Despite recession, Bothell sees growth

During a recent breakfast meeting of the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce, Bothell Community Development Director Bill Wiselogle argued that despite the economic turmoil of recent times, the city has plenty on tap in terms of private development.

Rising up at the corner of Main Street and 104th Avenue Northwest

During a recent breakfast meeting of the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce, Bothell Community Development Director Bill Wiselogle argued that despite the economic turmoil of recent times, the city has plenty on tap in terms of private development.

Both during and after his speech to the chamber, Wiselogle hit on numerous projects, from the planned Safeway on Bothell Everett Highway to residential construction on Ross Road. Here are a few of the highlights:

Safeway

Yes, there is a “for sale” sign in front of the property previously earmarked for a new Safeway supermarket.

But Wiselogle said there is every reason to believe a new store and surrounding retail and residential development is still on its way.

While he declined to be identified, an agent for Coast Realty said the property for sale is adjacent to the proposed location of the new Safeway.

“Our client doesn’t own the Safeway property,” he said, adding that to his knowledge, the Safeway land is not for sale.

Neither Safeway or officials of developer Cascade Commercial Property Inc., returned requests for comment.

According to Wiselogle, the Safeway project is, at least for now, a victim of the current economy.

“Money is just difficult to come by these days,” he said.

Wiselogle added Safeway is in discussions with property owners to the south of its project site. Although he did not provide specifics, Wiselogle said Safeway and the adjacent owners had several issues they have been attempting to work through. While he once more expressed confidence a supermarket will appear on the hillside, Wiselogle did not venture to offer a timetable for the project.

Downtown Bothell

Although plenty of attention has been paid to the planned redevelopment of the downtown and adjacent areas, Wiselogle and others said there are at least a couple of projects moving forward now, again despite the tough economy.

At the corner of Main Street and 104th Avenue Northeast, Wiselogle identified the new building going up as the future home of the Sobczak/Wencel dental clinic. He offered no further details and developers did not return a phone call.

Near the opposite end of downtown, also on Main, Wiselogle said the still new Moss building is ready for occupancy. A chiropractic clinic, a sushi restaurant, an engineering firm and a counselor are set as tenants for the 12,000-square-foot building.

The Moss building sits a few doors away from the intersection of Main with state routes 522 and 527.

Canyon Park

This just might be the busiest spot in the city for development at present. According to Wiselogle the city only recently issued permits for three new buildings to be added to the Woodlands Technology Center in the Canyon Park Business Center.

Wiselogle said plans call for two seven-story buildings, one five-story building and a nine-story parking structure. He quickly noted the stories on the parking garage won’t be equal in height to those of the office structures, meaning the parking facility won’t tower over its neighbors.

According to a press release from Canyon Park owner TIAA-CREF, what’s known as Phase Two of the Woodlands project will encompass a total of 620,000 square feet, not counting the parking structure.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood of Canyon Park, construction seems to have just gotten under way for a new Key Bank location at the corner of 211th Street Southeast and Bothell-Everett Highway, adjacent to Bothell’s Fred Meyer location.

Also in the area of Canyon Park, along Interstate 405, work is further along and proceeding on construction of what Wiselogle said will be a Hilton Inn.

The company did not return a phone call requesting comment and apparently no timetable for the opening of the hotel has been made public. The building sits basically between 405 and the existing Outback restaurant.

General optimism

Wiselogle isn’t the only local leader who feels Bothell’s business base will come out of the current economic recession in sound condition.

“The city seems to be fiscally responsible,” said Bothell chamber Chairman Dale Amundsen of Evergreen-Washelli. “They are forward looking.”

Amundsen said Bothell hardly was immune to the economic slump. For example, he assumes the owners of the Moss building wanted to lease their space more quickly than has proved possible.

“I still think hopeful things are happening,” Amundsen said.

Head of the Downtown Merchants Association, Leigh Henderson of Alexa’s Cafe on Main, said she is happy with how the downtown has weathered the recession, and is excited about what comes next.

She did emphasize she was speaking for herself and not the merchant’s group.

“I’m very positive about things,” Henderson said, adding her restaurants, both here and elsewhere, have continued to do well.

“We’re lucky … people have to eat,” Henderson joked.


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