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Minutes of Community Meeting, June 17, 2009,
NSCC Green Room

Directors Present: Liz Kearns, Kay Mesirow, and Ellen Beck.

Board Representatives Present: Ken Thompson (Liaison to North Precinct).

Visitors: Jeff Cook (Stellar Holdings), Sarah Haeger (Fearey Group), Kathy Package, and Jean Wirch.

Liz Kearns called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. and we had introductions around the table.

Minutes: The May 20, 2009 minutes were approved as presented.

Liz began with a discussion of the neighborhood’s priorities and history. From our community planning the following areas were identified: traffic concerns, lack of sidewalks, need for making improvements to Aurora Avenue North, the desire for an overpass to the Transit Center, and the desire to keep Wilson Pacific an ongoing school.


Thornton Place Jeff Cook, on the Executive Team for Stellar Holdings, spoke about Stellar Holdings, and newly completed Thornton Place, which occupies what was the “lower lot” for the Northgate Shopping Center.

Stellar Holdings is a family-owned real estate company founded in 1989 and headquartered in Seattle. He told us that the Swedish presence in the company came from Swedes “marrying into” American families. Stellar Holdings also has branches in Sweden and Poland. He said that the company learned a lot from doing development projects in Europe. Their goal is to build better communities and they believe that sustainability is crucial. Every project must address economic, social, and environ-mental aspects, not just economics.

In 2003, the development firm, Lorig Associates, worked with the City of Seattle, Northgate Mall, King County Metro, and local stakeholder groups to broker a deal in which they purchased 5.9 acres to develop a transit-oriented, mixed use project for the Mall’s south lot. Stellar Holdings became the primary investor in the project. They are also the company that now manages Thornton Place.

As part of Stellar’s commitment to sustainability, the development is serving as a pilot project for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development Program. As part of the program, Thornton Creek, which formerly ran underground into a culvert under the south lot, has been converted into an open water channel, using a natural drainage system technology which mimics nature. The channel is a bioswale and naturally cleans contaminates from the water. The native plants along the swale, will not be fully rooted until September, so the water flow is being closely restricted until then to protect the new plantings.

There are 280 affordable and market rate, LEED-certified apartments, 109 market rate, LEED-certified condominiums, a 14-screen Regal IMAX cinema, 50,000 square feet of retail space, and the 2.9 acre senior housing development, Aljoya.

The rental rates for apartments are $1.80/sq. ft. and the average apartment is 700 square feet, making the rent $1,100.00. However, 20 percent of the apartments are affordable for low-income earners. There are also 120 senior units at Aljoya.

They have 900 parking spots because of the theatre. The peak time for theatre parking is 4:00 p.m. to midnight. Because of this, they have leased 350 spots to METRO. They give 10% discounted cards to transit riders, and will have Zip cars.

The Regal Theatre has seven screens on the first floor, restrooms and concessions on the second floor, and seven screens on the top floor. Because of the glass walls, there are spectacular views. The taller buildings surrounding the theatre are the apartment buildings; the two-story buildings along the water channel contain the condominiums.

Thornton Place is one of the first communities in the country to receive the Silver LEEDS Award. Thornton Place is also has the highest density of any Northwest community. Stellar has put in mature trees, which most developers do not. They have designed the plaza to have a European feel, with a fountain.

They don’t expect retail stores to go into Thornton Place because of Northgate Mall, but they have a dental office coming, a Thai restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a coffee/tea house with crepes and bubble tea called the Jewell Box Café, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and a Subway Store with a Tuscany style. They have also had inquiries from a natural ice cream store in Vancouver and Healthy Pizza. It was the consensus of us at the meeting that we’d like to see a grocery store, especially because of all the housing units there and the goal of people walking to their destinations!

Neighborhood Plan Status Check How is Licton Springs doing? The Seattle Planning Commission and the Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee ask us to join them and give our thoughts on how our neighborhood has changed since our neighborhood plan was adopted. Please mark your calendars for this important meeting and plan on attending:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Northgate Community Center
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

There will be a second series of meetings in October to present the status reports on the various neighborhood plans. The exact date of our meeting will be announced later.

Shade Park and Plaza at Green Lake. The Green Lake community is holding a dedication for their shade garden and plaza at Green Lake Park on Saturday, June 20, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The shade garden and plaza have been designed and funded with monies from the Pro Park Levy. The historic arch from the former Martha Washington School has been restored and now is a focal point of the plaza.

Dog Attack. The recent killing of a dog by another dog in Licton Springs Park was discussed. Animal control knows the owner of the dog and the identity of the dog. Liz will talk to the owners of the dog that was killed to get a description of the dangerous dog. An attorney believes there are sufficient grounds to have the dog euthanized. But, such proceedings take months. There is still concern about the dog, since it is unclear whether Animal Control can track this dog.


Community Shredding Event. The community shredding event was discussed. Kay Mesirow will be in Australia in September. It was decided that the event would be postponed to the spring when we could advertise it as a “Spring Cleaning” event.

It will be at Datasite Northwest (97th and Aurora). The shredding event will be free to folks. We can ask the Green Lake community and GAIN folks to join us. There is a limit of five boxes per person, and the shredding applies only to paper. This is for community residents only, no commercial businesses allowed.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, September 16, 2009.

The meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen M. Beck, Secretary

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