Construction of Fred Meyer in Maple Valley is still hovering on the horizon, but the economy is not exactly greasing the skids.
City Manager David Johnston gave an update to the City Council on the project at the May 10 meeting.
Johnston noted the Bellevue firm Powell Development, the company planning the project, paid $30,000 in fees to the city in February.
“If they drop a five figure check I think it shows they are willing to proceed,” Johnston said. “The question is how fast.”
Johnston said it is not certain when the project will break ground because of the sluggishness in all commercial projects around the region.
The city manager noted Powell brought a number of concerns to the city regarding the development. Johnston walked the council through a series of issues resolved by the staff and council action to keep the project moving forward.
“We do receive criticism that we are not developer friendly,” Johnston said. “Some developers come in the city and want the development accepted as they want it. But many times when our code was on the table (with Powell) Ty Peterson (community development director) and Steve Clark (public works director) worked to help this project keep moving along.”
Johnson added Powell has “decisions to make, but the city of Maple Valley will not be accused of not doing their part.”
The city manager listed 11 items, all of which were resolved by staff or council action except one, the issue of the high cost of irrigation meters required by the Covington Water District. Johnston said the city is willing to work with the developer and he said the water district is not requiring the meters in 2010.
Other issues included traffic impact fees, which Johnston noted had been reduced by council action by about half and the staff informed Powell of a $288,000 credit that can be applied toward the special assessment fee.
Another issue resolved by the staff was a conflict over height of the gables in the proposed design.