LYNNWOOD — Around the time light rail rolls into the city in 2024, an 18-story apartment building — the second tallest in Snohomish County — will tower over Alderwood mall.
The Lynnwood City Council approved the development agreement during its May 29 meeting. The deal pushes forward a 532,640-square-foot high-rise building, which will include 349 apartments, parking and retail space.
The project will break ground in 2019 or 2020 and take a few years to complete, according to Todd Hall, a city planning manager.
The development agreement with Cosmos Development Company included a land swap: The city wanted a southern piece of the site to realign Beech Road with the goal of improving traffic flow. In return, Cosmos Development received a strip of land that abuts the eastern side of its property.
The Bellevue-based Cosmos Development submitted plans for the project in February. The 1.87-acre site is at 18631 Alderwood Mall Parkway, next to the Toys R Us store.
The new building replaces a three-story medical office that was demolished earlier this year. Its proposed height would be exceeded in the county only by the hospital tower in Everett.
Councilman Ian Cotton said the project is ideally situated.
“We really are as far from single-family residences as we can possibly get in the city,” Cotton said.
It’s also positioned well for different kinds of transportation, he said.
The area around the mall is one of the places where the city has been focusing on high-density growth. The high-rise project will open about the same time as operations begin at the Lynnwood light rail station, about two miles away. The Lynnwood to Everett link extension will bring a station within walking distance by 2036. And residents would be just steps away from the Interurban Trail, which runs from Everett to Edmonds.
“What we are planning for is the next generation in Lynnwood,” said Oscar Del Moro, a principal with Cosmos Development. “It’s probably two to three years ahead of its time.”
The project will have 14 floors of apartments that sit above four levels of parking. One level of parking will be underground. Roughly 80 percent of the units will be one-bedrooms, according to Del Moro. The other 20 percent will be mostly two-bedrooms. Only about a dozen three-bedroom apartments are expected.
A small amount of retail space, less than 4,000 square feet, will be on the ground floor, aimed at residents.
Cosmos Development plans to build 395 parking spaces, most of which will be located on the lower four stories. A handful of surface parking spots will be near the retail.
Hall said Alderwood Mall also is considering adding housing to the area.
Concerns did come at the May 29 meeting from some of the councilmembers, who questioned the amount of parking.
Though excited about the project, Councilwoman Shannon Sessions said the city isn’t ready for that little of parking yet.
“We are still a suburb,” Sessions said. “We still need our vehicles.”
Sessions ultimately supported the development agreement.
Hall said the council had approved lower parking ratios for projects near transit and other amenities.
Parking spaces cost between $50,000 to $60,000 to build, according to Del Moro. He said he would rather manage parking than be forced to build more of it.
“I think the days of the cars as we know it are numbered,” Del Moro said. “Our vision is always for tomorrow and getting to tomorrow is sometimes just a little painful.”
Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; email@example.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.