Lakepointe is a 52-acre industrial site at the mouth of the Sammamish River and Lake Washington which the city of Kenmore has been hoping to see developed for nearly three decades. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Lakepointe is a 52-acre industrial site at the mouth of the Sammamish River and Lake Washington which the city of Kenmore has been hoping to see developed for nearly three decades. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Kenmore approves draft Lakepointe parameters

The draft agreement provides a broad range of options for the city and developer to explore

The plan to develop on the Lakepointe property in Kenmore took another step forward at a city council meeting last week as the city reviewed a parameter agreement with developers.

Lakepointe is a 52-acre industrial site at the mouth of the Sammamish River and Lake Washington that has also served as a landfill in the past. The city of Kenmore has been eyeing the land for development for decades, but the last major attempt to develop it failed in the early 2000s after the collapse of the dot-com bubble. At an Oct. 22 meeting, the Kenmore City Council reviewed a parameter agreement between the city and Kirkland-based developer Weidner Apartment Homes.

The agreement provides outlines for negotiations and planning moving forward, including setting a range for the number of housing units and square footage that will be built. It does not bind the city or developer to any specific actions.

Several Kenmore residents spoke at the meeting, including local environmentalist Elizabeth Mooney, who questioned whether the state Department of Ecology had given the go-ahead for the project to proceed and what toxins were in the soil stemming from its former use as a landfill.

Questions from other speakers included whether the bridge on 68th Avenue Northeast had capacity for a new development, and if it did, whether the state would provide funding for a replacement. One speaker asked whether the power grid was capable of supporting the development and if a new substation would have to be constructed. One representative from the nearby Kenmore Air, which runs a hangar and floatplane business on Lake Washington, said the proposed development at Lakepointe was incompatible with their business. Council does not respond during public comment periods.

Included in the parameter agreement are ranges of design intensity that will be explored. The number of residential units could be between 1,000 and 1,600. Office and commercial space could be between 550,000 and 650,000 square feet while there could be between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet of retail, including waterfront restaurants. According to the agreement, Weidner will try and break ground on the first phase of construction by 2022 and finish by 2024.

The total cost to develop the Lakepointe property has been pegged at $1.5 billion. Because of this high cost, any development would likely require a public-private partnership, Kenmore city manager Rob Karlinsey told the Reporter in previous coverage. According to a feasibility benefits study completed earlier this year, which weighed the total estimated economic benefits to the developers against costs, there is a roughly $155 million gap between the two. The study found that Weidner would take this as a loss if it developed Lakepointe on its own. A public-private partnership would let the city help fill that gap.

This could be done by granting Weidner tax credits and exemptions to help offset costs. The city could offer the developer a multi-family property tax exemption from city property taxes for 12 years, with the length dependant on how many affordable units it created. If streets and public parks are created, the city could give the developer credits to offset impact fees.

These measures would make up half of the funding gap and Karlinsey previously said he hopes the state would make up the rest.

This story was clarified to reflect the fact that the council did not approve the agreement but gave feedback to staff on what they would like to see in it.

More in News

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Bellevue residents Marko and Karla Ilicic play a hockey game in the Topgolf Swing Suite inside Forum Social House. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Forum Social House opens in Bellevue

Eastside gets new nightclub, mini golf, swing suites.

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo
Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of
King County could bump up Metro electrification deadlines

Transportation generates nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2020 State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Office of the Governor)
Gov. Inslee delivers State of the State Address

By Leona Vaughn, WNPA News Service OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee stood… Continue reading

A 50-minute film called “Spawning Grounds,” which documents the effort to save a freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish, is finally ready for its debut in North Bend on Jan. 18. (Screenshot from film)
Spawning Grounds: Lake Sammamish kokanee documentary premieres Jan. 18

The film tracks the ‘all hands on deck’ effort to save the little red fish from extinction.

Mason Thompson, Davina Duerr and James McNeal being sworn in at the Jan. 7 Bothell City Council meeting. Photo courtesy city of Bothell
Olsen, Zornes now Bothell mayor, deputy mayor; councilmembers sworn in

The appointments occurred at the Jan. 7 Bothell City Council meeting.

Northshore School District cancels school Monday due to snow

The decision process for closing or delaying school follows a strict guideline.

Most Read