Two former school properties in Mountlake Terrace are receiving very different scrutiny by potential developers, said Edmonds School District Superintendent Nick Brossoit on Monday night in a brief appearance before the Mountlake Terrace City Council.
Brossoit told the council that the former Melody Hill Elementary School site on the southwest corner of 220th Street Southwest and I-5 is getting very little attention from potential developers, while the former Evergreen Elementary School site just south of 236th Street Southwest and east of I-5 has had plenty of lookers and now has a potential buyer.
While Brossoit said he isn’t at liberty to name the interested party, he did tell MLTnews that the district does have a preliminary offer from a developer to purchase the Evergreen Elementary property contingent upon the City of Mountlake Terrace building a street through the site, something the city does have long-range plans to do.
The 10.4 acre Evergreen Elementary property is seen as a lucrative site for potential commercial development due to its visible proximity to I-5, the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, and Sound Transit light rail service coming to the area in ten years.
While there is interest in the Evergreen Elementary site, that cannot be said about the land where Melody Hill Elementary School once sat. “The commercial real estate experts that we have, that are working with us, are figuring out how to best position our properties,” Brossoit explained. “They see the old Evergreen Elementary site going a lot sooner than Melody Hill.”
Interest in the Melody Hill property is hampered because of the transportation infrastructure in the area, Brossoit said. “You know, that’s probably a more awkward property for us because access is such a difficult thing for developers.”
“Melody Hill is really visible; it’s a great location,” he continued. “But it’s just hard to get in and out of that property.”
Access to the site is currently limited to the south side of the property along 222nd Street Southwest, requiring drivers to leave 220th Street Southwest and navigate through a short stretch of the Melody Hill residential neighborhood.
The district razed the remaining buildings on the Melody Hill Elementary site this past summer, but that was out of concerns for their dilapidated condition, not because development on the property is imminent, Brossoit said. The superintendent stressed that transportation access to the site would have to be addressed by city officials “before realistically that would even be something that a business would want to buy.”
The Edmonds School District has leased the 48-acre Lynnwood Place (former Lynnwood High School site) north of Alderwood Mall to Costco and other commercial interests, and is advertising other properties it owns south of the mall for lease or purchase.
— By Doug Petrowski