By Jack Stubbs
There are several projects shaping Woodinville—a city which is adjacent to the growing cities of Bothell and Kenmore and roughly six miles north of Redmond—and another recent sale indicates that the city continues to be targeted as an area for further investment and transaction activity.
On June 27th, in a sale that was recently recorded, eight parcels—comprising roughly thirteen acres of vacant commercial land—sold for $16.2 million, public documents show. The buyer, Wood Mountain LLC, shares the same address in Kirkland as Wachtler Marshall, a construction company that focuses on a wide range of residential development projects. The seller, Woodinville Village Partners LLC, shares the same address as Legacy Commercial, a property management company based in Bellevue.
It is not entirely clear what plans the buyer has for the recently-acquired parcels, which are described in public documents as “Woodinville Village vacant land.” The parcels are proximate to the site— at 14485 Woodinville-Redmond Rd.—of where another transaction occurred last fall. In September 2018, 13 parcels of vacant land in Woodinville sold for just under $16.2 million, with Kirkland-based Windward Real Estate Services acquiring the property from Legacy Commercial based in Bellevue.
The recently-sold parcels are also adjacent to where an approximately 24-acre master-plan development is in the works: Woodinville Wine Village, located at 14419-14421 Woodinville-Redmond Rd., is a mixed-use village that could ultimately comprise over 750,000 square feet of residential, office, retail and wineries, according to MJR Development’s web site. Tiscareno and Associates is the master-plan architect on the project, which would add 20 buildings to the site. Woodinville Village will also include three mixed-use residential buildings designed by Weber Thompson.
There are several design-related hurdles and land-use issues that need to be overcome before Woodinville Village can become a realty, however. “Woodinville Village is a unique wine themed mixed-use retail and commercial village located in one of Washington’s premier living and tourist destinations,” MJR Development’s web site states. “The land that comprises Woodinville Village needed to be assembled, master planned and rezoned to support this mixed-use village concept. In addition, environmental approvals needed to be obtained and traffic improvements needed to be designed and implemented,” the web site states. “The work on this site was tricky, due to the proximity to the Sammamish River and the many constraints of the site’s location.”
A number of commercial transactions that have recorded in Woodinville over the last few quarters demonstrate how the city is on the verge of change. In September 2018, the Sunrise Building, an office/warehouse property located at 14051 NE 200th St., north of the Woodinville Town Center, sold for $10.625 million, or approximately $159 per square foot, with Redmond-based technology company Redapt Inc. acquiring the property from RH Sunrise LLC based in Seattle.
In the Puget Sound region, where the decisions of companies continue to vary depending on their present and future needs, it appears as though the same is true for Woodinville. Just one month after Strasser Woodenworks signed renewed a 35,800 square foot lease at The Park at Woodinville—a five-building, Class A warehouse property—Newport Beach, CA-based KBS sold the five-building property for just over $47 million. KBS purchased the property in October 2014 for $29.69 million and invested $2.7 million in capital improvements which were acquired on behalf of a sovereign wealth client, according to a statement released by the company.
On July 1st, San Francisco-based Newmark Realty Capital, Inc. arranged $65 million in permanent financing for the Downtown Woodinville Shopping Center, a multi-tenant complex home to a number of retailers including Target, Haggen Grocer and AMC Theater.
In early May, as part of an expansion in the Puget Sound region, Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Loja Real Estate spent $12.86 million to acquire three buildings within Woodinville’s Woodgate Shopping Center—located at 13300 and 13400 NE 175th St.—from Seattle-based TRF Pacific.
And while a number of recent transactions suggest that Woodinville continues to be seen as an area ripe for commercial investment activity, longer-standing projects, also, continue to gather momentum. In late June 2019, Kirkland-based MainStreet Property Group LLC—alongside its project partners HAL Real Estate and the City of Woodinville—announced the start of the Woodinville Civic Campus Schoolhouse Restoration Project, construction on which is slated to be complete by Winter 2021.
Along with the preservation of the existing schoolhouse (originally built in 1909 and located at 13203 NE 175th St. just west of the city’s Town Center) the mixed-use development will look to retain and restore approximately 8,000 square feet of the on-site YMCA and create an additional 6,000 square feet of community recreation space. Additionally, the project calls for over 20,000 square feet of proposed retail, commercial and restaurant space and between 260 and 275 multifamily residential units. The Civic Campus project will also include more than 30,000 square feet of open space comprised of an outdoor movie viewing area, an interactive garden, a performance stage and a community lawn and plaza, among other uses.
Woodinville is in the midst of a period of change, and the recent ground-breaking marks the latest chapter in the evolution of the schoolhouse restoration, a particularly collaborative undertaking which sits at the epicenter of an evolving city. “Saving and restoring the Old Woodinville School has been a nearly 20-year effort fraught with challenges. We couldn’t be more excited to see it finally moving forward. It wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for MainStreet Property Group,” said Woodinville City Manager Brandon Buchanan at the time of the groundbreaking. “They have been amazing partners in designing a project that meets our goal of not only saving the Schoolhouse but creating an amazing public space in our downtown.”
Part of an expanding Pacific Northwest Region, investors and developers in Woodinville are also looking to use satellite locations in the city as a jumping-off point for expansion further afield, as well. In April 2018, Woodinville Whiskey Company (WWC) announced its decision to expand its geographical distribution beyond its Washington State home—WWC brought its craft whiskies to California in late April 2018 and Oregon in mid-2018 in a move that reflects Woodinville’s growing importance within the ever-expanding Puget Sound region.
“Brett Carlile and I have built Woodinville with a very concentrated and deliberate approach to the markets we enter. We are very excited to expand our reach outside of Washington state and share our whiskies with our friends along the West Coast,” said Orlin Sorensen, managing director and co-founder of WWC at the time of the announcement.
As underway- and completed-projects—such as the Woodinville Wine Village project; the WWC expansion and the ongoing restoration of the early 20th century-era schoolhouse demonstrate—continue to move forward, infrastructural capital improvement projects also are contributing to an evolving area. Some of the city’s in-the-works programs include the Sammamish Bridge Replacement Project located at the corner of 131st Avenue NE and Woodinville-Redmond Road, and the revitalization of Deyoung Park, which was completed in Summer of 2018.
According to the city’s web site, Woodinville also continues to add updates to the 2019 Shoreline Master Program (SMP), and is periodically reviewing the SMP to ensure that it stays current with state and local plans and regulations.