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Andrew Walgamott/staff photo
Target, the large building in the lower portion of the photo, has begun erecting a roof, and preliminary paving work is expected to take care of dust generated at the site.

City experiences boom in permitting

  TRF not only gig in town
   by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--There's a lot more construction in town than just TRF-Pacific's downtown project. City officials say in the first six months of 1997 alone they issued more than $49 million worth of building permits. Dean McKee, city permit director, estimated first half permit activities to be equal to all of 1996's.
   The $49 million represents building and site development from small decks all the way up to concrete tilt-ups. And the figures only include Target, none of the other expected TRF-Pacific downtown building projects, according to McKee. Permitting remained busy through August as well.
   "We're not slowing down very much," McKee said, adding the city was fielding inquiries on construction for next year. Meanwhile, construction goes on at full speed at the TRF site. Most of Target's walls have been erected. Roofing the 123,000 square-foot building is expected to take crews four weeks, according to Target site manager Ken Cass.
   The store is on schedule to open for business in March, 1998. Around the rest of the site, crews installed curbs and gutters and began paving parking lots. Storm water collection facilities, underground vaults that will allow runoff to percolate into the earth, were in place as well.
   Dust control, a concern of some citizens, was being handled by a dedicated water truck which was pumping between 40,000-60,000 gallons of water on the construction site a day, according to Chuck Hart, TRF manager. McKee said more than 1 million gallons of water had been pumped onto the project site. When meters broke, water was hauled in from Maltby, McKee said. Paving is expected to alleviate dust problems.
   Cineplex Odeon has received their building permit for a 14 screen, 2,500 seat theater. Two "strip buildings" fronting N.E. 175th St. have also been permitted though construction has yet to begin. Top Foods and Red Robin plans are still in review, but McKee expected them to pick up permits within 30-45 days.
   TRF president Bob Parks said more than half of the expected total cost of construction would be spent in the next few months, mainly on site preparation, grading, under ground utilities, sewers, paving and landscaping. Enthusiasm for the project remains strong, though there are still a few units to lease, according to Parks.
   He said strip shops along N.E. 175th would be among the first to be open. At full build-out, the city is forecasting $350,000 in sales tax revenues a year from the downtown project alone, according to Jim Katica, Woodinville finance director. TRF estimates the center will employ 650 and bring in over $80 million gross annual sales a year.
   At the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Jeff Shaw is generally positive about TRF. "It's going to bring more and more people into the community," Shaw said, but added the flip side was increased traffic. "That's something the city needs to seriously address," Shaw said. Representing over 400 chamber members, Shaw said he hoped national chain franchise owners coming to Woodinville would become involved in the community, whether it be with the chamber or Kiwanis.
   "It's their responsibility to be involved in as many local organizations as they can," Shaw said. He said local companies had a "natural concern over competition," but it would make for better business in the long run.
   In addition to those merchants listed above, others expected to open up at TRF include Starbuck's Coffee, Taco Del Mar, Bernie's Bagels, Hollywood Video, GTE Phone Mart, Bella Cleaners, Great Clips, Kinko's GNC, Barnes and Noble, Cucina! Presto, Museum Quality Frames and Kit's Camera. Contrary to a rumor floating around town, Top Foods is still coming to Woodinville.