Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Development Project

As many Islanders know, the main Park & Ride on North Mercer Way typically fills with vehicles by 7:00am on weekdays, making it difficult for some commuters to use regional bus transit to Seattle or Bellevue. Sound Transit, which operates the Park & Ride, is not allowed to reserve a portion of the facility solely for Island residents.

In recent years, the City has heard consistent requests for better access to transit and for more commuter parking dedicated for residents. This project proposes to address the problem by constructing a City-owned commuter parking facility with at least 100 stalls adjacent to the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station, prior to its opening in 2023.

In partnership with a private developer, the new facility located at/near the site of the old Tully‘s Coffeeshop would also include a mixed-use residential/commercial structure based on the City’s Town Center vision and code, and potentially house performance space for MICA, the proposed Mercer Island Center for the Arts.

(Click for detailed parcel map)

As many Islanders know, the main Park & Ride on North Mercer Way typically fills with vehicles by 7:00am on weekdays, making it difficult for some commuters to use regional bus transit to Seattle or Bellevue. Sound Transit, which operates the Park & Ride, is not allowed to reserve a portion of the facility solely for Island residents.

In recent years, the City has heard consistent requests for better access to transit and for more commuter parking dedicated for residents. This project proposes to address the problem by constructing a City-owned commuter parking facility with at least 100 stalls adjacent to the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station, prior to its opening in 2023.

In partnership with a private developer, the new facility located at/near the site of the old Tully‘s Coffeeshop would also include a mixed-use residential/commercial structure based on the City’s Town Center vision and code, and potentially house performance space for MICA, the proposed Mercer Island Center for the Arts.

(Click for detailed parcel map)

  • City Expected To Close On Town Center Property For Commuter Parking & Mixed-Use Project Based On Environmental Clean-Up Agreement

    6 days ago
    Commuter parking map thumbnail

    Nov 14, 2019 – The City of Mercer Island is moving ahead with a property purchase to bring the proposed Town Center Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Project a step closer to construction.

    Last year, the City announced that it was seeking an experienced development team to design and build the project on and near the Tully's site (see map), to consist of City-owned commuter parking, a performing arts facility in partnership with the Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA), and a mixed-use residential and commercial structure based on the City’s Town Center vision and code....

    Nov 14, 2019 – The City of Mercer Island is moving ahead with a property purchase to bring the proposed Town Center Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Project a step closer to construction.

    Last year, the City announced that it was seeking an experienced development team to design and build the project on and near the Tully's site (see map), to consist of City-owned commuter parking, a performing arts facility in partnership with the Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA), and a mixed-use residential and commercial structure based on the City’s Town Center vision and code. The property, adjacent to the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station and site of the former Tully’s coffeeshop, also formerly hosted a gasoline service station operated by the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC).

    As a first step, in June 2018, the City Council approved a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) with the sellers of the property. Since then, the City has been actively engaged in due diligence research including extensive environmental assessment of underground contamination on the site, including a portion of Sunset Highway to the north and nearby WSDOT-owned properties.

    Following extensive negotiations, a Reimbursement Agreement has been prepared with the known polluter, ARC, which will reimburse the City for the majority of clean-up costs arising from excavation, segregation, transport and disposal of contaminated soil as part of the redevelopment of the property. The environmental consultant estimates the site cleanup will cost between approximately $9 million with redevelopment and approximately $19 million without redevelopment. The City intends to pursue other known funding sources to recover additional site clean-up costs.

    At its Tuesday meeting next week (view November 19 meeting documents), staff is recommending that the City Council authorize the Interim City Manager to execute the Reimbursement Agreement with ARC

    By year’s end, the City intends to complete the acquisition of the Tully’s site, which when combined with the adjacent portion of Sunset Highway (“Parcel 12”) that the City already owns and a small portion of WSDOT property, will allow the project development to move forward.

    The City, MainStreet Property Group (MainStreet), and MICA, are currently negotiating project development terms. MainStreet, in partnership with the City and MICA, intends to complete construction before East Link light rail opens in 2023. If development plans change or negotiations fail, the City may consider alternative uses for the property, but all petroleum contamination will be cleaned up regardless, under the supervision of the appropriate environmental regulatory agencies.

  • Council Endorses MOU with Mainstreet Property Group

    5 months ago

    At its June 18, 2019 meeting, the City Council reviewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mainstreet Property Group. Passing by a vote of 5-2, the non-binding MOU establishes a conceptual deal structure forming the basis for a future Purchase and Sale Agreement, Development Agreement, and other related agreements, targeted for finalization by the end of 2019. In related discussion, the Council also voted 7-0 to terminate a MOU allowing the consideration of Mercerdale Park as the potential future site of the proposed Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA), which will instead seek to be a major...

    At its June 18, 2019 meeting, the City Council reviewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mainstreet Property Group. Passing by a vote of 5-2, the non-binding MOU establishes a conceptual deal structure forming the basis for a future Purchase and Sale Agreement, Development Agreement, and other related agreements, targeted for finalization by the end of 2019. In related discussion, the Council also voted 7-0 to terminate a MOU allowing the consideration of Mercerdale Park as the potential future site of the proposed Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA), which will instead seek to be a major tenant in the mixed-use facility.

    Read Council’s supporting materials (Agenda Bill 5578) or download the Mainstreet MOU from the Document Library. Currently, the City is working on the environmental cleanup plan for the former Tully's property, which was once owned by BP/ARCO.

  • MainStreet Property Group and Shelter Holdings/Weinstein A+U Announce Joint Proposal

    11 months ago

    On December 17, the City announced that the two project finalists, MainStreet Property Group LLC and Shelter Holdings / Weinstein A+U have agreed to merge both organization’s proposals. As a result of these discussions, MainStreet Property Group will be the developer of the project and Weinstein A+U will join the MainStreet team as the lead Architect and planner. GGLO Design will remain on the MainStreet team as the interior designer for the project.

    “We are pleased that MainStreet and Shelter have arrived at this solution. This proposal merges both organizations’ strengths in a manner that benefits all stakeholders as well as the community. Once authorized by the City Council, the entire MainStreet organization looks forward to moving the development process forward with the City and community and deliver the best for Mercer Island,” said Kelly Price, MainStreet’s President.

    Rather than review two finalist proposals at a scheduled December 18 meeting, the City Council now plans to review this joint proposal and map out next steps at its January 15, 2019, Council Meeting.

    Read full News Release


    On December 17, the City announced that the two project finalists, MainStreet Property Group LLC and Shelter Holdings / Weinstein A+U have agreed to merge both organization’s proposals. As a result of these discussions, MainStreet Property Group will be the developer of the project and Weinstein A+U will join the MainStreet team as the lead Architect and planner. GGLO Design will remain on the MainStreet team as the interior designer for the project.

    “We are pleased that MainStreet and Shelter have arrived at this solution. This proposal merges both organizations’ strengths in a manner that benefits all stakeholders as well as the community. Once authorized by the City Council, the entire MainStreet organization looks forward to moving the development process forward with the City and community and deliver the best for Mercer Island,” said Kelly Price, MainStreet’s President.

    Rather than review two finalist proposals at a scheduled December 18 meeting, the City Council now plans to review this joint proposal and map out next steps at its January 15, 2019, Council Meeting.

    Read full News Release


  • City Names Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Project Team Finalists

    about 1 year ago

    On October 31, the City announced the two preliminary finalists competing to develop a commuter parking and mixed-use project in Town Center: MainStreet Property Group LLC and Shelter Holdings / Weinstein A+U. Both teams are composed of strong, well-qualified consultant teams with a proven track record. Initial design concepts from the finalists included space for the Mercer Island Center for the Arts as well as significant parking (up to 150 parking spaces) for the future commuter parking facility.

    Comments from the community were very useful and the City continues to welcome comments and questions. The Council is currently...

    On October 31, the City announced the two preliminary finalists competing to develop a commuter parking and mixed-use project in Town Center: MainStreet Property Group LLC and Shelter Holdings / Weinstein A+U. Both teams are composed of strong, well-qualified consultant teams with a proven track record. Initial design concepts from the finalists included space for the Mercer Island Center for the Arts as well as significant parking (up to 150 parking spaces) for the future commuter parking facility.

    Comments from the community were very useful and the City continues to welcome comments and questions. The Council is currently scheduled to meet with the finalists on Monday, November 26, 2018.

  • Semi-Finalist Presentations

    about 1 year ago

    Over 100 people attended the City's open house on October 22nd showcasing initial conceptual proposals from the five semi-finalists selected to develop a commuter parking and mixed-use project in Town Center.

    Initial comments from the community were very useful and the City welcomes as much ongoing input as possible. Please submit comments using the Comment on Proposals tab. The presentations delivered that night by each of the semi-finalists have now been posted, use the links below to view each presentation....

    Over 100 people attended the City's open house on October 22nd showcasing initial conceptual proposals from the five semi-finalists selected to develop a commuter parking and mixed-use project in Town Center.

    Initial comments from the community were very useful and the City welcomes as much ongoing input as possible. Please submit comments using the Comment on Proposals tab. The presentations delivered that night by each of the semi-finalists have now been posted, use the links below to view each presentation.
  • RFQ Process

    about 1 year ago

    The deadline for RFQ submittal was Friday, October 5, 2018 and the City received nine submittals. The City has completed a first screening of the RFQ submittals. The Evaluation Committee reviewed and selected five firms to move forward as semi-finalists. The semi-finalists were selected based on how strongly they demonstrated their qualifications, a clear understanding of the City’s goals, and an ability to work with local communities as requested in the RFQ.

    While the RFQ requested that firms provide their concept for the project, to see what could be feasible on the site, the submitted concepts are only a starting...

    The deadline for RFQ submittal was Friday, October 5, 2018 and the City received nine submittals. The City has completed a first screening of the RFQ submittals. The Evaluation Committee reviewed and selected five firms to move forward as semi-finalists. The semi-finalists were selected based on how strongly they demonstrated their qualifications, a clear understanding of the City’s goals, and an ability to work with local communities as requested in the RFQ.

    While the RFQ requested that firms provide their concept for the project, to see what could be feasible on the site, the submitted concepts are only a starting point and may or may not be included in the project. Once a firm is selected, the real work begins to design the project. A “winning” design will be developed over many months with the community being asked to weigh in on the specific features, design elements, and overall aesthetics of the project.

    The five semi-finalist firms have been invited to participate in a Community Open House meeting scheduled for Monday, October 22, 2018, from 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center. The community is encouraged to review the proposals and comment on the qualifications and concepts proposed by each of the semi-finalists.


    Semi-Finalist Proposals

    Imagine Housing
    Mainstreet Development Group
    Reve Development
    Shelter Holdings/Weinstein A+U
    Stream Real Estate Partners

  • Project Objectives

    about 1 year ago

    The City’s primary objective for this development is the construction of 100 or more commuter parking spaces to help alleviate pressure on the current Sound Transit-owned Park & Ride garage, that fills by 7:00am on most weekdays. Additional community benefits the City is seeking include:

    • Public Open Spaces – An attractive and functional open space and pedestrian/bicycle connection between the project site, Town Center, and the Sound Transit light rail station.
    • Well-Designed Integration – A project that integrates and enhances the Greta Hackett Outdoor Sculpture Gallery in the design.
    • Arts & Cultural Events and Spaces – Inclusion...

    The City’s primary objective for this development is the construction of 100 or more commuter parking spaces to help alleviate pressure on the current Sound Transit-owned Park & Ride garage, that fills by 7:00am on most weekdays. Additional community benefits the City is seeking include:

    • Public Open Spaces – An attractive and functional open space and pedestrian/bicycle connection between the project site, Town Center, and the Sound Transit light rail station.
    • Well-Designed Integration – A project that integrates and enhances the Greta Hackett Outdoor Sculpture Gallery in the design.
    • Arts & Cultural Events and Spaces – Inclusion of arts performances, education and collaboration venues.
    • Housing Diversity – The community has a strong interest in adding workforce housing as well as additional condos to the Town Center area.