Bellevue developer working on projects in dowtown Covington
By KRIS HILL
Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor
August 8, 2012 · Updated 11:27 AM
A Bellevue-based developer is assembling some chunks of land in Covington with the idea of bringing Red Canoe Credit Union to the city.
Pacland, which is operating in Covington as Covington Investments II, LLC, owns a parcel on the west side of Wax Road Southeast across from MultiCare, said Covington’s Community Development Director Richard Hart. In a related project, Firestone is building a new store, which is wedged in between Pacland’s property and the am/pm convenience store and Arco gas station. Michael Crowson of Pacland said his firm has been involved in Covington for five years now since it acquired the property where Firestone is under construction.
“At about the same time, we purchased a residential home on 270th and Wax Road,” Crowson said. “Originally we picked up those couple of properties to assemble a full three acres on the corner. We essentially entitled a bank and an office building at the time (between 2007 and 2009).”
Those original plans changed, though, Crowson explained.
“Essentially when the recession and financing fell out of the market in 2009 the office building wasn’t going to come to fruition,” Crowson said. “So we opted to abandon the assemblage idea and essentially listed the property separately for development. We hired CBC which is a real estate brokerage office and they secured Firestone.”
The tire store is slated to open in the fall quarter, possibly in mid to late November. Hart said that in order for the developer to assemble the land needed for the credit union the City Council needed to approve a street vacation where there’s an old storm water pond Covington had planned to surplus, which it did in late July.
“What we’ve done is since we own the house on the corner, we wanted to acquire the city’s surplus property and a portion of the unused right of way,” Crowson said. “We wanted to do that to ultimately to attempt to develop the property into commercial with accordance with the current zoning which is commercial downtown zone and that’s what we’re working on right now is finalizing the acquisition of those properties with the recent approval by City Council.”
The hearing examiner, Hart said, recommended the Covington City Council approve the vacation.
“Red Canoe has indicated to the developer that they’re interested in locating on that site,” Hart said. “We have held a pre-application meeting with Mr. Crowson about a layout but it’s only a pre-application. So, we’ve given him comments, but until he assemblies of his properties he won’t submit a site plan.”
Crowson discussed with the city’s community development staff what zoning is on the site, specifically if it would permit a bank and a drive through, which the existing zoning does allow Hart said.
Crowson added that Red Canoe is under contract with Pacland so the proposed construction of a branch on that corner which is in the feasibility stage. It’s too soon, Crowson said, to outline a construction timeline because Pacland needs to complete acquisitions from the city, develop a site plan and design the future development. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few challenges involved for the developer, Hart said.
“That whole corner is a difficult piece of land because there’s a couple of single family dwellings,” he said. “There’s this old storm water pond and there’s this funny winding road that goes around Walmart. You could have better road circulation there.”
Crowson said his firm has had a good relationship with Covington thus far, including when it worked on developing Skagen Plaza which is home to the Rock Wood Fired Pizza among other businesses.
“We’ve enjoyed working in the city and essentially watching the evolution of the city of Covington and its commitment to accept the retailers in the market,” Crowson said. “The past couple of years it’s been enjoyable to work with the city staff and the city leaders in shaping the community.”
Contact Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor Kris Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 432-1209, ext. 5054.