I spoke with Don Moody from CB Richard Ellis yesterday. He was hired by the Pierre brothers to work out a 10 to 15 year plan for redeveloping their 14 acres of property in Lake City ( see the map here. ) They are at the start of a 2 year process of developing this plan. The stated intent is to develop their properties in a way that helps set the course for the redevelopment of the Lake City business district.
Don Moody has hired an urban planning consultant who is also a part time professor in the Urban Planning department at UW. Her name is Marty Curry. The intent is for her to act as coordinator of a group of UW students over a 2 to 3 quarter special topics class focusing on creating a comprehensive plan for the Pierre properties and, by extension, the future development of Lake City. She will be speaking at the North District Council meeting next Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm at the Lake City Library.
Once the special topics class starts at the UW, they will have "design charrettes" at 6 week intervals with the Lake City community to collect input from us on our vision of the future Lake City. After the UW students have completed this process, the results will be provided to a professional urban planning/ architecture firm to refine. Parts of the plan will then be submitted to the city for a master use permit, and there will then be more public review opportunities to comment on design.
This will be a long process, but well worth the effort. Once a building is constructed it will likely be there for 50+ years.
For what it is worth, a few thoughts:
The parcels around the intersection of 127th and 30th and how they are developed will set the tone for our neighborhood. Kenmore and Bothell have both been working on developing walkable civic / retail districts that are a few blocks off of SR522 ( Lake City Way ) and it may be good to compare what they are doing to what we could have. Putting the "storefront" up along LCW and make the main entrance along 30th creates a sound break, a continuity of design along LCW, and a walkable retail street one block in.
A multi level parking garage would take the burden off developers to provide surface parking for retailers. One thought would be to use the site where the Pierre Body Shop is in the SW quadrant of 30th and 127th to create a 4 level garage with a new community center and an outdoor movie theater on the top deck.
The Panos property ( Ace HW, Grocery Outlet ) is almost equal in area to the Pierre properties around that intersection. It may be helpful to work with them as part of this process. The LCW frontage could be redeveloped to be up to the lot line to continue the business district "storefront" look, along with a pedestrian friendly 30th ave side.
It would be nice to also keep some of the light industry in the area and build off it. There is a niche real estate market out there for artisans / makers / tinkerers / light industrial and assembly companies, and I think they would be a positive addition to the neighborhood.