by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--Developers TRF-Pacific closed their deal last Thursday for the future 44-acre downtown retail area, buying nine parcels from nine property owners in a purchase pegged around $19 million, then selling Target's future site to the retailer for $6 million.
The deal is the culmination of nearly two years of work putting the parcels together and working through the planning and permitting processes with city staff, the Planning Commission, and the City Council.
At an event celebrating the agreement, nine bottles of champagne were given, one to each seller: Lowell and Stella DeYoung, Cliff Running, Katherine Griffin, Ed and Carolyn Tilton, Wen Ching and Ing Luan Chang Liu, Dr. Donald and Jacqueline Brookhart, Harry Getz, Norma Beebe, and M & R Partnership.
"I think it's going to be great for Woodinville," said former downtown property owner Cliff Running. "Without TRF, we'd have strip malls like Lynnwood, which is why we approached them in the first place. I think TRF has done an outstanding job both in design and tenants."
Bob Parks, president of TRF-Pacific, said he is excited about the sale and is looking forward to building the project. "We have an extraordinary working relationship with the city of Woodinville," said Parks. "This is a great project for downtown Woodinville."
Parks said the project will not be given a special name, and will become part of the downtown shopping area. "The design guidelines and our parking requirements are city requirements, and the streets are public streets," he added. "We would expect that our activity would trigger additional retail or collateral development."
The grid road planned for the eastern edge of the property has evaporated after access easements were granted to adjoining property owners and the city for ingress and egress.
Parks says TRF expects to see dirt being moved and site work by mid-November, with Top Foods, the 12 Cineplex Odeon theaters, and the streets fronting on NE 175th Street completed by this time next year. Target is planning to open in spring of 1998.
TRF's share of the project is about $50 million, with Target's share calculated at around $15 million, for a total of $65 million.
"The complexity of having all those folks come together at the same time, along with the government permits and approval of the binding site plan ... That's a fairly technical and difficult job," Parks said. "It feels good to have that part of it behind us. Now we can build it and work on marketing. This is something everybody's going to be really proud of."