By Meghan Hall
They say good things take time, and a sizable development in the Washington city of Kenmore is making progress after more than 30 years of planning. Last year, Vector Development Company submitted plans to redevelop 52 acres of property along Lake Washington. The property is known as the largest underdeveloped property in the City of Kenmore.
The site is composed of several paracels located at 6525 NE 175th Street. The development has been dubbed Kenmore Lakepoint by the development team and will include about two million square feet of mixed-use space, including office, retail, hospitality and more.
Project documents indicate that about 1.8 million square feet will be specifically garnered towards Class A office space, plus related parking structures. 100,000 square feet of retail is also planned, as are two hotels totaling 350 keys. Other features of the project include Liberty Beach, which Vector Development describes as a “new, enhanced, publicly accessible shoreline area.”
“Liberty Beach will provide an expansive green space and thousands of feet of waterfront including a boat-up dock and a roped-off swimming area,” project documents state. “As envisioned, Liberty Beach will be one of the largest waterfront parks on Lake Washington and will be a major attraction for families, boaters, swimmers, and those looking to enjoy Lake Washington. Two connections to the Burke Gilman trail are planned to provide trail users the opportunity to enjoy Lakepointe’s waterfront and amenities.”
Design documents produced by Collinswoerman show that the project will be broken into several different districts, and that the layout will drive different design principles for the project. The Inlet District will connect to a number of different transportation networks, including the King County Fast Ferry Terminal and Kenmore Air, while the Peninsula District will connect to greater Seattle and Lake Washington. The Inland District will have the highest development density of any of the districts, and a mix of pedestrian and vehicular orientation. Conversely, the River District will be “restorative and naturalized,” and the Village Center will operate as the development’s most pedestrian-oriented segment.
The project will also include a number of site work improvements related to transportation, sewers and more. All buildings will meet Washington State Energy Code requirements, and will balance urban development with the project’s proximity to nature.
“Vector strongly believes in responsible developments through the protection of natural aquatic habitat and bird wildlife which also add to the human experience of the development,” the company explains in its plans. “We believe the strongest solutions for organic municipal growth involve job creation, an increase in quality of life for citizens, and reasonable development solutions mindful of our natural wildlife.”
The City of Kenmore states on its website that the Lakepoint proposal is far from new, and potential development for the site has been under review since 1989. At the time, the potential project was incorporated into the Northshore Community Plan, which was formally adopted in 1993 by the King County Council. In subsequent years, the City worked with developers to garner “extensive” community feedback as to what development of the site would look like.
“Because of the property’s size and proximity to Lake Washington, the Sammamish River, and State Route 522, the City recognizes the importance and magnitude of such a project,” states the City on its landing page. “Development of this property is not a surprise; the City’s Comprehensive Plan has planned for and anticipated development on this property for some time.”
However, the development team has a ways to go before construction can begin. Currently, the project is in the early design stages, and further research is being done on the project’s feasibility and future uses. The City expects that it will be some time before all planning, review, public participation and permitting will be complete.
As of this writing, Vector Development had not yet returned The Registry’s request for comment.