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December 8, 1997

Front Page

TRF project to remain nameless,Grid roads may open soon


Andrew Walgamott/staff photo
Crews wash off the sides of the Target building before applying sealant to the walls.

     by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--Though many residents are at a conundrum on what to call Woodinville's expansive downtown shopping development, Bob Parks says he doesn't anticipate naming the complex. "We don't want to be thought of as something separate from the downtown. We want to be part of it," the president of TRF-Pacific said last week. Fitting in might not be as difficult for the 43-acre ("Don't call it a shopping center") project as it may seem. Sure, there are buildings still to be erected, mountains of dirt to be leveled, acres of pavement to be striped and hundreds of shrubs and trees to be planted, but Parks said the development is beginning to reflect the vision and design residents and city staff had asked for.
   According to Joe Wallis, city planner, that look is known as the northwest woodlands character, or "simple three-dimensional structures", like barns, sheds and other post and beam agrarian features. This design principle is particularly visible at the Target building in the northern corner of the development, where a shiny aluminum entry way and high-set windows are reminiscent of a country barn. Post-like concrete pillars front the building. "I would guess there is no other Target in the United States that looks like this," Parks said.
   Elsewhere, a pair of buildings under construction next to the sidewalk of N.E. 175th St. will have old-west style false-fronts, and a timbered park next to Schuck's features trellises and massive cedar beams that echo Molbaks across the street. The building nearest Burger King is slated to be occupied by Great Clips, General Nutrition Center, Bella Cleaners, Kinko's and GTE Phone Mart while the structure near Firestone will house Hollywood Video, Taco Del Mar, Starbucks and a tenant to be named.
   Parks said construction on Top Food and Drug near Tilton Truss as well as two other structures was expected to begin soon. Crews are also busy putting the roof on the Cineplex Odeon 12-screen theater in the southeast corner of the development. And while the project will definitely change Woodinville's skyline and future forever, Parks said he was pleased with the way it was taking shape. "I like the way it looks. I hope others do to," he said.
   Motorists and pedestrians may get a chance to peruse the innards of the complex soon and judge for themselves. Parks said two grid streets inside the project, N.E. 178th St. and 138th Ave. N.E., have been paved and signalized, and may be activated before the middle of next January when Burlington Northern Sante Fe crews are supposed to finish work on a new railroad crossing connecting 178th to N.E. 177th Pl. Doing so will ease congestion problems elsewhere in Woodinville.
   Public Works Director Ron Cameron said TRF-built roads will provide one-third to one-half of all downtown circulation capacity, handling more traffic than the developers expect to generate. Anticipating the impact of the development, the city is also considering the addition of a second left-turn lane off of 131st Ave. N.E. near Dairy Queen onto a widened N.E. 177th Pl., the street paralleling the westside of the BNSF tracks. Also, a slip ramp from State Route 522 onto 178th has been proposed, though Cameron said that was five to ten years in the future.