Proposed Point Wells Development Could Face Downsizing

Since 2011 Woodway residents have been fighting a proposal that would place a high-rise development on the 61-acre Puget Sound waterfront site of unincorporated Snohomish County. Blue Square Real Estate (BSRE) is proposing a 17 story high-rise with 3,100 condos and a number of retail shops. But residents fear that the development will increase traffic, spoil views and have a negative environmental impact. An alternative design that’s only 12 stories with approximately 1,000 fewer condos has been proposed by residents but the developer is under no legal requirements to follow the proposal. Attorneys for Blue Square have stated that the alternative proposal is being reviewed and that it is a first step for finding some middle ground on the development.

“Save Richmond Beach” a community group of Woodway and Shoreline-area residents took a more aggressive approach, suing Snohomish County and BSRE Point Wells in November and convincing a judge to place a hold on the Blue Square development. In response to the lawsuit and the continued protests, the county has launched an environmental impact study that will look at three possible scenarios:

1. Building the high-rise to the developer’s specifications which would include the 3,500 condos.

2. Building the high-rise with a slightly smaller occupancy of 3,081 units.

3. Leaving the land undeveloped.

Residents have complained that the study does not include their proposal for a high-rise with only 2,000 condo units. But the developers insist that a high-rise with so few occupants would not be enough to support the development’s retail establishments.

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