A rendering of the location and approximate footprint of the future Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Project to be built on a combination of the former Tully’s Coffee House property, a section of WSDOT-owned parkland and a section of city-owned Sunset Highway. Courtesy of the City of Mercer Island.

A rendering of the location and approximate footprint of the future Commuter Parking and Mixed-Use Project to be built on a combination of the former Tully’s Coffee House property, a section of WSDOT-owned parkland and a section of city-owned Sunset Highway. Courtesy of the City of Mercer Island.

City buys Tully’s site for commuter parking project

Mixed-use development to move forward.

The city on Dec. 27 finalized its purchase of the former Tully’s Coffee Shop parcel of land.

The plans to build a commuter parking and mixed-use development project at the site. That project will add more than 100 underground parking spots.

The sale totaled $2 million plus closing fees. City sustainability and communications manager Ross Freeman said the purchase has been in the city budget for several years and was paid for out of the capital projects fund.

While the intention to build the parking project on the site has been clearly communicated, and is one of the major talking points on the city’s Let’s Talk website, that’s where the plans end; no final design process has been initiated and at this point designs remain conceptual.

Freeman said a final design process would gather community feedback at various stages along the way.

Parking has been a problem on the Island, and additional transit parking was deemed necessary given that the Mercer Island Park and Ride usually fills by 7 a.m. on weekdays.

Some community members have expressed concerns over the project’s encroachment on — and impacts to — adjacent parkland owned by the state department of transportation. Currently, the approximate project footprint extends from the Tully’s parcel into the adjacent cul de sac and the Greta Hackett Outdoor Sculpture Gallery (sculpture park).

Combining the adjacent city-owned section of Sunset Highway with the Tully’s site and a section of WSDOT property will allow the public-private development to move forward. The area was recently rezoned in order to allow the five-story mixed-use development project.

The development would feature commuter parking, a performing arts facility working with the Mercer Island Center for the Arts, and mixed-use commercial and residential space.

The goal is for the project to be completed ahead of the 2023 opening of the East Link Light Rail.

The Tully’s site, located at 7810 Southeast 27th St., lies in the city’s Town Center near Interstate 90 and next to the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station. The property also formerly housed an Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC) gas station.

As part of the redevelopment of the property, ARC, as the known polluter, has agreed to reimburse the city for most of the costs for property clean up, including excavation, segregation, transportation, and disposal of contaminated soil. Freeman said the city will explore opportunities, possibly including grants, to cover any remaining amounts that ARC won’t pay.

The total cost for clean up is estimated at $9 million if completed as part of redevelopment, when earthmoving already would be underway. If completed before any development occurs, the clean up cost is estimated at $19 million.

“The council spent many hours discussing this complex process with the needs of residents in mind, and I’m pleased to see this day arrive,” Deputy Mayor Salim Nice said in a city news release. “This project promises to provide much-needed commuter parking while enhancing our Town Center retail core and creating a new gateway for Mercer Island, just steps away from the future East Link station.”

Freeman previously told the Reporter that the city explored all possible sites for the project, since it’s tough to find undeveloped land on the Island, particularly in the Town Center and close to the future light rail station. So when a parcel this close to the future station is available, he said it’s a “big deal.”

More information about the project can be found on Let’s Talk at letstalk.mercergov.org/commuterparking.

[flipp]

More in News

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

A screenshot of Mercer Island’s new Winter Storm Ready webpage on its Let’s Talk Mercer Island website.
New Mercer Island city webpage houses storm info

Emergency alerts, updates, links.

Alan Roach and his dog, Roxie, reunited in their new apartment. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Al’s new apartment, a community effort

Mercer Islanders give housewares, furniture to formerly homeless man and his dog.

Courtesy photo
                                Elliot Newman (left) receives his MIYFS Family Inspirational Award from Mayor Wong on Jan. 7.
Elliot Newman receives 2019 Flash Family Inspirational Award

It was standing room only at the Jan. 7 city council meeting when Newman received his award.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Most Read