Transfer station expansion brings much-needed updates and efficiencies to County’s busiest solid waste transfer station

Press release:

Completing the new solid waste transfer building and adding recycling services represent a major milestone in the multi-year modernization project at King County’s Bow Lake facility in Tukwila. The entire project, including an expanded recycling area, will be completed in late 2013.

Beginning Wednesday, July 11, customers will be able to recycle appliances, yard waste, clean wood, scrap metal, bicycles and bicycle parts, at the new facility. Customers can also drop off home-generated medical sharps at the transfer station, which is located at 18800 Orillia Rd. S.

Recycling services have been unavailable at Bow Lake since early 2009, when the major redevelopment project got under way. Garbage disposal services have not been disrupted at the facility, which handles more than one-third of all the tonnage in the County’s solid waste transfer system.

This redevelopment project moves the County ahead by bringing efficiencies, enhancing service and ensuring regulatory compliance. In addition to areas for recycling, key features of the new solid waste transfer building include:


A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Aug. 15 at 10:30 a.m. for a 36,000-square-foot building that will house medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy services as well as leased space for community mental health offices.

HealthPoint Midway will open in 2013 and is expected to serve 14,000 new patients, according to a company press release.

The building is located at 26401 Pacific Hwy. S.


Burien and its Town Square developer may not get divorced, afterall.

Or, at least, final dissolution has been delayed until July 18.

Burien City Manager Mike Martin sent a letter June 19 to Harbor Urban agreeing to extend the closing date for the city’s repurchase of three undeveloped Town Square parcels.

On June 4, the Burien City Council voted to exercise its option to buy back the parcels at 90 percent of what the developer paid for them. The original buyer, Los Angles-based Urban Partners has been renamed Harbor Urban after it bought Seattle’s Harbor Properties.

The developers had proposed erecting a cinema and one-story medical building on the parcels. They said the market has changed and could not support condos and small retail spaces. They pointed to the first Town Square phase where condos have sold slowly and only one business, Subway, has committed to opening a retail store.

Burien officials countered that the cinema would have cost the city $4 million while the one-story medical building was not what the city had in mind for the urban development.

No divorce yet for Burien, Town Square developers
Photo credit: 
Photo by Steve Shay

Burien City Manager Mike Martin sent a letter to Harbor Urban agreeing to extend the closing date for the city’s repurchase of undeveloped Town Square parcels.

Burien’s plan to pump up to $400,000 into some city elementary schools was strongly opposed June 5 by three influential school district leaders.

City Manager Mike Martin presented an outline of the proposed “Kids and Cops Initiative” at the school district’s board meeting.

He said the Burien City Council would be considering the initiative on Monday, June 18 with the goal of placing it on the November election ballot.

If approved by Burien voters, the initiative would target some Burien elementary schools with between $300,000-$400,000 over a four year period.

The funds would be direct grants from the city to specific schools with educators in each school determining which programs would be funded.

As a companion to the “kids” portion of the initiative, Burien cops would receive a surge in funding for two years to hire 8-10 additional police officers at a cost of $1.8- $2.3 million.

Martin said the funding for police would alter a misperception about the amount of crime in the city.

“Burien is thought to be the wild west as compared to neighboring cities,” Martin declared. “That is a myth.”

Developer's letter creates agitation, dismay for city council

By Gwen Davis

Burien city council members were “dismayed” when Jim Atkins, manager of the developing company Urban Partners, read a letter at the June 4th Burien City Council meeting accusing the council of “refusing to cooperate” with his company.

The issue at hand was Resolution 344 – which unanimously passed that evening – that considered whether the city should repurchase three undeveloped Burien Town Square parcels.

As the City of Burien’s website explains:
“In 2002, the City purchased the Town Square property at fair market value of $4,050,000 and invested significant public resources in constructing and maintaining transportation and park facilities in the Town Square. Following a Request of Qualifications process, the City sold the Town Square property consisting of Parcels I, IV, V, and VI to Urban Ventures Burien, LLC ("Owner/Developer"), at fair market value of $4,666,016 pursuant to a Disposition and Development Agreement dated June 29, 2005.”

Facility open to the public on May 17

While few Highline residents may use the Sea-Tac Airport’s new consolidated rental car facility, its opening on May 17 will bring local benefits.

With the twelve rental car companies all consolidated in one location away from the airport, congestion along SeaTac city streets and airport roadways will be reduced, along with the resulting pollution from the vehicles.

The project also generated $25 million in local taxes as well as creating 3,900 local construction jobs during the great recession. Up to 350 trades people worked at the site at one time.

The massive five-story, $2.1 million square foot facility is located at South 160th Street and International Boulevard. The building, which is the largest concrete structure on the west coast, is easily visible from State Route 518, just southwest of the Tukwila light rail station.

Although construction has stretched over three years, airport managing director Mark Reis noted at a May 9 pre-opening celebration the project has been more like a “17-year journey” with several stops and restarts.

Port holds pre-opening ceremony for massive rental car facility
Photo credit: 
Photos by Jerry Gay

Top- Instead of a ribbon cutting for the new rental car facility the Port of Seattle had a ribbon smashing as a shuttle bus drove through a banner held by Port staffers. Bottom- The lobby of the $400 million Sea-Tac Airport rental car facility at International Boulevard and South 160th Street is shiny new as the Port of Seattle holds a pre-opening celebration.

Press release:

Highline Community College is collaborating with The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), a pioneer in offering Sustainable MBA and certificate programs, to expand its StartZone program outside the South King County area.

StartZone is a microenterprise development program providing economically disadvantaged residents of South King County with no-cost training, technical assistance and other resources to improve financial self-sufficiency through self-employment and small business ownership.

Established in 2008 through the support of Sen. Maria Cantwell, the program has served over 1,000 emerging entrepreneurs, and its nearly 500 members have accessed over $500,000 in financing (startup or expansion), launched 65 new businesses and created over 100 new jobs.

BGI Dean, John Gardner, Ph.D. stated, “We are excited to have this opportunity to work with Highline, the home for StartZone and the institution who has seen it through the proof of concept stage, to explore StartZone’s expansion.


The City of Normandy Park has postponed the Joint City Council/Planning Commission meeting on the Manhattan Village Draft Integrated Subarea Plan/EIS scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 19th.

A new date and time for the meeting has not been determined at this time.


Press release:

Join officials in Des Moines to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new four-star Artemis Hotel on Wednesday, July 27.

The groundbreaking for the multi-million dollar, 250-room hotel at 22406 Pacific Highway S. will take place from 11 a.m. to noon. Officiating at the event will be State Representative Dave Upthegrove, Des Moines Mayor Robert Sheckler, City Manager Tony Piasecki, Belay Architects, and Mr. Yang, a majority owner in the project. Light refreshments will be served.

Designs for the Artemis Hotel complex feature a 1930s art-deco influence, spectacular views of Puget Sound and Des Moines' first convention center. The hotel will also include nine deluxe suites, banquet facilities, water-feature spa, workout facilities, poker room, and bar featuring live music.
There will be two full-service restaurants-one authentic Chinese and one American.

The Artemis Hotel is designed by Belay Architecture of Tacoma for Yareton Investment & Management LLC, a Washington real estate developer. Located a convenient 3 miles south of SeaTac International Airport, the hotel is anticipated to open sometime in fall 2013.

New hotel breaks ground July 27 in Des Moines
More information added from the project manager

Update for July 14:
The long-languishing Burien Town Square condominiums are finally going back on the market in August.

The condos have been off the market for about two years.

Cost of the condos will be more than 35 percent lower than when the condos first came on the market in June 2009.

ST Residential, managing member of the project, had contemplated converting the unsold condos to rental apartments until economic times got better but have decided the current market will support the new prices. Prices are expected to be from $120,000-$420,000. Original prices went from the mid -$200,000s to the mid-$600,000s.

Only six of the 124 condos had been sold at the old prices.

Pete Marino, spokesman for ST, noted the original prices “were determined in a completely different economic climate.”

As to why the project owners waited so long before putting the condos back on the market, Marino said they wanted to make sure they analyzed the local market completely.

“We wanted to do our homework,” Marino declared.

UPDATE: Burien Town Square condos back on the market at lower prices
Photo credit: 
Eric Mathison
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