Kenmore’s Lakepointe development talks collapse

A representative of the potential developer said it may be close to being dead.

  • Monday, November 12, 2018 3:44pm
  • Business

Talks between the property developer Weidner Apartment Homes and the city of Kenmore about the Lakepointe development project were suspended as of Nov. 1 according to a press release from the city sent out last Nov. 9.

The city had previously been in discussion with Weidner to create a development plan. Lakepointe sits on more than 50 acres currently being used as an industrial site on a spit of land at the mouth of the Sammamish River where it meets Lake Washington. The property is largely vacant and plans to develop on it have been considered over the past few decades.

City officials were not available Nov. 12 due to Veterans Day, and this report will be updated online as soon as more information is available. Formal negotiations with Weidner have been stopped and the city’s press release stated it will continue to discuss the future of the property with Lakepointe’s owner, city residents and evaluate the possibility of a future public-private partnership.

“We appreciate Weidner’s time and resources that they have put into exploring Lakepointe’s development potential,” city manager Rob Karlinsey said in the statement. “Mr. Weidner and his team have been fantastic to work with and have provided valuable and practical insight and perspective. We know a lot more about what it’s going to take for a successful Lakepointe development to happen.”

The Reporter has submitted a public records request for communications between the city and Weidner, as well as between the city and another business in the area that had expressed concerns about potential plans in a draft parameter agreement the Kenmore City Council was presented with before the cessation of talks with the developer. However a representative of Weidner, who wished to remain anonymous, said the project had completely stalled.

“I don’t know if it’s dead in the water, but it’s starting to drift that way,” he said during a Monday interview.

The Weidner representative would not give specific reasons for talks stalling, but said the $1.5 billion project’s complexity was part of it. Weidner has spent millions in studies of the property, but the representative said it was not coming together as they had hoped.

“It just seems like some of the major topics or items that we had been involved in conversation with had been kind of a stalemate,” he said. “It just didn’t seem like the pieces were landing in the right place.”

Kenmore has been trying to find ways to develop on the former Washington State Department of Transportation landfill since 1989. A previous failed effort ended in the early 2000s after the dot-com crash and a portion of the land is currently being leased by the nearby concrete company CalPortland as a storage facility.

A feasibility study was completed in August for the most recent effort. Weidner had been working with the city for around three years to figure out a way forward. Additionally, Kenmore council had given staff direction on a draft parameter agreement for the project on Oct. 22.

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