The Mercer Island City Council. The city sent out an request for qualifications (RFQ) for property developers to design and build a development consisting of a city-owned commuter parking facility and a mixed-use residential/commercial structure after a special city council meeting on Aug. 28. Courtesy of the city of Mercer Island

The Mercer Island City Council. The city sent out an request for qualifications (RFQ) for property developers to design and build a development consisting of a city-owned commuter parking facility and a mixed-use residential/commercial structure after a special city council meeting on Aug. 28. Courtesy of the city of Mercer Island

Mercer Island seeks partner to develop commuter parking and mixed-use project

Project is cited at the old Tully’s location and on city-owned land.

The city of Mercer Island is seeking innovative and capable property developers to design and build a development consisting of a city-owned commuter parking facility, and a mixed-use residential/commercial structure.

The city sent out an request for qualifications (RFQ) after a special city council meeting on Aug. 28.

The location is a premier site, adjacent to the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station and centrally located in Mercer Island’s Town Center, at the former Tully’s location (7810 SE 27th St.) and on city-owned property at Sunset Highway known as Parcel 12.

“This is a unique opportunity to participate in a public-private partnership and develop a gateway connection between the city’s Town Center and the station’s east entrance off 80th Avenue Southeast (opening in 2023),” according to a city press release.

At the Aug. 28 meeting, City Manager Julie Underwood said that commuter parking is the city’s top transportation priority, but that the city also wanted to shape and define what else will be on the site. It has been talked about as a potential location for the Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA).

“The city is excited to partner with an experienced and innovative developer to create a well-integrated, aesthetic project that brings additional vibrancy to the Town Center,” stated Mayor Debbie Bertlin.

The city’s primary objective for this development is the construction of 100 or more commuter parking spaces. According to the press release, additional community benefits the city is seeking include:

– Public open spaces: an attractive and functional open space and pedestrian/bicycle connection between the project site, Town Center and the Sound Transit light rail station.

– Well-designed integration: a project that integrates and enhances the Greta Hackett Outdoor Sculpture Gallery into the design.

– Arts and cultural events and spaces: inclusion of arts performances, education and collaboration venues.

– Housing diversity: the community has a strong interest in adding workforce housing as well as additional condos to the Town Center area.

The city intends to create a single parcel by assembling the two properties, and currently has the Tully’s property under contract. The city will offer the winning proposal development rights on the assembled parcels to provide commuter parking and mixed-use development.

It will also be offering about $2 million toward parking costs, residential multifamily property tax exemption, priority permitting, community engagement support, contribution of public infrastructure/art and site remediation financial assistance.

The full details of the RFQ process can be found online. Submittals must be complete by Oct. 5.

For more information, contact Bob Stowe with Stowe Development & Strategies at bob@stoweds.com or at 206-999-1099.

Read more about efforts to expand commuter parking at www.mercergov.org/commuterparking.

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