Real estate development firm Ryan Companies shared details May 18 surrounding its renovation plans for the former Farmers Insurance property across from Mercerdale Park on Mercer Island, following the company’s purchase of the site earlier this year.
Located at 3003 77th Ave. SE at the corner of 77th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 32nd Street, the commercial office building is slated to receive significant renovations to interior spaces and smaller changes to the existing building facade, street frontage and plaza. The company is also exploring potential residential uses for the adjacent parking lot on the 6-acre site.
“We understand the importance of the former Farmers Insurance property for the Mercer Island community given its size and location adjacent to the Mercer Island Farmers Market and Mercerdale Park,” said Marc Gearhart, Vice President of Development at Ryan Companies, in a press release from the company. “Our hope is to attract a tenant to the building that is a natural fit for the community. The investments we plan to make to this 1982 structure will modernize it for today’s office user, while keeping the existing form and character of the property in place.”
Exterior improvements to the existing building are seeking to better integrate the building’s ground-level floor with the sidewalk and farmers market. The 77th Avenue Southeast frontage will include landscaping and hardscaped areas that can be used by farmers market vendors, as well as seating for office workers and neighbors during the week.
“We’re also considering a residential use for a portion of the adjacent parking lot, which at one time held more than 700 cars for Farmers Insurance,” said Gearhart in the press release. “We appreciate the amount of effort the community invested in reinventing the Mercer Island Town Center Plan. Our goal is to listen to stakeholders and design a project that conforms to this existing zoning, provides new public open space and maintains existing light and view corridors. We are excited to engage with the Mercer Island community to understand what we should consider when planning the next life for the property.”
New window openings will activate the facade and provide a visual connection between the public and private uses. New seating, landscaping and plantings will be installed on the plaza on the north side of the building to create collaborative space for Islanders and office workers.
The existing artwork on the southeast corner of the site will also be retained and relocated within the plaza, and facade improvements will include new paint on the building and existing screen wall elements.
Ryan Companies purchased the Farmers Insurance site in 2020 for more than $46 million. It has scheduled several community outreach meetings in May 2020 to provide neighbors the opportunity to ask questions, share ideas about the sites and preview plans in more detail.
For more information, visit ryancompanies.com.