July 27, 1998
Bothell attracting the eyes of hotel chains
by Andrew Walgamott
BOTHELL--Hilton is coming to Bothell, and not far behind are a handful of other hotels which are eyeing this city at the crossroads of four highways and the high-tech corridor.
Already the home to three hotels, with another under construction, Bothell could be home to as many as eight inns, and at least 431 more rooms, in the near future if all proposals and interests pan out. There are 348 hotel rooms in the city now.
Currently, Hilton and the city are working on a planned unit development for a 163-room, four-story structure off of Beardslee Boulevard near the future UW/Triple C campus, according to Bothell Associate Planner Mark Cross.
It would be the second-largest hotel in the city next to the 166-room Wyndham Garden Hotel near N.E. 195th St.
Andrew Olsen of the Chambers Group, a hospitality industry consulting firm, says three things are driving the current interest in Bothell: available land, proximity to a developing business community and being wedged between Lynnwood and Bellevue.
Besides Wyndham, there is a Residence Inn by Marriott and a Comfort Inn already located in Bothell.
Under construction is Sierra Suites, a 124-room, three-story hotel going in near Canyon Park.
Building permits are in the works for a 60-room Holiday Inn Express motel at Canyon Park and a 84-room Fairfield Suites at Monte Villa, according to Cross. And Extended Stay America, has expressed interest in Bothell as well, said Bill Wiselogle, community planning manager.
Though Olsen doubted all would be built, he said Bothell was where hotels were looking to locate as highway traffic has increased, and the technology corridor has slowly emerged.
By stark contrast, across I-405 in Woodinville, there are no hotels, and only one proposal, though plans for the upscale 85-room inn near Redhook Brewery would require street work at State Route 202 and 148th Ave. N.E.
Making the Hilton possible in Bothell is a sewer line the UW will install on Beardslee, as well as street improvements there, Cross said. Alongside the Hilton will be a three-story office building above a parking garage, he said.
If the project is approved by the Bothell City Council after environmental review and public hearings, it could begin construction sometime next year, he said.
But the city has received letters from neighbors of the proposal who worry about their views and noise, Cross said.
An architect working on the project is going to build a scale model to show residents what the development will look like, he said.
An analysis of Bothell's development potential done last year found that the area could support 100 to 130 new rooms every five years. It also found that the Bellevue/Eastside market had the highest average occupancy rate, 78.4 percent in 1996, of the central Puget Sound area.
Wiselogle said chains could be locating here now in anticipation of future market growth.
Olsen said while the majority of hotel guests are travelers, more people are using facilities for group meetings and extended stays for relocation or during business training seminars.