Pop apartment easement talks to continue in Bothell

City council will not sell property below appraisal price.

The Bothell City Council voted to alter the asking price on a potential agreement with the developers of The Pop — a building of 122 apartment units situated adjacent to Pop Keeney Stadium and McMenamins Anderson School. The contract called for granting a needed temporary easement space for below appraisal price.

On Sept. 10, the agreement was presented before council. Council members Liam Olsen, Jeanne Zornes, James McNeal, Davina Duerr all voted to raise the amount being charged to $24.23 per square foot, up from $14.45, which was a fair amount determined by the staff department, according to city documents. Rosemary McAuliffe and Tom Agnew voted against raising the price.

The difference in the two prices is about $50,000 that would come to the city, city manager Jennifer Phillips told council.

Zornes said the building benefits by using the easement space for building instead of coming in and out of their structure. She vocalized being comfortable in asking that full appraisal of $24.23.

“We fought very hard to get Horse Creek to where it was,” Zornes said. “Part of that fight was protecting Horse Creek from being encroached.”

Both McAuliffe and Agnew said they agreed with what city staff recommended to be a fair price.

MainStreet Property Group purchased the lot in 2016 and the following year began construction on the mixed-use development that includes the apartments and 12,500 square feet of commercial space.

City documents state that MainStreet was “encouraged to integrate their building” with the open space provided by the Horse Creek Plaza next door. As a result, the east side of the building currently has a zero-foot setback next to the property owned by the city.

It was discovered that MainStreet lacked the needed 30 feet of free space required by building code. The new building requires the use of dedicated public space, in order to comply and construct the needed pedestrian and emergency improvements. And since January, the city has been in discussions over a solution.

As part of the contract, developers would also pay the city an additional $50,895 to compensate the city for anticipated costs of removing the temporary improvements and constructing permanent ones as part of the build out of the plaza.

Contract talks will continue, as The Pop project is still under construction and nearing completion.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected to state that the city of Bothell is granting developers the temporary easement.