The developers of Kelsey Creek Shopping Center officially broke ground on a massive redevelopment on Thrusday, June 9, that Brian Franklin, executive manager of the developer, PMF Investments, says will open later this year.
General contractor S.D.Deacon, of Belleuve, planned to bring in equipment to the site today and to begin demolition of the parking lot to make way for revamping a culvert system that Kelsey Creek runs through beneath the site. Franklin said that just the site and development work, not including renovation of a vacant building and construction of additional retail structures, is expected to cost between $8 million and $9 million.
At the groundbreaking, Franklin, the son of Nat Franklin, who has owned the property since 1988, thanked the city of Bellevue and the East Bellevue Community Council for helping the development find solutions to allow the long-slated project move forward. Project engineers Barghausen Consulting Engineers Inc. has been working on the project for seven years, said David Segal, a project engineer working on the project.
The city council on Monday approved incentives that would give the shopping center developers to reduce impact fees in exchange for
Also on hand was city councilman John Chelminiak, who said that the council tries to look at the unique challenges of each individual site in making decisions, such as a development agreement that the council approved Monday night, which defers fees associated with the project provided the developer has tenants in place by an agreed upon date.
“To me, what was key was A, it got the development going and B, it was tied to a performance measure,” Chelminiak said. The agreement was approved by a council vote of 5 – 2, he said, with council members Kevin Wallace and Jennifer Robertson voting against it.
Though Franklin said the developers aren’t prepared to release the names of tenants for several more weeks, a health club use has been approved for half of the former K-Mart location.
Franklin urged community members to continue to support the local businesses that already are located in the center during construction, acknowledging that it could be a difficult time for those businesses during the parking lot construction, when access to the site could be limited.
“We know there will be times when it will be frustrating,” Franklin said, both for the tenants and for residents who will have to deal with road revisions that are included in the project, such as adding a turn lane near the center on 148th Ave NE. “The more people can support the tenants that are here, it can help them see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Michael Chen, an architect with Group Mackenzie, which is designing the project, said that in addition to renovating the former K-Mart building and replacing the facades of both of the main buildings, a 5,000-square-foot addition will be constructed on the north side of the currently vacant building and another standalone retail building will be constructed along Main Street, adjacent to a separately owned former gas station. He said the materials used in the new facades will include steel, sheet metal, and heavy timber, giving the whole site a “facelift.”
After lifting ceremonial shovels of dirt with representatives from the city, the community council, and the companies involved in the ongoing work on the project, Franklin said, “Hopefully we’ll be back here this winter for a grand opening.”