Burien Council hears, sees plans for two new Town Square developments


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BurienTownSquarePhase2-1

by Ralph Nichols

Almost five years after the first privately developed Burien Town Square project – the seven-story condominium-retail complex at SW 152nd St. and 6th Ave. SW – was completed, plans for Phase Two are finally moving forward.

Conceptual plans for two separate projects – one for small higher-end apartments with limited ground-floor retail, the other a senior housing development – were presented to Burien City Council members at their Feb. 3 meeting.

Legacy Partners, which assumed ownership of the still-vacant Town Square property last year, and Pillar will jointly develop both complexes, with construction anticipated to begin this August.

Town Center Apartments, which will cater to young professionals, will have 227 living units plus 273 parking spaces, will be constructed north of the existing condo-retail complex.

Merrill Gardens at Burien for independent senior living will be located north of the Burien Library/City Hall, with 111 living units plus 72 parking spaces. The senior complex will include an amphitheater that will have public access.

Phase One of the Town Square development opened with great promise when the library/city hall and the condo-retail complex with 124 units were completed in June 2009. But then the housing market collapsed nationwide and the recession set in.

Later that year, Corus Bank, which held the construction loan for Urban Partners, the private developer for Town Square, was closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Ownership of the condo-retail complex was eventually assumed by a consortium of investors including the FDIC.

Urban Partners, which later merged to form Harbor Urban, continued to own the two undeveloped Town Square parcels. But by late 2012, when no progress had yet been made on the next Town Square project, the Burien council took steps to find a new developer.

By that time, Harbor Urban was more than a year in default of its original development agreement with the city, which said work on a second private Town Square project would begin within two years after completion of Phase One.

After exercising its buy-back option under that agreement, the city eventually sold the vacant properties to Legacy.

Although more condominiums and retail had been projected for the other two large parcels, it was determined that the housing market would not support them for the foreseeable future.

With that the city council began considering upper end apartments, which had been one of the development options when Town Square being planned in 2004-05.

Here are some renderings that were presented at the council meeting (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

BurienTownSquarePhase2-2

BurienTownSquarePhase2-5

BurienTownSquarePhase2-4

BurienTownSquarePhase2-3

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Comments

5 Responses to “Burien Council hears, sees plans for two new Town Square developments”
  1. non says:

    why not part 1 went so well we might as well do it again. Dumb ass

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    • Susan Emerson says:

      Almost all the little stores are empty along 4th between 148th and 150th. Why add more empty stores? You are not doing enough to list these properties or you’re asking too much for rent. Don’t see the likelihood of increasing usership anymore than you have now. Low income housing is about the only good thing in this plan, if that is what you’re planning to do.

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  2. Pat Westbrook says:

    This plan appears acceptable to me; I like the inclusion of senior housing. This location provides a walking opportunity for all residents and improved community participation. There needs to be open green space included. .

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  3. Betsy says:

    Susan, I don’t see any mention of low income housing in any of this. Merrill Gardens is not low end to the best of my experience in other cities and the apartments are listed as higher end. Perhaps with an influx of many living units, the empty retail spaces at BTS and other spots will fill up. Seems like a good place to start. More pluses than minuses in this plan as far as I can see….

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  4. Rob says:

    Personally I feel that parcel 5 should have been left alone, and developed as a Multi purpose space (much like it is now) or return the BIAS. You never miss these spaces until they’re gone. Where are the future carnivals going to be held, along with parking for the Farmer’s market. Burien needs to quit trying to be Kent/Renton and just be ourselves. I am very dissapointed in the “New” Council

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