Moving forward with plans to realign the intersection of state routes 522 and 527 and Main Street, Bothell officials have purchased, or are in negotiations with, four more businesses that will need to close and/or relocate in order to make the project happen.
The targeted businesses include Tina’s Nails, Bothell Ski and Bike and G&R Auto Sales, all located in the 17800 or 17900 block of Bothell Way Northeast (map).
A fourth business included in the current round of negotiations was given by Bothell Public Information Officer Joyce Goedeke as Maklonado Auto Repair.
At its Dec. 16 meeting, City Council adopted a motion that could lead to the condemnation of all four properties. However, Councilwoman Tris Samberg quickly pointed out Bothell officials were not trying to be heavy handed about gaining the needed land.
Samberg said the condemnation action is needed in order for the affected business owners to take advantage of certain tax breaks.
Also speaking at the Dec. 16 council sessions, Assistant City Manager Terrie Battuello added the city has purchased only one of the four properties and still is in negotiations with owners of the other three. She named a roughly $2 million purchase price for G&R Auto Sales. Despite some briefly expressed sticker shock on the part of a few council members, legislators voted to move the realignment project forward.
The sale of the car lot should close by the end of the year at the request of the owner, according to Battuello. But Goedeke later pointed out that none of the businesses involved will close immediately after their acquisition by the city. She said that as has been the case with other businesses purchased to make way for the realignment, the city plans to lease the land to the businesses involved until officials are ready to move forward with the overall project.
Formally tagged by the city as the Bothell Crossroads project, the realignment is intended at least partly to reduce traffic congestion at the SR 522/527 intersection by extending the latter street after SR 522 is moved one block south. The work also makes way for the city to extend Main Street to the west.
Bothell Senior Planner Dave Boyd has described the current intersection of Main Street and the state routes as extremely awkward, adding the realignment will create a “T”-shaped intersection.
During a previous discussion of the project in July, city officials talked about the realignment possibly being the catalyst for $670 million in private mixed-use development, potentially including the creation of more than 1,300 jobs and 2,700 residential units in a greatly revamped downtown.
Also in July, the city executed two purchase agreements for properties totaling $1.7 million. In January, Bothell arranged to buy the Bothell Landing retail strip for $6.4 million using dollars provided by the state. Once officials complete the latest round of purchases, Mayor Mark Lamb said Bothell will own the “vast majority” of the property it needs to make the Crossroads project happen.
In the past, city officials have projected work on the Crossroads to begin in 2010.