In early September, the city of Mercer Island put out a request for qualifications (RFQ) 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 location is a premier site, adjacent to the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station and centrally located in Mercer Island’s Town Center. It is an opportunity to participate in a public-private partnership and develop a gateway connection between the Town Center and the station’s east entrance off 80th Avenue Southeast (opening in 2023).
The deadline for RFQ submissions was Oct. 5 and the city received nine submissions from the following teams: Columbia Pacific Advisors, LLC (CPA); Imagine Housing; Lowe; Mainstreet Property Group LLC; Reve Development; Shelter Holdings/Weinstein A+U; Stream Real Estate Partners; Trammell Crow Company (High Street Residential); and White/Peterman Properties, Inc. (WPPI).
The city’s primary objective for the development is the construction of 100 or more commuter parking spaces. Additional community benefits the city seeks include: public open spaces, well-designed integration, arts and cultural events and spaces, and housing diversity.
The city intends to create a single parcel by assembling two separate properties, consisting of the old “Tully’s” property (7810 SE 27th St.) and a portion of the city’s current land on Sunset Highway. The Tully’s property is currently under contract with the city.
The city will offer the winning submission development rights on the assembled parcels to provide commuter parking and mixed-use development, and will also be offering about $2 million toward parking costs. The city may also offer residential multifamily property tax exemption, priority permitting, community engagement support, contribution of public infrastructure/art and site remediation financial assistance.
An evaluation committee consisting of city staff and outside technical advisors will be reviewing the submissions and narrowing down the pool to a group of four to five semifinalists.
All RFQ submissions were made available on the city’s website by Oct. 12, after staff reviewed the submissions for completeness and/or proprietary information. Also on that day, the city announced the semifinalists that are invited to participate in an interview and community presentation/Q&A meeting scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.
The semifinalists are: Imagine Housing, Mainstreet Property Group LLC, Reve Development, Shelter Holdings / Weinstein A+U and Stream Real Estate Partners.
The City Council is scheduled to review all RFQs and the top finalists for consideration on Nov. 15. The selected company will then enter into negotiations for an exclusive negotiation agreement (ENA). Following formal council adoption of the ENA, the city will work closely with the community and developer to design the project.