Developer acquires cul de sac next to MLT light rail station

The properties in question on 59th Place West. (Photo courtesy NextMLT)

With an eye for future development after Mountlake Terrace light rail station construction is complete, developer Mill Stream Properties, LLC has purchased all eight properties in the 59th Place West cul de sac and will lease them back to Sound Transit as a temporary parking lot, according to a report in NextMLT.

In a Sept. 16, 2019 letter to the Mountlake Terrace City Council, an attorney from Cairncross & Hempelmann, representing Mill Stream Properties, encouraged the council to maintain the planned TC-1 zone for the property in the Town Center Plan update.

In that same letter, attorney Randall Olsen divulged that the company had acquired all eight properties in the 59th Place West, NextMLT said. Until recently it wasn’t clear whether the property owners would end up selling to Mill Stream, so Sound Transit was continuing through the condemnation process. NextMLT reported previously that Mill Stream had acquired one of the properties in February 2019.

The letter to the council noted that the property “has great potential to deliver a major employer and a significant office development to the City of Mountlake Terrace” and that the company looks forward “to working with the City Council and community over the next few years to help attract a major employer to the area.”

The letter goes on to share four reasons why the company believes TC-1 (12-stories maximum) is the zoning designation most likely to achieve the city’s transit-oriented development goals:

  • In order for investors to choose Mountlake Terrace rather than Lynnwood, Shoreline, east Bellevue or any of the many other locations that will have light rail stations by 2024, it helps to have zoning that encourages land assembly and development.
  • The property’s location and topography make it the most likely site to achieve a significant TOD project.
  • TC-1 provides enough zoning capacity for the market to construct the highest and best use.
  • A significant employer might do a build-to-suit on the property if there is enough development capacity.

The letter concludes:

At this pivotal moment in the City’s history, the City can use its current zoning decision as a way to send a message to investors that Mountlake Terrace is a city that supports investment and growth-particularly on properties with the greatest potential to achieve the City’s goals at the lowest possible cost to the City’s existing and future residents. For these reasons, we encourage the City to continue to support TC-1 zoning with a 12-story height maximum near the City’s future light rail station. Mill Stream looks forward to working with you in the coming years to attract a large employer to Mountlake Terrace.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the City Council approved the updated Town Center Plan, which designated these properties as TC-1.

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