Developer wants to build townhomes near Silver Lake

EVERETT — The new owner of vacant land across the street from Silver Lake’s north shore wants to build about 100 townhomes there.

The proposal is far smaller, and less complex, than the eight-story condo towers and shops previously planned for the 12-acre site along a curve in the Bothell- Everett Highway.

Taylor Development of Bellevue has yet to submit any formal building applications, but has shown concepts to Everett planners.

Anyone interested in learning more can drop in on a city Planning Commission workshop set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Silver Lake Elementary School, 12815 Bothell-Everett Highway.

The workshop is part of the planning process that started in February, when the City Council placed emergency land-use restrictions on the property.

The site, next to the Silver Lake Safeway store, has attracted interest from city leaders and neighbors, many of whom think the area has too many apartments.

“This project is really the first step of many in creating a really quality recreational opportunity and a place for our citizens to enjoy,” City Council President Jeff Moore said. “We had hoped that it would set the standard for future development of Silver Lake.”

The earlier incarnation of the project, Silver Lake Center, would have included 185 multi-family homes and 100,000 square feet of commercial space. Plans called for two 111-foot-tall buildings — comparable to downtown Everett’s Wall Street Building. The Safeway next door would have been rebuilt.

In exchange for greater building densities, Seattle developer Alan Clark agreed to revamp the city’s Green Lantern Park on Silver Lake.

Community reaction to that project varied, said Ben Zarlingo, treasurer of the Silver Lake Action Committee, a group that earlier mobilized against the construction of the area’s Costco store.

“There was a range of opinions, but the most common one was that they didn’t want another set of apartments,” Zarlingo said. “But they didn’t like the density. The total scale of it was probably a shock to some people.”

Clark obtained permits in 2004 and soon demolished buildings on the property. At one point, he announced plans to break ground in 2006.

That never happened.

Some of the land went into foreclosure and changed hands in 2010. Clark’s permits expired last year.

Early plans for the new development include fewer homes, no stores and no buildings taller than three or four stories. Still undecided is whether park improvements will factor in.

Taylor Development has formed a limited liability company called Silver Lake Vue to move the project along.

“It’s not Alan Clark’s project — it’s smaller in complexity and smaller in dollars,” Zarlingo said.

The city’s emergency restrictions on the property are intended to buy time for planning and gathering public input. They are set to expire in February.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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