most important point.
        While one council year after year after year someone would come to council and what a taller, more dense, building. It made no difference if we tried to compromise because compromise would just lead to more request.

        We always held the line at 25 feet with modulation.

        That was until April of last year when on a 4-3 Mrs. Buckshnis – who ran on no taller buildings – was the swing vote that opened up the flood gates.

        Now a councilperson who ran on no taller buildings is responsible for allowing 30 foot box buildings back into Edmonds.

        So Mrs. Buckshnis runs on no taller, gets elected on a no taller platform than votes for taller with more density, cars and taller buildings in a box for downtown Edmonds.


    2. When the 5 BD zones were created in early 2006, the BD1 zone was given a height limit of 30′ and required certain design standards. The other zones were allowed 30′ if the top floor was stepped back, but no design standards were required.

      Over the years, staff and the planning board determined that the step back requirement was not practical. City council took their advice and eliminated the step back requirement, but required that the BD1 design standards be used. Those design standards will prevent the construction of “box buildings”. This new building is not a “box building”.


      1. Mr. Wambolt has always been a strong supporter of taller buildings for Edmonds. That’s OK, he makes a good effort to explain taller buildings.

        However, the people of Edmonds do not want taller buildings in Edmonds.

        The code in April 2013 was changed from 25 feet to 30 feet.

        This is the language that was before Council.

        2. Within the BD1, BD2, BD3, or BD4 zones, an additional five feet of building height –
        increasing the overall building height to a maximum of 30 feet – may be obtained if the building meets the ground floor requirements for the zone as enumerated in ECDC 16.43.030(B).

        Plus all modulation above 25 feet was removed.

        So I have always appreciated Mr. Wambolt’s standing up for his views.

        What I don’t appreciated is Diana Buckshnis writing things like:

        “This did NOT happen under my watch…”

        “I ran on no taller buildings and those buildings have not gone any taller.

        Running on a platform of no taller buildings and then being the swing vote that opened the door to 30 foot box buildings in Edmonds is difficult to except from an elected official.

        At least Ron believes in what he says and runs on allowing taller buildings under different circumstances.

        Mrs. Buckshnis runs on no taller then votes for taller.


  11. One can easily SEE what developers have done ALL OVER THIS TOWN, particularily down 5th Avenue and up those side-streets, with some WHOLE BLOCKS taken over by tall, very unattractive condo buildings…….This has occured going back 30+ plus years that I can see in my research, and WHERE is ALL THAT $$$$ that is supposed to be HERE in this city to just take care of the basic infrastructure from all of these developments??……So continuing an old school plan does not seem to work…….

    Albert Einstein……” We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”

    Yes, a small, quaint hotel on our Main Street and people coming and staying here and enjoying our beautiful environment. Tourists from around the world spend lots of money. Again, people do not come to Edmonds to look at TALL buildings, condominiums, etc. ……Why not try to be on the map as a real destination which would bring much money into the town. Other towns have done this across the country.

    We have newer developed buildings all over this town that still have “for lease” signs on these properties, and some are very attractive buildings…..Clearly building more of THIS is not the answer. Less tear down, and building new, not the answer. This has been done over and over….Only ones that benefited were the developers, short term


  12. Michael, in Seattle they have done the same with the 30′ box buildings. Here’s what no one is talking about, they also allow an extra 3′ of railing if you put a roof top garden which could be 1 plant in a planter. So our 25′ buildings have been increased to 33′ Box buildings. This would not have happened under my watch!


  13. Yes Randy, in Seattle.

    But Edmonds is where my neighbors in Seattle luv to drive to, shop, eat, walk.

    I know for a fact, the people of Seattle do not go to Edmonds to look at 30 foot box buildings.

    The way to kill economic development in Edmonds is to allow more Buckshnis Boxes in Edmonds.


  14. So what is the definition of economic development? And what kind of economic development will solve the Edmonds city budget shortfalls that are forecast?


  15. The development style that would fit Everett, Mukilteo, or even Seattle or other towns would NOT fit the STYLE of what we HAVE, RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE in Edmonds……Maybe it is more difficult for long time residents to see how UNIQUE and ATTRACTIVE this town is, and the GRAND potential it HAS without changing its STYLE. Were not going to capitalize on manufacturing, technology, dense population…..everybody DOES that….. We can capitalize on Edmonds being Edmonds in its beautiful and UNIQUE environment. Let’s start pointing our energies in that direction. Let’s develop the WAY WE ARE!

    And THAT answers the question of what “economic development” can be for Edmonds.


  16. Will the post office be paying monthly rent on the new space and how much. By affordable housing standards, what is the average projected rent per unit on the apartments? Thank you.


  17. Citizens who want to review the related Permits and Associated Files can go to the City’s Online Permit Information website. A search can be done by address. The related addresses are:

    201 Main Street
    130 2nd Ave N

    A lot line adjustment was approved during November of 2013 to eliminate the line between the two lots to create one lot. The related Building Permit was issued July 1, 2014. There is much information online for those interested.

    Ron – do you know if any extra money was budgeted for Mr. Taraday to review Development Agreements? One reason I ask is that Lighthouse has been on a fixed fee contract since they were hired as City Attorney. Is he supposed to be able to do this extra work under his fixed fee? Or is this not extra work?

    Another reason I ask is because the City of Edmonds 2007-08 Budget stated that “A complete rewrite of ECDC over a two year period is proposed for completion in 2007.”

    The complete rewrite of the ECDC was never completed despite the fact it was specifically budgeted for. I find that much more difficult to understand than the time it took Mr. Taraday to prepare to discuss Development Agreements.


  18. This issue is in need of additional clarification.

    The last time the height limit was changed in the commercial zones was in 1981 when the maximum was reduced from 35′ to the current 30′. Since 1981 the base height limit has been 25′; codes since 1981 have addressed what happens in the 5 feet above 25 feet, but the 30-foot height limit has remained unchanged.

    When the downtown commercial area was designated as the BC zone prior to 2006, a building was required to be modulated in order to be built as high as 30′. The modulation reference went away in 2006 with the creation of the five BD zones. In the BD1 zone that reference was replaced with mandatory design standards; in the other zones a 15′ step back was required above 25′. In 2013 the step back requirement was replaced by mandatory design standards.

    There has been no height increase; all that has changed is what is required to get to 30.


  19. Plunkett, to refer to the apartment building as a box is so incorrect . The design is so far from a box unless you are just trying to to play politics.


  20. Don’s observation is an obvious one and to toss around other, untrue statements about this good project, is the problem Edmonds has had with previous Council members over the years. This is not a ‘box’ but a well-designed building that will be enjoyed by the renters (it’s an APARTMENT with parking below street), and from the street. It adds needed value to downtown by replacing an old building, filling the entire lot with income producing business and finally covers this property with something nice for the renters, the shoppers and surrounding neighborhood. Good examples of ugly development are found in Shoreline and north Seattle where tall buildings have been massed together, and this project is not that, at all. So let’s stop the mud-slinging Michael so we can move ahead with Mr. Spee’s contribution to the City. He has been patient with the public, now it’s time for some respect and progress!


  21. I have to say, perhaps you do no wish to call this a “box building” but I am visual and when I first saw the above rendering, it looked exactly like many, many others I have seen for apartments/condos in many other areas. They are almost indistinguishable from each other. They all pretty much look the same and appear to have been done by the same architect or designer……I don’t know about politics in regards to the drawings and renderings, but it does look like many others I have seen. Compared to many other building designs, it does appear to be box-like, and that is why they do not appear to have different architectural elements that might highlight unique building design work from an architect


  22. It’s easy, very few people in Edmond’s want taller buildings. So that’s why some people currently are not on the council.


    1. Peter,
      There is a long history of candidates and office holders who are defeated when they support taller building. That’s why most taller building candidates said things like ” tall buildings are not an issue ” then when they get into office they support taller buildings.
      But most, if not all, dont get re-elected cause they vote for taller after they run on no taller.
      Diana Buckshnis is now the best example of this. She ran on no taller and then voted for taller. Not only taller but to take out modulation so the building could be a box – now referred to as a Buckshnis Box.


  23. Ron, your statement that the flat fee covers all the legal services requested from the Lighthouse Group begs the question: Who can ask the Lighthouse Law Group/Mr. Taraday to perform legal services and answer legal questions?

    Citizens are at the top of the City’s Organizational chart and citizens are certainly a part of the “Municipal Corporation”. Can citizens request City related legal services or ask the City Attorney legal questions? How about entities such as AT&T who recently proposed a new City Code section (ECDC 17.40.023) granting AT&T amnesty for certain long-existing wireless communication facilities. Mr. Taraday certainly had to be involved with AT&T’s proposal and the related change to the ECDC. AT&T was able to obtain amnesty as evidenced by Ordinance No. 3962. I wonder if a citizen would be able to do something similar.

    How about City Council members? Does the City Attorney always have to respond to a question asked by a City Council member?

    Who directs the City Attorney’s time? Is it the Mayor or does the City Attorney have the independence to decide who he should respond to as well as prioritize what he should be working on?

    You allege that Mr. Taraday was tardy getting back to the City Council about Development Agreements. Is it possible that he was instructed to prioritize other issues?

    I also believe that Mr. Taraday was very burdened by challenges that existed when he was awarded the contract by the City of Edmonds back in 2011. I believe his biggest challenge was the flawed City Code, a Code that should have been rewritten long before Mr. Taraday became City Attorney.

    The November 20, 2007 City Council Approved Minutes include the following:

    “The biggest issue at the start of 2007 was the code rewrite; for a variety of reasons including staff illnesses and his (former City Attorney Scott Snyder’s) sabbatical, little progress was made on the code rewrite. His and staff’s efforts were also diverted by a number of land use appeals with regard to one property.”

    The November 20, 2007 City Council Approved Minutes also include the following:

    “Councilmember Wambolt inquired about progress on the code rewrite. Mr. Snyder answered the intent was to begin the rewrite last year and finish this year. He had completed review of two chapters which would now be reviewed by the Planning Board and forwarded to the Council hopefully by year end. He summarized the code rewrite was approximately a year behind schedule.”

    Well, here we are many years later and the Code Rewrite was never completed.

    Perhaps Mr. Taraday could have addressed Development Agreements more promptly had the Code Rewrite been finished back in 2007/2008.

    The poor condition of the City Code was not the only burden facing Mr. Taraday when he became City Attorney. The following is taken from the June 3, 2014 City Council Agenda:

    “What is interesting to note is large civil suits were litigated and settled during the LH (Lighthouse Law Group) tenure and had the City been engaged in a regular contract that was not flat fee, a tremendous amount of money would have been spent. As an example, Haines Wharf/Precision Earthworks the 2011 to 2013 hours spent on this project amounted to 516.6 hours. Had that amount been billed out over an average hourly rate of $210 per hour, the city would have spent $108,486. Instead, the city did not pay anything extra because LH defended the case under its flat fee. This is but one project that LH was successful in defending (i.e. others like Locke, Meiers, Cole, Humann, and Thuesen also took a tremendous amount of time).”

    Perhaps Mr. Taraday could have addressed Development Agreements more promptly had he not had to spend a tremendous amount of time on litigation items like those mentioned. Eliminating the Haines Wharf/Precision Earthworks situation alone would have freed up an extra 516.6 hours for Mr. Taraday and his firm to work on other items, perhaps even items related to economic development such as Development Agreements.


  24. I now know of two people that moved to Edmonds from Kirkland recently because of the “box buildings” that are all over Kirkland, and just this morning, I ran into another person (running on Sunset and checking out Edmonds ) that is planning on moving here from Ballard because one of those “tall” buildings was built within feet of her small, quaint, classic Ballard home that she has owned for 40 years. She said she couldn’t live with the claustrophobic feeling that was now at her house, and GEE, the developer of the BIG BOX made her an offer for her lot.
    Since moving here 4 years ago, I have not been able to figure out how these developers got WHOLE BLOCKS and tore down much of the classic housing, with exception of a few, particularily surrounding 5th Avenue coming into town……

    Well, now I know and get it or at least this is how it seems to me…..Correct me if I’m wrong. My neighbor has a wonderful small classic rambler that she has lived in since she moved here, and low and behold within the last 6 months a developer?/ or contractor who owned 2 lots on Sunset (behind her home, and these had houses on it, with one house imploding and empty for at least the 4 years I have lived here) and one lot next door to her home on 2nd (new house already built there)……All houses are being torn down, and a HUGE BOX built within 10 feet of her back fence 2 stories high, which has cut off ALL the light to her house, and when you are in her lovely backyard now, you are looking straight up at a WALL……Now, it appears somebody is approaching her about SELLING her house…..Of course, a developer. or contractor or WHOEVER….Easy to figure out how these people could get blocks and blocks of people that lived in classic homes to just up and leave when offered money. WHO wants a two story BOX within 10 feet of their house, cutting off most light. I don’t think ANYBODY would want that if they live in a classic home.

    Does the CITY of EDMONDS have NO RESPONSIBILTY in regards to giving out building permits, that literally ruin properties of existing homes….correct me if I’m wrong, but they appear “ruined” to me with the big box within 10 feet of a small home………I believe THIS type of thing is WHAT makes people not TRUST our government…….It appears to me that the developers and construction companies from WHEREVER are more important thatnthe citizens that have made Edmonds their home. I would also like to add that the person that I spoke to regarding the big box in Ballard behind her home is in her 70s (as is my neighbor) and I would think that our elderly residents should not have to deal with this at their age, or ANY of us for that matter……..

    NOBODY comes to Edmonds for BIG BOXES

    So WHEN WE VOTE next time, let’s make sure we RESEARCH all of the condidates and see backgrounds……….. make sure there are no conflicts of interest…..let’s just make sure


    1. Very positive message about what the people of Edmonds want and expect


      1. So, are we to understand that people who build and buy these larger homes in neighborhoods of smaller, “quainter” homes are not informed, impassioned residents of Edmonds, or at least soon will be? They just made a bigger investment in the City than most of those around them did, and they complied with all developmental and building regulation in doing so. And do you, Ms. Ryder and Mr. Plunkett, actually equate the “big boxes” being built throughout Ballard and Kirkland (at 6 to 8 stories and more) to the code compliant structures being built in a few locations in Edmonds? Seriously?

        I don’t know if (or why) Ms. Ryder, Mr. Gibson, and others commenting in opposition to “taller buildings” on this thread actually believe they can speak for what Edmonds residents want (they certainly can express their opinions about what they and perhaps their acquaintances personally want), but most informed, Edmonds-loving people I know actually understand that new, responsible development brings long-lasting benefit to the City in terms of building permit fees, property tax revenue, and employees/residents who shop and pay sales tax in Edmonds–they are at least willing to discuss all viable options to enhance our economic wellbeing. And thank you, Mr. Wambolt, for your clear and very helpful explanation of the history of height limitations for downtown Edmonds.

        As for Mr. Plunkett, he is so entrenched in his persistent diatribes against taller buildings in downtown that he once led the efforts to deny the Edmonds Yacht Club a lighthouse feature that exceeded the City’s height limitations by a few feet, costing our waterfront a potentially iconic new “Edmonds Beacon” feature that could have delighted generations of residents and visitors. Not to mention that his mean-spirited coining and use of the phrase “Buckshnis Boxes” is only another shallow and divisive ploy to try and set the stage for status quo council candidates to prevail in the next election. I believe we are too smart as a community for this kind of “slippery slope, the sky is falling” nonsense. And you might remember, Mr. Plunkett, that at least one other candidate embracing “no taller buildings–not another foot!” has been defeated in more recent elections–and decisively. So, it appears we’re beginning to ask our council candidates to work a little harder on their complete message these days. Your (excuse me, OUR) town may just be changing more than you know (you’re right, Ms Ryder–all caps, when used in moderation, can be fun), and being changed by people with more vision and an equal love for the wellbeing of our community than those who would have nothing change. Based on my discussions with many Edmonds residents, most would not object to another 3 to 4 feet in allowable building height (even in our charming downtown) if it allowed for more attractive buildings, more viable and successful first-floor commercial uses, or additional parking. We’re not talking Kirkland or Ballard here–not for a moment (just another scare tactic, folks).

        As for economic development in Edmonds, we can certainly start with embracing what we have and reducing or eliminating the number of vacant storefronts in the downtown and other portions of the City (in evidence in both older and newer structures). We will need to continue to work on ways to bring more people into downtown Edmonds to shop and dine, attract more people to buy cars along our portion of 99, enhance and fill in our commercial enterprises in Firdale Village, Westgate, Five Corners, and Perrinville and the 99 corridor, and (of course) generate more property taxes–and judging by the most recent Snohomish County tax assessments, we’ve got that going for us already. However, a key component will remain new development that integrates with and enhances what we have. And how that might look will continue to be a lively discussion and not just the assumption of “I know what Edmonds wants” we have heard from some on this thread. What Edmonds wants has been and will continue to be a work in progress.

        But, Ms. Ryder and Mr. Plunkett are absolutely right about at least one thing–this upcoming election will be very important. We have the opportunity to take additional steps toward seating an even more thoughtful, imaginative, communicative, and progressive city council–a council that will act aggressively and responsibly on updating and enacting a city code rewrite that will accommodate responsible development agreements and will allow future development consistent with the vision of our leaders and residents (thank you for your continued support and diligence on this important issue, Mr. Reidy). But we won’t know what that vision truly is unless and until we vet our candidates carefully and then help show them the way with our informed vote–whatever result that may yield.


        1. Tere, could you please be more specific? I read the Wikipedia article but I don’t get how it’s supposed to help me decide who to vote for. Do I check to see if they are members of The Discovery Institute? Then what?


  25. Plunkett, sounds like you are starting early to politic against council member Buckshnis if she decides to run again.


  26. Hello Mr Hall, I hope you are doing well.
    Yes Sir, I’m looking forward to next years local elections.


  27. Again, people do not come to Edmonds to see the development that has been done in the past 30 years…….I say the gravy train cash cow for certain business/people entities is over……………and I suspect they are the ones that will be yelling the loudest to keep things going on this path that has led us to RIGHT NOW………basic infrastructure not taken care of, dangerous sidewalks, patched streets, schools that have so much paint chipping they look like they are out of the 1930s, trees in many areas hanging 3/4 across streets, etc. etc………..Yes, THIS is WHERE all the same type of rhetoric from above has brought us. A town that doesn’t even have $$$$ to take care of it’s most BASIC foundation needs. …….

    Yes, and let’s get back to the embracing of our most special resources here……..Our wise elderly who have a lot of history and KNOWLEDGE to impart to us……….ALL of us. There is something to be learned……

    So don’t buy into the same ol’ rhetoric…’s what got us here……nothing in the coffers


    1. Ms, Ryder:
      Perhaps you could answer just two questions for us:
      1) What is your plan for getting sufficient revenue to more quickly improve streets and sidewalks?
      2) If the developers made excessive profits, why have they all gone bankrupt?


  28. And for those yelling about ‘box buildings’ would you please describe what in the world you are talking about, and why this building, or others, meets your description? Describing such buildings seems to relieve you from explaining your comment and why you are the only correct ones. I understand being visually oriented, but so what? It doesn’t make this proposal wrong for this part of Edmonds. Variety in design and construction is healthy for a community and so it is in this case.


  29. curious @Ryder “people do not come to Edmonds to see the development that has been done in the past 30 years”..didn’t you just move here within the last few years? Using your logic then you moved here because of our buildings?..Anyway..been her 55 years, folks her over 80..the people make this town, not the buildings..and besides a few questionable calls re building designs..I think we have kept our charm and proof is in the pudding..a lot of us who grew up here have returned to raise family and still live here..well except Mr P (:


  30. I moved here for the water, beach, mountains, sand, sky, birds, wildlife and the quiet (when the bulldozers aren’t running)……I moved here for the BEACH……I looked at one house here, and SAW the BEACH! I wasn’t planning on moving here, but saw the beach……then Main Street. I’m from Sunset Hill in Ballard, so of course, the BEACH, SKY & WATER would appeal to me, and I believe THAT is what appeals to most people, and Main Street……Not a lot of “Main Streets” left around the country. Edmonds should capitalize on this…….

    *****with a small quaint HOTEL on Main, people will come and stay for longer than 1 day


  31. That’s a good looking “box” of a building, and it would look even better with another story or two.


    1. Perhaps ‘low income’ should be rephrased to the new PC term ‘affordable housing’…

      Question remains: how many of the new apts fall into the category of ‘affordable housing’??

      Is discriminatory to not provide more ‘affordable housing’ [new apartments] in the Bowl??

      …Just curious


  32. As the Supreme Court recently ruled, cities can no longer SEGREGATE populations…….even if they don’t realize they are segregating a population. I see those new apartments going up down the street on 2nd Ave. Main and also know there are 7 new $800,000 to a million dollar houses going up on 9th Avenue, and at least a couple more new ones right around 2nd Ave. and Sunset and I’m sure hoping the city has a plan where it is not all segregated, priviledged white people down here…….

    I’m encouraging our government to read that Supreme Court ruling. I don’t care how much $$$$$$$$$$$$ many of you think you have, this government canNOT continue to plan a segregated city


  33. It has been my experience in Edmonds that if we have enough green money we can live anywhere we chose to live, regardless of race, color or creed. All are welcome.


  34. No, Mr. Page and others with their white privildege and money beliefs

    the “in Edmonds if we have enough green money we can live anywhere we choose to live”

    this does not line up with the recent Supreme Court rulings reaffirming the 1968 Fair Housing act to STOP the last 30 years of of developers, real estate, bankers SEGREGATING populations across our country……..and we know who you are here……. Money and white priviledge…… brought us to where we are right now. A segregated country and a well segregated city of Edmonds

    And those that have turned back the clock on these civil rights for ALL should be ashamed of themselves and to continue this again is against the law of the land

    I just have to say, who do you people think you are? White priviledge and a continuing “other Edmonds” …… is simply called SEGREGATION and against the LAW…..

    against the law, even if you supposedly dont get it.


  35. Drive by the building at 223 Dayton st. That was a 12 unit apartment building that I purchased in 2005. That also is about as close to a slum as we had in the downtown area. My construction company remodeled the interiors, and replaced the roof.
    We secured zero down loans for renters that qualified and sold out the entire project in 60 days at sales prices from $105,000 to $115,000. This is low cost housing.I was able to make a profit on that deal because my companies handled all five facets of the deal from the purchase of the building to final closing at escrow. Under today’s regulations it is now illegal to package deals like that( Smith-Varney act). So up goes the price. Land values in Edmonds are so high and the height restrictions so severe that profit margins are very slim for builders in this town. My company closed builder loans for 45 years. Most of the time the real estate commission was greater then the builders profit.
    I also supported Micheal Plunkett in his efforts to keep height limits at 30 ft in the downtown core. I would have encouraged the harbor square project at 4 stories. I could not pencil it out at three stories and either can anyone else.


  36. What I don’t want to see is quaint houses torn down just so developers can build a bunch of skinny apartment buildings. Here’s a story about the house in Ballard:

    Downtown building heights should not be increased. The one other thing I don’t want to see happen is for Edmonds Way between 9th and Hwy 99 to become a wall of apartment buildings that encroach on the existing sidewalks. Same goes for the Westgate neighborhood. Growth is good but let’s keep it confined to areas that can handle it – along Hwy 99 (maybe tear down all the cheap motels between the Aurora Bridge and 125th) and build affordable housing for the down on their luck Seattle area residents.


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