The rapidly developing southwest corner of Redmond should become denser soon, now that the city will allow a four-story mixed-use building to be built in the neighborhood.
The Redmond City Council unanimously approved a zoning change at a meeting last week — from general residential to mixed-use neighborhood — for a 1.23-acre parcel on the corner of SW Canal Boulevard and SW Badger Avenue.
The council also approved an exception to the height limitation for that zoning, allowing the proposed four-story building to be 47 feet, which is two feet higher than the limit.
The first floor of the proposed, 6,200-square-foot building will house small retail spaces. The second floor will be office space, and the third and fourth floor will hold a combined eight condominium units.
Redmond senior planner Kyle Roberts argued this building was needed to meet the city’s housing and density goals. In a 2019 housing needs analysis, the city determined that 1,741 new multi-family housing units and 341 new mixed-use units had to be built in Redmond by 2039 to accommodate growth, he said.
“This project will nicely help meet these specific needs,” Roberts told the council.
Roberts and project developers also noted that this building would provide retail and employment from a walkable distance for people living in the quickly-growing neighborhood. The plot of land is already surrounded by new houses and apartments, all right next to Ridgeview High School.
“The tone has already been set for a mixed-use, higher-density type of development,” land use planner Tammy Wisco told the council. “The intent of this project is to bring in that neighborhood-centric, small commercial facility that compliments the setting it’s already in.”
City councilors had mostly positive things to say about the proposed building during the meeting.
“Personally, I find this building quite intriguing,” said Mayor George Endicott. “A mixed-use like this, with retail on the first floor ... is exactly more of what we need in Redmond.”
“I’m also very excited to see a project with the mixed-use going forward,” added city councilor Krisanna Clark-Endicott.
The only major concern raised during the meeting was how the development would effect nearby traffic.
City councilor Ed Fitch said he liked the project overall, but was worried it — and other nearby recent developments — would turn the Badger/Canal intersection into a traffic nightmare. Specifically, he wanted a designated right turn lane for northbound Canal Boulevard onto Badger Avenue.
“As this town grows...Canal Boulevard, whether we like it or not, will become a major thoroughfare north and south,” Fitch said Tuesday night. “My major concern is ensuring that the intersection is going to work in the future.”
Redmond city engineer Mike Caccavano said the lack of a dedicated right turn lane on Canal was intentional. Adding that lane would speed up traffic on the boulevard, and at the moment, the city is trying to slow speeds on the street near Ridgeview High School, he said.