Development is booming in Issaquah

Development in Puget Sound continues to thrive as more than 1,000 people move to the Seattle area every week, with Issaquah being no exception.

New commercial and residential projects have been popping up across the city of Issaquah with many major projects underway. The city keeps a list of ongoing projects on its website, which the Reporter reviewed.

In the preliminary review process are two projects applied for by Collinswoerman, which will be built next to Swedish Medical Center in the Issaquah Highlands. The first project would include the construction of an 88,000 square-foot medical office building to support the hospital on the other side of Northeast Discovery Drive. The four-story building will have nearly 400 parking stalls.

Adjacent to the medical office building, a second development by Collinswoerman would create 120,000 square feet of office space, an 18,000 square-foot fitness center and 5,000 square feet of retail, along with nearly 300 parking units. The proposed projects sit in a vacant field with views of Lake Washington to the west. Townhomes are being constructed to the north.

In the same field along Highland Drive, MG2 Architects has filed for permits to build out 107,000 square feet spread among 11 buildings on five lots with 545 parking stalls. These buildings would largely be single-story retail, with the possibility of building out a second story with an additional 13,000 square feet for retail, restaurants or deck space.

In north Issaquah, Costco has sought to build out its campus along I-90 for years and is in the process to add 600,000 square feet for a total of 1.13 million square feet of office space. It will shift the weight of the campus south toward the freeway with new buildings being constructed.

One of the most contentious developments is a proposal by Windward Real Estate Services to build 57 new homes on a piece of sloped land on Cougar Mountain. The land is owned by the Bergsma and Rech families and is located above Newport Way Northwest and State Route 900, north of the Talus neighborhood.

It has drawn ire from more than 300 residents who formed a community group called Save Cougar Mountain in opposition. The Issaquah City Council unanimously denied a previous proposal in June 2017 in which Windward asked for a development agreement to create nearly 80 single-family lots on the site. Reasons given by the council for denying the request included increased density, a lack of affordable housing in the development and landslide hazards. A study conducted last fall found there were no risks of slides on the property, though residents point to other studies to dispute this.

Save Cougar Mountain members told the Reporter in previous coverage they believed 22 acres of trees would be cut down for the development and 60 percent of the 45-acre development included critical areas, wetlands, streams and steep slopes.

Other projects that have had construction permits issued include the Issaquah 22, which was approved in 2013 and includes 52 single-family residential lots. However, the developers were seeking an amendment to the original plat.

Issaquah Gateway Apartments on 2290 Newport Way NW has received a permit to build 400 residential units on 23 acres as well as a trail, a 2-acre public park, a clubhouse and a private park.

A complete list of ongoing projects can be viewed at

Originally published by The Issaquah Sammamish Reporter