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 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.

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 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.

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What about supporting more multi-modal solutions to augment commuter parking? If we're willing to spend $50k-$100k per parking stall under this proposal, we should be willing to countenance similar investment per-capita to support each person who bikes, uses a scooter, shuttle, etc to reach the transit connection. Eg, can we get secure, covered parking for bikes/scooters/etc in this project? As well as investing in trail connections from adjacent neighborhoods to make these viable alternatives?

Erik about 1 month ago

I do not support any proposal that takes away our beautiful sculpture park and open space. The recent rezoning of our park was done in December and under the radar. I have lived on Mercer Island for over 16 years and have remodeled several homes. Each time, I had to properly inform my neighbors of my intentions by 1) erecting a huge sign for everyone to see and 2) mailing to neighbors for their comments often blocks away.Neither of these things were done with regards to the sculpture park. No letters or warnings of the City's intentions. In fact, on this site, the City has a small star on the Tully's parking lot deliberately misleading residents to believe that only the Tully's site will be developed.The sculpture park was given to the residents of Mercer Island and is a part of the Aubrey Davis park fought for by a Mayor and a City Council who cared about our quality of life. I do not believe it is even legal for the City to rezone it into a huge commercial development as Federal funds were used to develop it as a park. All of this is done so that 100 lucky commuters can park their cars. We have over 25,000 residents on Mercer Island and the sculpture park is used for parades, wine tastings and leisurely strolls. Young children use it our elderly use it. This is going to be a massive project which will take away beauty and light. It will clog our already congested streets with 350 more cars. 27th Street already is grid lock between 4-6 from Aviara to the eastbound on ramp to I-90. I believe the Mayor and City Council need to be honest with the voters they represent. I believe they need to fight for our quality of life and the very reason people choose to make Mercer Island their home. Julie

Julie A 6 months ago

7800 Plaza Condominium Association Response to RFQ submissions to the Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use ProjectThe owners of the condominiums in 7800 Plaza appreciate the public process that the City is using for the Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Project. We are looking forward to participating in the design and construction planning process, which will result in much needed commuter parking spaces and a home for MICA. We have listed below a set of concerns regarding this project, because of the significant impact it will have on the continuing enjoyment of our homes and our neighborhood, including a portion of the Aubrey Davis Park. We have also listed a set of design principles that relate to these concerns. We strongly support those developers whose projects come closest to meeting these design principles. Concerns - Loss of public park space - Traffic congestion and pedestrian safety - Impact to sight lines and sunlight - Health concerns during excavation of contaminated land - Damage to 7800 Plaza structure during construction - Residential lobby and garage access during constructionDesign Principles - No public park space used for anything other than underground parking - No garage entry/exit points on Sunset Highway, 78th Avenue, or 27th Street - No commercial loading dock on Sunset Highway - Structures comply with the existing Mercer Island Town Center Development Code and Design Standards - Structures set back from 7800 Plaza to avoid bulk and scale impacts - Structures have minimal impact to existing sight lines and sunlightThank You,7800 Plaza Condominium Association

7800 Plaza 9 months ago

Hello, I'm owner of a condominium in the 7800 Plaza next door the Tully's development site. We only learned of this mixed use project by accident several months ago. Let me start by saying that I'm fully supportive of building an underground 100 stall commuter parking facility to fulfill commitments made to the residents of Mercer Island. I also support a facility for MICA or other business to be built on top of the podium created by the new parking garage on the Tully's site. I understand the commuter parking garage is an emergent project for the city to meet the completion date of Sound Transit's light rail service. What's not emergent is anything other than delivering parking garage. The city is bundling the above grade projects & development into the emergent category which is not the case. Poor, life long decisions will be made for the residents using this fast track strategy. It is due full public disclosure and due process which to date has not been the case. Let's start anew with transparency so the residents are fully informed. I do not support spot zoning the existing sculpture park to allow its consumption to become a 65' foot tall linear mixed-use structure. It is completely inconsistent with the surrounding I-90 buffer, was never shown as part of the TC plan to be developed and takes away our park space in perpetuity. If the city can't afford to fund their 51% share of the parking garage as stated in the Sound Transit settlement without giving away our park space to a developer, the residents of Mercer Island should be asked the question. If the fully informed residents of the island want apartments, mixed use or condos that can be built anywhere code allows to consume our limited supply of park space, I will not stand in the City's way.My only request:Please fully inform the public of this project, the reasons behind the consumption of precious park space that is necessary to fully fund the MI commuter parking garage, the surface street traffic impacts along with the massive project scaling will be done by the developer to absorb the cost of the 51 commuter parking spaces. Thank you, Mark.

Mark Wilkins 9 months ago

Hi, I don't think the majority of Mercer Island residents include more apartment units in their vision for our town center. For such a small island, it seems this will add to the congestion that is ever increasing, as well as put more pressure on the school systems. Why can't the new building just have MICA and retail, like restaurants, for people to enjoy? There is already an abundance of housing that has been put up in the town center; this does not make a robust town center for any of its residents. Thanks for your time.

krobin 9 months ago

This development as envisioned by the two finalists essentially eliminates the path thru the linear park. The route from 80th to 77th is currently a quiet pleasant stroll on the rim of our TC. With a 6 story solid structure facing the remains of the park, the narrow slice of grass, trees and bushes is effectively eliminated. Any greenery left standing will be in perpetual shade and will turn to brownery. ___________________There is no other green space between that small slice of nature and Mercerdale Park about a half mile away.____________________ We can do better. All we really want on that site is MICA and underground parking. Surely a way can be found to achieve that. _________ Al Lippert

Aql1 9 months ago

Below are my questions I posted on Let's Talk on Nov. 1, and the city's response that the information will not be revealed until the agenda packet is published for the council's Nov. 26 meeting (although my question and the city's answer have not been posted on Let's Talk). I am not sure why the city would not want to disclose the identity of the committee members or the scoring criteria for the five semi-finalists and two finalists, considering citizen input is suppose to be a large part of this process. To date I don't think citizen participation has been part of the process at all, and the citizens find themselves with two designs to choose from without knowing the scoring criteria or how much discretion is left in the design.The two big questions going forward are: 1. access for the underground parking; and 2. the effect on the linear park and path along the northern façade.I don't think parking access from 80th would be allowed by WSDOT or would be feasible considering the pedestrian and bicycle traffic on 80th with the light rail station. Access from 27th would raise the same issues considering 27th is very congested already, and traffic backs up from the light at 78th and 27th. It would also be difficult for cars to exist or enter by turning left against traffic (which is why I don't think daylight planing is a good idea along 27th and that area should be shifted to the northern façade).That leaves 78th or Sunset Highway for access. Sunset Highway would allow cars to enter/exit from 78th or 77th, although 77th is also going to be a very busy street for bicycles and pedestrians, and the north/south bike lane through the town center runs along 77th, and much of the SOV traffic from the south end that use to access I-90 westbound from ICW now uses 77th. I would think a light at 77th and Sunset Highway would be necessary, which makes three traffic lights along 77th from NMW through 27th, plus the bus intercept at 77th and NMW which may require a round about.The other issue is the scale of the project. Since the city wants to contribute only the purchase price for the Tully's property and the adjacent parcel the project has to be massive in scale to cover the $8.5 million in underground commuter parking. The northern façade of the building will extend across Sunset Highway at a diagonal and abut the path with a 63 foot tall monolithic façade, shading the path for virtually the entire day and creating a sense of claustrophobia. If access to underground parking for around 331 stalls is from Sunset Highway my guess is this part of the linear park and path from 77th to 80th will be ruined unless the developers find a way to move the massing away from Sunset Highway and more towards 27th or 80th, and direct more traffic onto 78th. This linear park is the only green space in the town center between I-90 and Mercerdale Park, and it looks like the light rail station along 77th will be mostly concrete. The city and council have been rezoning and developing linear parks and TC green spaces at an alarming rate, and this TC already is very bleak and ungreen.I have always promoted MICA as part of the project, but at the same time noted the design would have to be worth eliminating a linear park and encroaching on the path. I don't think either of the these designs right now are worth the linear park or path. Although I had hoped for a design that reflected a performing arts center (e.g. Tateuchi Center) what these designs look like is every other dreary TC mixed use development, out of scale and drab. I don't believe an ugly home for the arts is better than no home, and hope the final design is much better than these two current semifinalist designs. The most recent poll on Nextdoor on selecting the five semi-finalists showed a majority of citizens didn't like any design and preferred no development at the site, and didn't think any design warranted eliminating the linear park and path. I am not sure much has changed by narrowing the designs from 5 to 2.I really don't know what can be done at the council level at this late stage, and highly doubt citizen participation will be any greater than it has been to date, which is basically non-existent. No one on the council has any expertise in architecture or development (or presumably knows the scoring criteria), so I will be interested in seeing what the council brings to the design process on Nov. 26th. I think it would be a true shame to end up building one more out of scale mixed use project without any interesting design while eliminating the linear park and path from 77th to 80th for 100 commuter spots, some condos, and a home for MICA. To be honest, I always thought MICA had a responsibility to make sure the design itself was worth it, considering a huge part of this process has been about MICA, and MICA has had a seat at the design table from the very beginning.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------From: Kirsten Taylor Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2018 4:54 PMTo: Dan ThompsonSubject: FW: Your question on Let's Talk Mercer Island website Hi Dan, Thanks for your email. All of the information you are requesting will be in the November 26 Council meeting agenda bill to review top finalists for the proposed Commuter Parking & Mixed-Use Project RFQ. The packet should get published November 21. We will plan to have the information also available on the Let’s Talk page at that time. Best,KirstenKirsten Taylor | Senior Project ManagerCity Manager’s OfficeCity of Mercer Island ● www.mercergov.org9611 SE 36th ST | Mercer Island WA 98040206.275.7661 | kirsten.taylor@mercergov.org -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Dan Thompson Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 1:22 PMTo: Let's Talk Subject: Re: Your question on Let's Talk Mercer Island website Can you please let me know when you will post an answer to my questions below. Thank you.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: City of Mercer Island Sent: Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:56 PMTo: danielpthompson@hotmail.comSubject: Your question on Let's Talk Mercer Island website Hi there,Thanks for taking the time to visit Let's Talk Mercer Island and asking us a question.You asked:1. Who was on the committee that selected the five semi-finalist designs, and what scoring criteria did the committee use? 2. Can you please post the scores each of the nine responses received from the committee during the scoring process to select the five semi--finalists? 3. Can you please post the questions the committee asked each of the nine respondents during the interview process to select the five semi-finalist designs? 4. Who was on the committee that selected the two finalist designs, and what scoring criteria did they use? 5. Can you please post the scores each of the five semi-finalist respondents received from the committee during the process to select two finalist designs? 6. What were the questions the committee asked each respondent during the interview process to select the two finalist designs? 7. Were any other individuals involved or present during the interviews or deliberations to select the five semi-finalist designs and two finalist designs, and who were they? We will get back to you as soon as possible with a response.RegardsCity of Mercer Island

Daniel Thompson 9 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with the team at Mainstreet Property Group for the last 6 years. They are a fun, thoughtful and creative developer to work with and are always fully vested in making their properties a community for the residents that live in them. The time and energy spent on creative approaches to make tenant and retail sites part of this community is unmatched. Mercer Island would be lucky to gain an MSP property!!

Gracia Mueller 9 months ago

MainStreet Property Group is without a doubt the best developer for the former Tully's site. Not only are they a pleasure to work with, but bring fresh ideas, creativity and innovation to all of their projects. This development would be in great hands if MainStreet is chosen!

AlexandraW 9 months ago

MainStreet Property Group is one of the best multi-family developers I have had the pleasure of working with and I would love for City Council to consider them for the development of the Tully's site. Their team brings creativity, vision, dedication, collaboration, integrity and a wealth of experience to each of their developments. The City would be very fortunate to have MainStreet as the developer of this high profile property.

Stacy Reid 9 months ago

As a commercial tenant in the Six Oaks building in Bothell, working with both the MainStreet Property Group team and GenCap was amazing. They were very easy to work with and always kept us informed about what was happening in all aspects of our build-out. The work that MainStreet has done in Bothell and continues to do has been cohesive to the vision of the downtown revitalization project. Each mixed use space they developed The 104, Six Oaks, The Junction, POP, has brought new and more creative ideas making it unique to each space in addition to achieving LEED certifications. They care about the community and what the people living in it want. They are very involved with the chamber and city hall making sure they are in line with the vision and values of the community. You will be doing the city of Mercer Island a great service by selecting MainStreet for your Commuter Parking and Downtown Mixed-Use Project.Social Grounds Coffee & Tea Co.Current Six Oaks commercial tenant

AMarthaler1 10 months ago

I am supporting MainStreet Property Group as the developer of the former Tully's site.This company has a strong reputation for successfully completing projects on time and on budget. Their designs and quality are above reproach. I can think of no one I would rather work with than the principals of MainStreet. In my own business, I worked with these principals for more than two decades. I trust MainStreet with the development of this keystone property in downtown Mercer Island!Alan FulpMercer Island resident since 1989

AlanFulp 10 months ago

Would like for the City Council to strongly consider MainStreet Property Group for the development of the former Tully's site. I have known the principals of MainStreet for many years and have found them to have a sterling reputation in the market place. Reputable, sincere, integrity are a few of their strengths and attributes. The City will be well served if MainStreet is selected.Regards, Jeff Scanlan

Jeff Scanlan 10 months ago