A graphic of the proposed Xing-hua Mixed-Use Development project. Courtesy of the city of Mercer Island

A graphic of the proposed Xing-hua Mixed-Use Development project. Courtesy of the city of Mercer Island

Commission approves design of proposed Xing-hua development

Building permit needs to be reviewed and approved next.

Last month at a public hearing, the Mercer Island Design Commission approved the design of the proposed Xing-hua Mixed-Use Development, confirming its consistency with Town Center regulations.

Next up, a building permit needs to be reviewed and approved before construction can begin at the site at 2750 77th Ave. SE and 2885 78th Ave. SE.

Johnston Architects of Seattle is handling this project and associate Lu Zhang said the design team is pleased with the outcome of the hearing. Zhang added that the development will create a vibrant and healthy mix of uses while delivering positive energy to Town Center.

According to the city, the project is one of the first major proposals to utilize the most recent Town Center code adopted in 2016.

“Immediate next steps include having the director of Community Planning and Development complete a review of this approval and issue when ready,” reads a statement from the city of the project proposal. “Subsequent steps include completing review of building and other development permits for compliance with construction codes and consistency with the Design Commission approval.”

As noted in the Let’s Talk section of the city’s website, the proposed building will be four stories above grade with 159 apartments (including 17 affordable units); 13,080 square feet of ground-level retail space (facing QFC and Metropolitan Market); two levels of below-grade parking (residential parking and 35 retail stalls); landscaped public plazas; a 20-foot-wide public through-block pedestrian connection along the north side of the property; and a private courtyard for tenants.

“Throughout the design and commission process, the design team and commission have focused on ensuring a well-scaled ground-level experience for the public, and we feel this critical goal has been accomplished,” said Zhang, adding that the building will also feature restaurants, lush ground-level landscaping and more. “The project will positively contribute to the Town Center pedestrian mobility by formalizing an east-west block cut-through already informally frequented by Islanders.”

Over the last year, Islanders have commented on the Let’s Talk page about the proposed development, praising its tastefulness and diversity and inclusion of affordable housing, however, there are concerns about parking availability and the architectural appearance of the building.

For more information, visit https://letstalk.mercergov.org/xing-hua

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