Site plan for Northline Village in Lynnwood City Center. (Merlone Geier Partners)

Site plan for Northline Village in Lynnwood City Center. (Merlone Geier Partners)

Light rail arrival builds interest in Lynnwood’s City Center

Plans for first multibuilding complex in area includes housing, parking office and retail space.

LYNNWOOD — The first multibuilding development in Lynnwood’s City Center is starting to take shape.

Preliminary plans call for 1,370 housing units, more than 5,000 parking spots and approximately 750,000 square feet of office and retail space to replace the aging Lynnwood Square strip mall, according to city documents. It’s smack dab in the middle of downtown, directly south of the Fred Meyer and up the street from the transit center.

“The City Center is ripe for redevelopment,” said Karl Almgren, the city’s program manager for the zone.

The interest in that area from the private market is growing as light rail gets closer to reaching the city, Almgren added.

This transformation, along 196th Street SW just blocks from I-5, is still a few years away, as is the arrival of Sound Transit’s Link which is set to begin whisking riders from Lynnwood to Seattle in 2024. The new mixed-use development has been renamed Northline Village.

“There’s not a there until the train is there,” said Glenn Goodman, a vice president of construction for Merlone Geier Partners, the developer and owner of the site.

The company hosted an open house last week to preview a conceptual plan that included apartments and townhouses along with retail and office buildings.

On the east side of the project, which runs along 44th Avenue W, designers placed the office space and structured parking. A road cuts down almost the middle of the site; this would be where more of the retail would be located. The far west side of the development will contain most of the housing units along a new 46th Avenue W.

Buildings in the designs top out at eight stories in the residential area, and seven in other areas. That was the maximum density thought to be obtainable by the developer.

Much of the parking is placed in garages both below and above ground. Some open spaces are also included in the project.

To complete the entire development will take years and will likely be done in phases depending on economic conditions.

The Merlone Geier Partners, which owns, leases and builds developments in West Coast states, is working on finalizing a development agreement with Lynnwood that would guide the work for the 18-acre section of the City Center area. It is set to be approved in the next several months.

Some flexibility needs to be worked into the agreement to allow the developer to respond to market demand as the complex is built out, Goodman said.

Merlone Geier Partners also were involved in the Alderwood Plaza and Ballinger Village shopping center projects.

A few Lynnwood residents who attended the meeting last week said the city needed a central gathering space.

“Lynnwood doesn’t have a downtown,” said Elizabeth Lunsford.

She wants to see boutique shops, happy hours, a place to have an art walk in Northline Village, to give a place for residents to spend their leisure money without having to leave the city.

“A nice place to walk is really important,” chimed in Fred Wong, another resident.

A survey is still available until June 30 to give input on the redevelopment of Northline Village and can be found at www.northlinevillage.com.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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