Commercial center taking shape off Highway 9 in Lake Stevens

A bowling alley? Maybe. Potential tenants are showing interest and locals have their own wish list.

LAKE STEVENS — One of the city’s newest commercial developments could soon be underway.

Lake Stevens Landing, a proposed retail and dining plaza at the intersection of Highway 9 and Soper Hill Road, is slated to include up to nine businesses that will add local jobs and generate tax revenue.

“One of the reasons the rezone went through is, historically, Lake Stevens has lacked retail and commercial areas,” said Russ Wright, community development director for the city. “This just expands on the city’s growth … and just any additional jobs in retail is good, especially in the north end of the city where there really isn’t anything like that.”

The parcels were rezoned from residential to commercial and local business in 2014.

Wright said the development has been in consideration for a few years but the city has only received one user application to date. The first application, for an Arco gas station and AM/PM convenience store on the 2700 block of Soper Hill Road, came in this June.

The application states that when complete, the site would feature a nearly 3,000 square foot store, six fuel pumps and a car wash.

Matt Tabor, managing director of the Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce, said some local businesses are eyeing lots in the development.

Lake Stevens resident Rob Whittle posted on the Lake Stevens Community Facebook page that he is considering one of the Landing’s lots for 12 Strikes Bowl ‘N Fun. Rob and Kari Whittle’s efforts to bring a bowling alley to Lake Stevens began over two years ago.

Tabor said Diedrich Espresso reached out to the chamber with questions about how to secure a space within the commercial development and GenCare, a company with senior living facilities throughout the Greater Seattle Area, has begun nailing down plans for a facility in one of the lots.

“I’m excited for having yet another senior facility that would possibly allow some local residents who may not be able to stay in their homes in Lake Stevens to still remain in town,” Tabor said.

According to GenCare’s Construction Plan Review Application, the assisted living facility would be nearly 40,000 square feet with a 70-stall parking lot and sidewalks added on site. The facility would include on-site memory care.

The Landing’s lots total 10.79 acres, ranging from a half acre to 2 1/2 acres, each with the potential to be combined for larger projects. According to the property website, the civil engineering is complete.

A State Environmental Policy Act Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance was issued for the greater Soper Hill binding site plan in Aug. 2019. Wright described the topography in the area as flat. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wetland map there is riverine habitat, or a channel, that runs adjacent to the southernmost parcel — where the gas station is proposed.

According to planning documents, the applicant is required to consider retaining trees on site or providing replacement trees, creating a stormwater “system” working to mitigate noise impacts to nearby homes and completing the connection of 29th Street NE to the highway.

Wright said the applicants will also be responsible for rebuilding the intersection at Soper Hill Road and Highway 9, and adding any necessary sewer and water.

The rezone for the Soper Hill commercial development went through a public process in 2014, but because it is not included in part of a sub-area plan it didn’t include extensive public outreach, Wright said. “In this case it was applicant-driven,” he said.

The Landing’s property description states that it will include two restaurants and a health care facility in addition to the gas station and senior living facility.

Wyk Parker, partner with NAI Puget Sound Properties, said at this point, there are more than two restaurants interested.

“The interest has really been phenomenal and we’re really pleased with the progress of the project,” Parker said.

Some residents are rallying support for grocery stores including Whole Foods and Trader Joes to pick up one of the lots, in discussions on the Lake Stevens Community Facebook Page.

Tabor said since Lake Stevens began a business boom in recent years, the chamber has moved into a “stereotypical chamber” role — advocating for local businesses before city officials and holding events to connect the community.

“I am excited,” Tabor said. “I mean between that development and the Costco and the additional commercial retail stuff that the city is trying to work on down on 20th Street Southeast, I think it’s gonna benefit Lake Stevens residents … it’s going to give other options for residents to stay local when they want to go to restaurants or do shopping so they don’t have to take their spending dollars outside of Lake Stevens.”

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

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