The Design Commission held a study session with an architect for Bartell Drugs on April 12 to help conduct a feasibility study for purchase of a property in downtown Mercer Island, at 2885 78th Ave. SE.
The property, owned by the King family, was previously under contract with Hines as the potential site of a mixed use development. It currently contains one building that is occupied by a few businesses, including King Insurance and Tiger Garden restaurant (formerly Seven Star).
At the meeting, Glenn Steiner of Magellan Architects presented four questions to the commission about the building facade, height modulation, pedestrian access and public parking. The commission focused on those questions, and not the overall design of the building and site.
If approved, the project could be one of the first to test the city’s new Town Center Development and Design Standards, which were developed after almost two years of public engagement and a moratorium on major downtown development.
According to the plans, the Bartell drug store and pharmacy will have a drive-thru and outdoor plaza area on the corner of Southeast 29th Street and 78th Avenue Southeast. The design shown on the plans may not comply with design standards, according to the commission’s agenda bill.
There are already two drug stores in the Town Center: Rite Aid and Walgreens. The companies announced a proposed merger in October 2015, which is currently under federal review. Up to 1,200 Rite Aid stores could be sold.