Woodinville is preparing for new development — more than 200 single-family homes, a hotel and the mixed-use Woodin Creek Village — after a slow economic year in 2013, City Manager Richard Leahy explained in the State of the City address last week.
Retail sales tax was up 4 percent in 2013, but "only because 2012 was such a bad year," Leahy said. "Everything else being equal, we’re kind of back at our 2000, 2001 sales tax levels."
Similarly, Leahy said building permit values for private development picked up a little in 2013, "but that is the second lowest in the city’s history. It’s only better because 2012 was such a bad year."
However, he projects $30 million or more of new building values for the coming year, and he explained some of those projects.
Woodin Creek will be a 20-acre mixed-use development in downtown with 800 apartments and 50,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. The first phase of the project, which is scheduled to begin construction this summer, will include parking structures surrounded by apartments, which will hide the parking garages from view. A second phase will include retail space and skyway connections between buildings.
"It will be an amenity there that we don’t currently have in downtown," Leahy said.
More than 200 single-family homes are in the works at two sites. The Quadrant homes, near the intersection of State Route 522 and 195th Street, are under construction now. And the city just approved the construction of 157 houses at the site of Vibrant Plants.
Woodinville is making "very preliminary" plans for a hotel in the northern part of town, Leahy said. The Hampton Inn will be located at the Woodinville Truss site, and it will include 102 rooms and 4,000 square feet of wine tasting space.
In the industrial area, the city will gain two new warehouses, the 20,000 square foot BDA warehouse and the 90,000 square foot Asko warehouse.
"So we’re seeing some diverse development in all of our areas, which is good, because we haven’t had any action over the last five years," Leahy said.
He announced a few other pieces of news for the city.
The City Council is still considering a business license, a flat fee of $40 to $70 per business per year.
"We’re one of the few communities in the state and in the region that does not have a business license," Leahy said. "It’s really to help us understand who’s in town, what type of special issues they have."
Further ahead, in 2015 and 2016, the state Department of Transportation plans to replace the storm drain pipe through which Little Bear Creek runs under the road near the main entrance of the city. Enlarging the pipe beneath State Route 202 will improve fish passage and reduce flooding, Leahy said, but it will also require some street closures, including complete closures during two summer weekends. The council will discuss it next week and try to figure out how to minimize the impact of the road closures.