Owner applies to redevelop Kelsey Creek Center
October 28, 2010 · 8:49 AM
Kelsey Creek Center may soon receive a face lift and some new tenants.
The current owner of the property, Franklin-West, submitted an application last week to upgrade the vacant space left by Kmart in 2000 and expand and renovate a two-story building also on the property.
Michael Chen, from Group Mackenzie, the project designer, said the exact details of what will go in the center are unknown, but he surmised that the use will be similar to the past.
"It will most likely be retail use because that's what the center is known for," he said.
The Kmart building will be redesigned to allow for multiple tenants within the location, said city planner Mike Upston. The project will call for the construction of other retail or food service buildings along the property at 148th Avenue Southeast and Main Street.
Neighbors will have a chance to comment on the proposed plans at a public meeting before the East Bellevue Community Council. The meeting was scheduled for election night, but Chen said it has been moved to Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Hills Community Club House.
In addition to the renovated buildings, the project includes landscape and pedestrian improvement such as new sidewalks. Upston said one of the goals of the project is to help the shopping center interface within the adjacent neighborhood.
Another nearby property, the Shell station is being developed by Key Bank but is separate from the property.
Changes in zoning over the summer have made the property more development-friendly.
Previous guidelines required any builder that adds new commercial space to the site to open, or “daylight,” a covered stream that now flows through a concrete culvert below the property.
The rule made re-development of the 16-acre site nearly impossible.
"That was a fatal flaw," Upston said. "The property owner couldn't do anything with the site having a stream running through the middle of it."
Costco at one point had planned on leasing the former Kmart space at Kelsey Creek for a new Costco Fresh shopping center, but the zoning agreement prevented necessary renovations.
To make up for leaving the stream underground the stream, the property owner has agreed to fund improvements to the nearby Larsen Lake area.
"We're really killing two birds with one stone with this project," Upston said. "We're getting the site redeveloped and improving the habitat at Larsen Lake are next door."