City poll asks for feedback on Edmonds’ Landmark 99 site

Burlington Coat Factory at 241st Street Southwest and Highway 99.

The City of Edmonds is inviting the community to submit initial feedback on desired uses for the Highway 99 Landmark Site via this online SurveyMonkey poll.

According to a news release issues Thursday, the city is in the process of gathering public input to help determine how to approach potential development on the 10-plus-acre property located at the southern corridor of Highway 99. (This is the current location of Burlington Coat Factory, the Aurora Antique Pavilion and the closed Mick Finster’s).

During its June 27 meeting, the Edmonds City Council voted 3-1 with two abstentions and one absence to authorize Mayor Mike Nelson to sign an option agreement for the possible future purchase of a 10-acre site at the southern edge of Edmonds’ Highway 99 neighborhood.

Nelson announced during a June 22 press conference that his administration would be seeking council authorization to sign an option agreement with the Burlington property owner — Eastern Investment Corporation and Southeast 888 Investment LLC. The agreement includes a refundable deposit of $100,000 to hold the property for six months, which would give the city time to conduct public engagement and further study the idea. After that first six months, the city would have an additional year to decide whether to complete the purchase.

While no specific uses have been determined for the property, some ideas have included a police substation, senior housing or other community services.

Thursday’s press release noted that the online poll “is the first step in resident engagement providing the public an opportunity to weigh in on ideas for how to utilize the site. While the poll does not constitute the final list of potential projects for the site, it will help guide the city during the planning and purchasing process.”

The poll can be accessed by clicking this link.

The poll is also available in Spanish, Korean, and simplified Chinese.




An open house is being planned for September and details on that meeting will be shared soon. To learn more, visit

  1. Interesting. The poll does not allow for the opinion that the parcel should NOT be purchased nor developed by the city. I tried to answer “other” as a first, second, and third choice, and explain my opinion, but the survey doesn’t like that and won’t accept. So my voice will not be heard. This is a prime example of how the city conveniently steers all responses to some foregone conclusion that they can then cite as “See?! Citizens WANT this!” What a shady kind of way to run a city.

    1. I live near 99 and I want this. It would be nice to see some investment along this corridor. There’s been a lot of vagrant/homeless activity near Safeway and the area, this might help. Either way, you probably live in the bowl and don’t care about areas outside your immediate space.

      1. Nice try at discounting my comments, Jonathan, but I do not live in the bowl. A purchase of this magnitude affects ALL of Edmonds’ residents, however, so everyone’s voice should matter. I’m simply opposed to the city falling into the habit of mismanaging resources via wonky surveys and boutique consultants.

      2. “Probably” makes a very weak argument when trying to define someone one doesn’t know. Suppositions are not facts, but they sure can be used to cloud the argument. Maybe we should respect each other, listen to other’s opinions, and debate the actual issues?

  2. How can the City move forward on such a major purchase without a majority of the council voting to proceed? 3 voted for it, 1 voted against it, 2 abstained, and 1 was absent.

    I viewed the poll, and as usual for this Administration’s polls, it is biased. There is no option for the City shouldn’t buy this property.

  3. I do not want to create a password and a survey monkey account. I do not want to enter my email address either. I am getting way to many emails unsolicited as it is. The last time I did a survey for this group it was not required is there another way. In English on our city website to do this survey without so much private and personal information? Thank you.

    1. Deborah Arthur,
      Try this link:
      The second link that MyEdmondsNews provided above is more complicated than the first.
      That said, as everyone has pointed out here, the survey is pretty limited about what you can say on it. You can select “Other” for your first choice and write in whatever you like. Then you can only submit it if you select two more uses of the property. As Jean Kovatovich pointed out, that’s not allowing everyone to provide honest input.
      It may be that sending an email to City Council and the Mayor might allow you to weigh in more accurately about what you feel about this project.

  4. Why wasn’t a question like, “Should the City pursue this endeavor?” included?
    That might be a better first step for community input rather than asking for input on how to use it.

    Can the City afford it? Does the City need it? Do the residents want it? What are the risks/liabilities the City will incur by purchasing this property? How will this impact the City’s budget? This survey hardly seems scientific as anyone can fill it in. How much weight will the answers be given with regards to making a decision on purchasing the property? I think there are more questions that need to be answered by Council and the City before we get to a survey like this. I’m not sure about the project, but I would like more questions answered before dreaming about ways to use it.

  5. Kristiana Johnson once told me that all decisions were made in the back room before presentation to the public. The purchase of this property was a perfect example of spending taxpayers money without citizens voices.

    1. Yep. Denise this is probably true and much truth in planning meetings etc. I have seen our CC asking many more questions and demanding more clarification. This needs to continue and our votes for CC to assure this are imperative.

  6. Wow! Real Kremlin-style voting. “We want your view of Comrade Stalin – is he

    1) Great
    2) Wonderful
    3) Superb
    4) Magnificent

    But never a chance to say NO!

    What a farce!

  7. I agree that the first question to be asked in the survey is” Should the City of Edmonds purchase this property?”
    The survey puts the car before the horse.

  8. Not only is “do not pursue this endeavor” listed as an option but there is absolutely no mention of the purchase price.

    This is typical of Mike Nelson. I’ll be so happy when Rosen is elected as our new mayor.

  9. LOL. As usual this is a joke. Agree that the first question should be a yes or no to proceed. It amazes me that such a large dollar spend by our mayor to help him win votes in the Eastern side of Edmonds, doesn’t require a vote of the taxpayers.

    One can easily see that this is a political ploy. Mile Nelson announces it at the so called “debate”. Then this joke of a survey gets sent where you can only agree to proceed. Every survey I receive is this kind of set up and why they can say there is no opposition.

    I predict that if Mike Nelson does win, he achieved his goal of getting the votes, and then this option to buy the property will expire and no more to be said about it. Politics as usual. Nothing new to see here.

  10. This is just another reason why we need an independent assessment of this potential opportunity. There is no reason to trust the city to provide us with unbiased information so we can have an intelligent discussion and reach a well-informed decision. They don’t trust us, why should we trust them?

    I’ve called on the Economic Development Commission to provide that unbiased assessment. Not by them just being a quasi-member of whatever city-led group the city is proposing but using their charter to independently assess the proposed purchase and present a set of recommendations directly to the City Council. Otherwise, we’re going to get a biased perspective from city staff as we often do. There is too much money at stake to not take this seriously.

    1. It’s a deposit that’s refundable. The question is if it is bought then what to do with it. Why are you getting your knickers in a bunch? It’s like MAGA suddenly moved here.

      1. Jonathan,

        I’m not going to let your innuendo go unchallenged. I don’t know you and you certainly don’t know me. I’m fiercely independent and can think for myself. I can draw my own conclusions based on information, facts and data that I personally research to find. So don’t start categorizing me. I haven’t categorized you with others.

        Now if you want to have a civil discussion, I’m all in. Along the discussion in this thread, shouldn’t we have had an idea what to do with the site before we agreed to a purchase price? Besides, while the $100K deposit is refundable, the city is asking for another $250K in additional (nonrefundable) budget to study the idea further. The question I would ask is how much are you willing to pay in additional taxes (property and/or sales) to buy and develop this site? I understand your “want”. What about the “need” in this part of our city? This should be part of the discussion as well.

  11. It does say its considering a purchase so it hasn’t been decided yet. A refundable deposit to hold it for 6 months then an additional year to decide if they will purchase or not. Did anyone read the entire article? Ya’ll getting so working up on just them trying to decide and evaluate the potentials while gathering public ideas on what the space could become.

    1. So people have an opportunity to give suggestions how the property should be used without a clue how it’s to be paid for or who will pay for it. Nonsensical survey from mayor Nelson’s administration.

    2. Nicole, reasonable and intelligent citizens aren’t upset about “just them trying to decide and evaluate on the potentials while gathering public ideas on what the space could become.” Reasonable citizens are upset about being asked what to use this land for, before they are ever even asked if it is a good idea to buy it or put money down on it in the first place. This seller is trying to tell us exactly what we have to pay for his land and what we can and can’t do with it in the process. Some of us are tired of what these mental midgets in the art of negotiating are doing to this town with premature promises to purchase properties of questionable worth. Unacal Beach is another example of this rank amateur incompetence of our municipal management.

    3. Nicole, I have followed this story from the beginning. As a result I know that the Mayor and one of his Departments workeed on this deal before even informing the Council. For give us who are skeptical of the process.

    4. Nicole,

      The city is now coming before the City Council on Tuesday asking for $250K of non-refundable money to study the acquisition more closely between now and the end of the year. So much for transparency with the initial ask. Just maybe that is why some of us are skeptical of the city and mayor because we’ve seen them use this playbook before.

  12. There is a way to opine in this survey against Edmonds acquiring and developing the property. Using the MEN link ( choose as your first option “Other” and then specify below something like: Do not buy! This parcel should be privately owned and developed.

    Yes, the survey then forces you to make two additional choices for the land use before you submit it. Incidentally, I was not even asked for any identifying information other than zip code.

    1. I tried this link you suggest and it threw me into Survey Monkey requesting Email address again. I have no problem with Zip Code but I am very tired of being tangled up in the Blue Tube world. I need my computer to accomplish important things and keep in contact with family and I do not want it compromised. I appreciate your adding this but I can’t figure out how you got on with just a click and a zip code. Oh Well. I don’t want his purchase at all would be my answer.

  13. I agree with the comments about the design of the survey. There should have been an option to raise questions and concerns. I did check 3 priorities and then put comments in “other” without checking that box. Don’t know if those comments went through? We need a survey asking what are the citizens questions and concerns about this property. My concern with this survey is the conclusion will be made that citizens want the property to be acquired, And that the top 3 choices are how the citizens want it to be used without an identification of questions and concerns or even asking if the city should purchase the property.

  14. This is how surveys can cook the books. It assumes a fact that should not be assumed, that is; the City will buy this overpriced property. It should not. Not buying should have been choice number 1. This land should be privately developed for some great sales tax generating business. Why has Mayor Nelson not said why he wants the city to buy this land and building and for what purpose. Hidden agenda at work here, as usual with this Mayor.

    1. The poll would not accept my “other” option to not purchase the property. Do our politicians really not want the opinion of ALL the citizenry

    1. Christine Koch, Yes! I have been sharing in discussions that I hope that whatever happens next is put through without reducing tax revenues from the location. No matter who ends up with the property, I hope the antiques mall and Burlington Coat Factory continue to have a home there, if they continue to be viable businesses.

      1. The current tax revenues generated from that property are minuscule compared to what’s going to be necessary to service the debt on the 60 to 100 million dollars to purchase and develop the property depending on public amenities. Further, the city assuming that much debt will probably lower its credit rating making interest rates higher. Under that kind of debt load, the antiques mall and Burlington Coat Factory likely are not going to be viable. Also, currently the store in that location is currently being overrun with theft and shoplifting daily, and that’s only what’s being reported to the police.

      2. Nick, the Burlington Coat Factory did not renew their lease with the building owner. I don’t know what party wanted ‘out’, but that retail store is definitely moving out of the building.

  15. They didn’t ask if you think this property should be purchased because they don’t want to know. I can’t imagine there are many taxpayers that would vote to buy the property, so they will do it without our input. We will all have the opportunity to vote on this by participating in the election.

  16. Wow, I am so glad I wasn’t the only person wondering why this was a “presumptive sell” survey. No option for “do not do it”. Thanks to all of you who are speaking out.

  17. It would be interesting/useful to see the budgetary implications for this purchase, particularly at a time when car sales revenue has likely taken a hit and city expenses have gone up (new city park maintenance, inflation, etc.). And as many have noted, anything built there will probably not be revenue producing. Citizen input on decisions of this nature are important, but this simple survey falls well short of the mark. It’s tantamount to asking one’s children where they want to go on vacation without first proving clear information about your budget, time available and the process for a fair and equitable process. We can do better.

  18. This city just so obviously needs to get back to the basics of taking care of what we have first and worrying about all the frills and wants down the road; as the times and circumstance permit. I’m hearing a lot of rumors to the effect that our credit cards are maxed out and a deficit budget is just around the corner (by year end). We can’t keep spending money to hire consultants because we put up with incompetent and politically motivated managers who either don’t know how to run the town or who want to put the blame for bad execution on an outside source of information. This is getting bad!

  19. A better survey question may be: How much would you be willing to increase your property taxes to pay for the site and its improvements?

  20. Where are the requirements that we should agree on to doing anything with this property and not prioritize other needed projects in our city. The people of Edmonds have not been asked what we want to have for “OUR” City. Where is the survey for that?

    1. Do any of the above commenters even live on Highway 99 and the surrounding neighborhoods? I think that would give massive context of their perspectives.

      It’s easy to say that the city doesn’t need this project if you live in Downtown or any of the surrounding areas with quick access to city services and recreation – because you haven’t experienced what it’s like to live far away from such services and parks.

      Why don’t we shift the dialogue to what the underserved communities of Highway 99 want?


      Brook Roberts
      A Downtown Resident

      1. Brooks, I live minutes away from that property and drive by it daily. You mentioned “underserved communities” and what they want. How about focusing on what we need instead. This project is nothing but a gimmick to try to get the mayor reelected taking advantage of gullible suckers. Financially, it’s nonsense. I notice you don’t mention how or who should pay for the project and frankly I suspect you don’t have a clue.

  21. The highway 99 corridor is costing Edmonds the must time do too crime. How would Edmonds be prepared to monitor this business? Why not enclose Yost pool and expand park grounds on property Edmonds already owns?

  22. Please please re-paint the tennis courts and update the nets …..they are in dismal shape !!!
    Focus on maintenance and updates instead of giant $$ boondoggles that increase our property taxes.

  23. The Citizen’s Economic Development Commission will be holding a walking tour Wednesday at 6 pm. Here is the link to information relating to that tour. Note that the last stop on the tour is at the Landmark site.

    We always have time to “Let our fingers do the Talking” but this time you can show up at the site and learn more about it. The word is several council members will be at the entire meeting starting at 6. Great opportunity to meet and talk with CMs and learn more about the Landmark site.

    Bottom line is we have an interesting opportunity that may have the ability to attract grants or other revenue sources to do something unique.

    If walking is a concern, there will be parking at each of the stops. Let’s get off our keyboard and get to the sites to learn.

    1. Unfortunately, I’m unable to make the tour because I’m working but it would have loved to ask some straightforward questions to the CM’s about financing to see if they even have a clue.

      Darrol, in your bottom line you interestingly omitted the unique opportunity to have the city go deeply in debt, ruin its credit rating, and substantially increase the taxes on the local citizens. Opps…

      1. No Brian, I did not “interestingly omit the “unique” opportunity to …..! What I said deals with grants and other revenue sources to so something unique. There is a difference!!

        It is not unique at all that our elected officials have us go into dept and touch our credit rating and increase our taxes. One only needs to look at our capital plan to see all the things the city could do to bring about the bad things you point out. I could give you many things from the cap program that would cause the problems you suggest.

        Sorry you will not be able to be on the walk. I would like to meet you to say hello.

        I am sure there will be some good follow up comments and discussions. Since this is a Citizens Economic Development Commission meeting the notes will be part of the public record and will be posted as minutes for the meeting. Stay tuned.

  24. Brian, I too have questions about financing. First some basics. City revenues come from a number of sources, but the property tax portion is $.96/1000 or $480 for a $500k home. To raise $1m the tax would be $.06/1000 or about $300 for a $500k home. To pay the $37m with a 4 yr levy would cost us about the same as we pay for Fire and EMS today. Elected officials like to issue bonds to spread the cost over more years but that actually adds to the overall cost. $10m actually costs $18m when financed over 20 years.

    Our $.96/1000 contributes about $15m to the general fund. Our taxpayers have approved the use of about $.64/1000 to pay for Fire and EMS services. Those funds along with what our insurance companies pay to transport us to the hospital pay the $10m contract.

    Brian, unless there are grants or other revenue sources, it would be hard to see taxpayers voting for a levy to pay for this purchase.

    1. Darrol, thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree grants or other revenue sources will be the only way to make this purchasing scheme viable. The 37 million is only a down payment to purchase the property, it will take probably double that to develop and maintain the public amenities which will not be revenue producing. Good luck raising tens of a millions of dollars in gifts and grants in short order.

  25. My understanding is the $100,000 was basically a loan of city funds to the seller at 0 interest for 6mos. in exchange for not offering the land up for sale to anyone else during that period. After 6mos., the deal is we get the 100K back if we say, “no longer interested.” On the other hand, if we say we still want first right to buy for a year, we get that right, except the seller keeps the $100,000 whether we complete the sale or not and, if we do buy, that money doesn’t go against the sale. I’m no real estate expert but I guarantee you, I would never go for a deal like that on a real estate purchase. If I’m wrong about this arrangement I would welcome being corrected by any knowledgeable source.

    1. Clint, go to link: More complete details were presented to the Economic Development Commission about the agreement. At the bottom you will see a couple of pages showing the financials. Basically, it says. $100k paid to hold our position for 6 months. If we stop in that period we get our $100k back. If we go to the next step, we pay $1m more to keep the deal alive for a year. If we walk away during that year we lose the $1m and the original $100k. Other work has been done and paid for already. More work would need to be done and paid for before closing in 2025. The next step will be when council is asked to fund the $250k for the consultant work over the next few months. That will come to council next Tuesday.

      MEN was on the walk around with the EDC on Wed evening. Not sure if they are going to do a story. Besides the 9 member EDC, 4 council members were present and about 14-16 people. We had a few kids and 2 dogs for the walk around. Nice evening.

      1. Yikes Darrol, then it’s even a worse situation than I thought. If we do a Connector flash Mob action and kill the deal at the last minute we lose 1.1M, rather than just the 100K and the misappropriated (if it happens) 250,000K.

        Council, for heavens sake wake up, do your job, and take action next week. We need to kill his Pig with lipstick all over it before it’s the next town disaster.

  26. As of today, accessing the poll by “clicking this link” above leads to no login and one simple question with “Other” as an option. Opinion may be stated in the box, zipcode added and then “Done” clicked. But the poll seems to allow a person to take the poll and submit it many times! If so, how could this poll be in any way valid? Please validate or invalidate my concern.

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