Retail space, 350 apartments planned for Lakewood

LAKEWOOD — A small city is coming.

Shops on the ground floor, apartments above. It’s the way the downtown areas of major American cities used to be built, and now it’s a popular design feature of many new developments across the country.

A multi-use development with 350 apartments built above nearly 300,000-square-feet of commercial space is planned for the intersection of 172nd Street NE and 27th Avenue NE.

The developer, Smokey Point Commercial, had its construction crews busy last week continuing to level a 40-acre parcel to make way for the proposed 40-foot-tall Lakewood Station development, northwest of Costco in the Lakewood Crossing shopping center.

If all goes as planned, development could be open for occupancy by the fall of 2014. City planners could not provide a cost estimate for the project, and the developer, Steve Malsam, did not return calls or emails seeking information.

The Marysville City Council still has to approve a rezone request for the parcel to allow for more mixed use and agree to vacate what would have been 25th Avenue NE, down the middle of the property. Those actions are expected in June, said city administrator Gloria Hirashima.

The city received some public comment, primarily focused on potential traffic problems, noise, drainage and the height of the proposed buildings, Hirashima said.

The development will have to meet requirements for landscaping, noise control and pedestrian safety, she said. City planners could not provide a cost estimate for the project.

City staff are satisfied that the increased traffic in the area caused by the development can be handled by the current roads, but traffic impact fees will be collected by the city.

It’s not known what businesses might be located at Lakewood Station. Hirashima said it’s not a Fred Meyer.

“The developer has a site that could have a range of uses and he is shopping it around. They may not even have a good handle on what is going in there yet,” Hirashima said.

No matter what ends up being built, the potential to generate sales tax revenue for the city is good, Hirashima said.

“This is a growing area in a highly visible location,” she said.

Meanwhile, behind Costco, a 240-unit multi-family apartment complex is going up on a 9-acre parcel adjacent to an existing neighborhood.

That apartment complex and the proposed housing at Lakewood Station have drawn the attention of Lakewood School District Superintendent Dennis Haddock.

“It’s possible that our student population could grow by more than 100 students with these developments. As far as school bus routes, we will deal with that as the needs present themselves,” Haddock said. “But the potential of welcoming more students is a positive for us as our school district population stays flat or declines. We embrace the opportunity to serve more kids.”

With the small school district moving forward with its plans to modernize Lakewood High School, the district should be prepared for a population increase, Haddock said.

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