City council to tour public-private partnership sites Friday

In an effort to learn more about public-private partnerships that could serve as a model for the Landmark 99 site, the Edmonds City Council will be touring three other projects — in Federal Way, Burien and Tukwila — this Friday, Dec. 1.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the tours although must provide their own transportation. The tours will include the following:

10 a.m.-noon: Discussion with Federal Way staff of the TC-3 project
Location: 2nd floor conference room, Performing Arts & Events Center, 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way, Federal Way
Noon-12:30 p.m. Travel to Burien Town Center at 400 S.W. 152nd St. with a brief stop to observe the development from 12:30-12:40 p.m.
12:40-12:50 p.m. Travel to Tukwila Village, 14350 Tukwila International Boulevard, with a brief stop from 12:50-1 p.m. to observe the development

In all cases, councilmembers will be traveling in separate van groups and will not converge to create a quorum.

The councilmembers are scheduled to return to Edmonds City Hall by 2 p.m.

The council is scheduled to decide at its Dec. 5 meeting whether to continue studying the 10-acre Landmark 99 property — now the site of Burlington Coat Factory — for future development or to stop work on the idea. You can read more here.

You can learn more about the Friday meeting on the council agenda webpage here.


  1. Sure seems like this effort is a done deal. No stopping this train. Would love to follow the money to see who is benefiting.

  2. The first thing thing I think when I see pictures of those similar developments is how ugly they are. How very ugly. And traffic would be a nightmare in that bottlenecked neighborhood.

  3. Follow the money, as someone commented. Which developers and construction companies are being considered and what is the quid pro quo. And the resultant traffic snarls will continue for a very long time, perhaps requiring a redesign and construction of the entire Hw99/205th intersection. Most folks who would potentially visit this site as it’s been described so far, will be driving or on public transport, not walking up and down 99, thus adding to the already terrible traffic situation. What this part of Edmonds could really benefit from is a pedestrian only zone with trees and plants, children’s playgrounds and playfields, community gardens, plus restaurants. and a few shops.

  4. What is particularly troubling, is despite having to designate 6M of ARPA rescue funds to pay the fire services contract, the city continues on a land development joy ride. This is basic public safety protection the citizens need. What happens when there is no ARPA money? How will the city pay for future services? The city seems perfectly fine with designating large sums of money during a time of real budget problems to pursue speculative real estate. Addressing this problem with a plan and ignoring basic public safety services to citizens is appalling. Public safety should be number one.

  5. Mike, using ARPA to pay our fire contract is a way to shore up the General Fund. The GF dollars to pay for fire was always there but this was one of the ways to keep the GF expenditures from burning up even more reserves.

  6. Oh boy a field trip for the children. Public/private partnerships are nothing new in most cases a developer approaches the city and sometimes it works out great. Developer holds the majority of the risk. The proposed model has the city carrying the risk for a developer who will be willing to do whatever the city wants at a unbid cost. Welcome to being had. And if doesn’t work out the taxpayers are on the hook. Stupid is as stupid does. I can appreciate the work on what we might want if the right situation presented it self, so we are ready to go when that opportunity comes along. I just don’t see the public value taking market rate risk away from developers. Especially after we have spent our reserves and record revenue and just raised taxes. Oh and they are going on a field trip hope the city kicks in on the cost coffee, donuts, fuel or associated transport, I would suggest they take the light rail or bus or both on their special day. Best for you to know all the challenges ahead. Have fun learn a lot and there will be a test on Tuesday.

  7. I attended the Saturday presentation at the high school where the three visions for the Landmark 99 were shared with attendees. After listening to the presentation and listening to citizen feedback I believe the work that was done was money well spent, but for future implementation not now.

    I consider the property being considered is a bit of a white elephant. Two national companies (Target and Walmart)have considered it and declined it. The ingress and egress is limited and presents a safety issue for the higher volumes of traffic that further development would drive.
    I also believe the property price is at least a 1/3 higher than it’s worth.
    In conclusion I believe the ideas presented are good, but not for the proposed property, and not now. Considering my aforementioned issues with price and location as well as our current budget short fall, I call for the City Council to shelve this proposal for future consideration and concentrate on addressing the budget issues we’re facing. I also encourage the counsel to listen go former Councelmember, Dave Teitzels advice to basically not move forward with this project and instead refocus the revenues that would have been directed to the project to the budget.

  8. I hope the drive route for our elected officials today takes them down Hwy 99, past the St Francis motel and the Golden West motel. I hope they have memorized the police dept’s mapping of crime incidents. I hope they go home tonight and re-read the presentation from Director McLaughlin on how to use the Community Renewal powers the City has. If the City wants to stimulate redevelopment on this short stretch of the state Highway, and if the City wants as much certainty as possible in the process, then condemn the hotels, buy them, raze them, spend the $300K in taxes earmarked for low income housing and help HASCO build low income housing on those 2 parcels. Or ask Bridge Housing to build the project- they are a large low income housing developer based in California who is moving into the Washington market. That approach to stimulating redevelopment will also solve a crime problem. Do you want a regional swim center, community center, or playground at the future Landmark99 neighborhood that is directly across the street from the Golden West?

    1. I like and know what Theresa says is truth. I might suggest tearing down those two motels and instead of housing put the community center they want there. Add some trees and a parklet with benches and picnic tables and maybe a couple of nice little restaurants too. Forget the retail. Use Lake Ballinger and the recently approved Mathay park and there are your 40 + acre parks. Want a rec center maybe buy a couple tear down properties west of 99 and build one. Remember tearing those motels down will decrease the crime in that area. Combine book sales and ordering with Community Center. That would be way more than we have in the rest of the uphill along HWY 99 or anyplace on the uphill. It would cost a lot less and doesn’t take 150 Million plus plus to do it. And that is a small estimate folks. It will cost much more than that to buy and develop Landmark in the way the City planners suggest. Plus ya keep those trees in that area to help with flooding and have a bit of woods walking. And traffic flow is good. IF someone else purchases it for housing Edmonds will still get the property taxes. That help ALL of Edmonds. 7/11 Will Chen for a police annex is a good idea.

  9. From today: Federal Way staff, Mayor, and Council rock. They were gracious hosts, sharing time and information. Much work was (and continues to be) done by staff and City leadership to shepherd this project. It has taken planning, outreach (businesses, community, developers), and work over many years to get to an (almost) development agreement. Their upside (creating a downtown where none exists) is in excess of what we have the opportunity to create on this parcel, making the risk-reward equation more favorable for them than for us. Knowing that the long term plan didn’t include keeping the land, they financed with an interest-only instrument. Good for us to keep this in mind. It is on the brink of development today (fingers crossed and looking good). It has been vacant for 10 years since the purchase with payments made and cost incurred (for one, they demolished the un-used building on it due to graffiti and use for illicit purposes). One of the Councilmembers says that with what she knows now this deep into the venture, she would still vote no if the vote happened again tomorrow. The Tukwila site is closer to what we seek in outcomes. In addition to the offerings their project delivered, through it they also solved a problem in an area where criminal activity was happening at the site.

      1. I’m with you Ron Wambolt. Enough. I after today have no more to say on this subject. I will speak with my pocket book.

    1. Council member Olson, thanks for your timely field trip report. You will be presented some important info at the Dec 5th meeting on the responses to the City Request for an Expression of Interest (RFEI). But that info isn’t in the packet yet. And the RFEI document isn’t on the development industry website where Edmonds publishes RFP’s. There’s no time for citizens to receive a response from a public records request to get that doc. My point is- if you don’t know the questions the developers were asked and the background info they were given about Landmark 99, how can you interpret their response? Doing the RFEI before Council votes on exercising the option agreement and directing the mayor to sign a purchase and sale agreement was appropriate. What I have a problem with is giving the results to Council Monday-ish in an updated packet or as part of a PowerPoint slide presentation in Tues night’s meeting and then expecting Council to use that info to inform their decision. Has the whole Council already made up their mind on how they’ll vote?

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