Eight-story, 425-unit apartment building proposed near MLT light rail station

A rendering of the Candela Apartments.

The City of Mountlake Terrace is reviewing the site plan for an eight-story, mixed-use apartment building with 425 units proposed for 5901 236th St. S.W., just east of the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and Sound Transit’s planned light rail station.

The owner of the proposed Candela Apartments project is Mill Stream Properties LLC. Mill Stream in 2019 had purchased all eight properties in the 59th Place West cul de sac off 236th Street Southwest and leased them back to Sound Transit as a temporary parking lot.

The project is located in the city’s TC-1 zone, one of three zones the Mountlake Terrace City Council approved as part of an updated Town Center plan in 2019. It allows up to 12-story buildings in areas closest to the light rail station.

City of Mountlake Terrace Associate Planner Jonathan Morales said the project is currently under site plan review. “We are waiting for a tentative pedestrian easement agreement between Sound Transit, Millstream Properties Group, LLC, and the City of Mountlake Terrace,” he said. “Once we have an agreement, we hope for site plan approval in a couple of months.”

Following that approval, the next steps in the review process are civil/engineering permit review, followed by building permit review, Morales said. Construction is expected to start in fall 2023.

While the Mountlake Terrace City Council in October approved a multifamily property tax exemption (MFTE) program for projects in the city’s Town Center, the developer has not applied for such an exemption, Morales said.

  1. I hope the city is going to require more parking spaces per unit than are required under the current code, which is severely out of date and does not reflect current auto ownership. Overly optimistic estimates that predict fewer people will own cars because of light rail are not supported in MLT, where couples typically own at least 2 vehicles, and shared living arrangements mean a 4 bedroom unit can have 4 unrelated residents, each with at least one vehicle. Not everyone rides bicycles, either, and because bus service is not available after 10pm, anyone working late shifts has to drive. People working in areas not served by transit or rail have to drive. People who have to drop off and pick up children have to drive. All those cars require parking, and the current parking requirements for multi-family construction does not allow for the number of vehicles we can expect at a complex of this size.

      1. I’m strongly concerned about the price. We already have loads of apartment complexes going up that no one can afford seeing as pay/minimum wage has NOT even close kept up with inflation. Many folks I know are having to move out of MLT because nothing here is affordable anymore.

    1. Given the incidence of car prowls, thefts, and other criminal activity (just review the Police Blotter weekly) just south of this property along Van Ry Boulevard any excess automobile inventory will probably be reduced in short order. You’d have to be insane to live in this neighborhood.

    2. Debra, I agree! You make an excellent case for more parking spaces per unit.
      As far as the crime issue is concerned, getting rid of that Motel 6 is long overdue.

    3. You are absolutely correct. There is no room whatsoever in this location for the number of cars that will belong to the occupants of 425 units. There’s going to be 800+ cars, because people for the most part cannot go carless out here in the suburbs. They must be expecting their overflow parking to use the transit center, but that is already maxed out by commuters who then overflow onto 58th. We are decades away from a walkable downtown with all the amenities, so thinking people will not own cars just because of the proximity to light rail is ludicrous.

  2. Great news. Much rather see homes for 1,000 a step away from mass transit and some commercial space then an empty parking lot.

    1. “An empty parking lot” was never the long-term plan for the properties in question. Is it better to see 8 stories than 12, or 6? Is it better to see a development that takes advantage of tax subsidies in exchange for providing a specified percentage of units at a lower price, or a development that does not provide lower-price units and ignores the tax incentive for doing so, because it’s going high-end and doesn’t want lower-earning residents? If one acknowledges that something was going to be built here, why is this particular project something we should consider “great news”?

  3. After reading this I have to say my husband and I are so happy we left MLT!! We got taxed out of our home of 42 yrs, 2-1/2 yrs ago and moved to Idaho.

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