Developer Shraga Biran focused on “metamorphosis and renewal” in creating world-class development
Snohomish County— The visionary behind the proposed mixed-use community at Point Wells (www.pointwells.com) said an April 10 ruling by the Washington Supreme Court represents a new catalyst for the transformation of the aging industrial site on Puget Sound near Seattle.
By a 6-3 vote, the Court affirmed a prior decision of the Court of Appeals and dismissed challenges to the developer’s ability to proceed with the processing of its Urban Center development application in Snohomish County.
“We are engaged in a process of metamorphosis and renewal, with a focus on creating an exemplary, environmentally-conscious community the entire region will take great pride in. The ruling is a major step in making that a reality,” said Shraga Biran, a primary shareholder of the Alon Group. Based in Israel, its holdings include Blue Square Real Estate Ltd., a major international developer of real estate, and its local development entity, BSRE Point Wells, LP.
BSRE Point Wells is proposing a dynamic mix of retail and office space with up to 3,081 apartments and condominiums of all types and sizes on the 61-acre waterfront site. If approved by Snohomish County, development and construction could span more than a decade and would provide new public access to the site’s three-quarter-mile stretch of beach, existing pier and newly-created amenities.
The property currently hosts the marine fuels distribution center and asphalt facility of Paramount Petroleum Corporation and has no public access due to security restrictions.
“Our goal is to create a world-class showcase of restored natural habitats, public amenities and transportation options that will dramatically enhance the site far beyond its current use and limitations,” said Biran.
He cited the importance of ongoing outreach efforts by the local development team, overseen by Blue Square Real Estate CEO Ze’ev Stein, to engage local policy-makers and nearby residents. BSRE is devoting extensive development resources to the project, including cooperative efforts with Snohomish County in drafting project-specific environmental review documents for the County’s decision-making process and identification of potential traffic impacts and mitigation in conjunction with the nearby City of Shoreline.
The internationally-recognized architecture firm of Perkins+Will, with extensive expertise and experience in designing environmentally sustainable projects, has developed initial site design concepts for the proposed community.
“With its spectacular waterfront setting offering vistas of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, our entire team recognizes this is a location with unique and rare characteristics,” said Biran. “Our goal is to incorporate innovative development ideas with a vision for a new Point Wells.”
Biran said the estimated billion dollar project will generate hundreds of jobs in Snohomish and King Counties during the multi-year remediation, development and construction process.
Over the past 20 years, Biran has played a pivotal role in the initiation and development of over 10 million square feet of complex residential and business centers, often by upgrading neglected properties to create dynamic, mixed-use neighborhoods across Israel and Europe.
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Barry Bartlett, The Bartlett Group, 206-335-4694 or email@example.com
Washington State Supreme Court affirms January 2013 decision by Court of Appeals; BSRE Point Wells, LP Urban Center Application remains vested under Urban Center Code.
BSRE Point Wells, LP was pleased to receive the April 10 ruling of the Washington Supreme Court which affirmed the prior decision of the Court of Appeals and dismissed challenges to its ability to proceed with the processing of its Urban Center development applications.
In a 6-3 decision, the Court summarized its ruling as follows:
“BSRE’s development rights vested to the plans and regulations in place at the time it submitted its permit applications. Developers’ rights vest to the ordinances in effect when a complete permit application is submitted. The plain language of the GMA (State Growth Management Act) indicates that a later finding (that Snohomish County’s environmental review should have considered an additional alternative to the land use designation adopted by it) does not affect rights that have already been vested.”
With all issues regarding the vested status of its applications resolved, BSRE Point Wells intends to continue to work with the City of Shoreline regarding the identification and mitigation of traffic impacts, and with Snohomish County in the drafting of the project-specific environmental review documents which will inform the County’s decision regarding this proposed development
For Immediate Release: April 2, 2013
BSRE Point Wells and City of Shoreline reach agreement regarding Richmond Beach Corridor Study, public involvement in transportation planning
Memorandum of Understanding provides for extended public involvement, voice in road design and potential mitigation decisions
Snohomish County—The developer of the proposed development at Point Wells, BSRE Point Wells, LP (BSRE) and the City of Shoreline have executed a memorandum of understanding which establishes an agreed approach to the study of transportation impacts resulting from BSRE’s proposed redevelopment of Point Wells. The city and BSRE shall jointly conduct a transportation study focusing on the Richmond Beach Drive-Richmond Beach Road corridor, which provides access to the Point Wells site.
BSRE Point Wells is proposing the transformation of the 61-acre industrial site on Puget Sound into a signature mixed-use community. Located in the Southwestern corner of Snohomish County, it would develop in phases to coincide with the area’s economic growth, beginning with clean-up of the aging industrial property. The new community would be pedestrian oriented and provide new public access opportunities, including 2/3 mile of sandy beach, parks, a 1,000-foot-long public pier, restored and enhanced habitat, and other amenities.
BSRE Point Wells is affiliated with Blue Square Real Estate Ltd., a major developer of real estate. With the Court of Appeals decision, BSRE’s applications for the Point Wells site are vested and can be processed under the Snohomish County Urban Center zoning. Through this study, BSRE Point Wells is providing expanded public participation opportunities as part of its commitment to the local community.
“This study, coupled with the upcoming project-specific environmental impact statement, represent key steps in fulfilling our vision of Point Wells as a world-class, sustainable community the entire region will take pride in,” said Ze’ev Stein, Chief Executive Officer for Blue Square Real Estate. “Our aim has been, and will be, to design a project that will connect and integrate into the surrounding community. The crescent shaped sub-developments will provide renewal opportunities for natural habitats on the property and along the shoreline for all to share.”
The results of the Corridor Study will be incorporated into the Snohomish County environmental impact statement. The county’s SEPA process is expected to commence later this spring. BSRE Point Wells will work with the City of Shoreline to determine specific timing of the corridor study.
The BSRE/Shoreline MOU requires extended public participation opportunities beyond those normally required for similar proposals. Shoreline residents will be invited to participate in a series of meetings devoted to understanding transportation constraints, anticipated road impacts, design alternatives and available mitigation options. One-on-one discussions with property owners along Richmond Beach Drive are also planned.
“Transportation considerations to and from the site, including pedestrian safety, are important to both current local residents as well as future residents at Point Wells,” said Gary Huff, land use counsel for BSRE Point Wells. “Agreeing in advance with Shoreline on the study’s parameters and assumptions, and engaging with local residents to understand and address their concerns, will go a long ways towards ensuring a positive outcome for all concerned.”
The corridor study will be based in part on the following agreed parameters:
- Traffic modeling based on a projected traffic volume.
- Ensure the current 60-foot right-of-way width on Richmond Beach Drive remains the maximum width allowed as much as possible, except where the study concludes additional width is necessary to accommodate turn lanes, sidewalks and curbing improvements.
- To reduce congestion, require signalized intersections meeting a more stringent level of service than standard levels generally used in Shoreline.
- The study shall include connecting streets and intersections leading up to the corridor.
For more information on the proposed transformation at Point Wells visit www.pointwells.com.
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Gary Huff, Karr Tuttle Campbell, for BSRE Point Wells, LLP, 206-224-8024
In a significant milestone in the proposed redevelopment of Point Wells, the Washington State Court of Appeals confirmed the vested status of the Point Wells Urban Center development application. In so doing, the court reversed a 2011 ruling of the King County Superior Court in the case of Woodway v. Snohomish County. In this case, the King County Superior Court judge accepted the arguments of project opponents that the Point Wells Urban Center development application was not vested under Snohomish County’s Urban Center Code. The judge therefore enjoined the County from further processing of the Point Wells Urban Center application until such time as the County issued supplemental environmental impact review documentation.
The January 7, 2013 ruling by the Court of Appeals provides clarity regarding the “vested” status of the Point Wells Urban Center development application and enables the County to resume the review of the Point Wells development application.
The Court of Appeals applied the express language of Washington’s Growth Management Act to the effect that a complete development application is to be reviewed pursuant to the development regulations in place on the date a complete application is filed. This ruling upheld Washington’s long established law that an application is “vested” to those regulations in effect on the date of filing of a complete project application. The Court of Appeals decision noted that vesting occurs even when local comprehensive plan provisions and/or development regulations are subsequently found by the State’s Growth Management Hearings Board to not be in compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act.
The import of the Court of Appeal’s ruling was in part lessened by the recent determination by the Growth Management Hearings Board that Snohomish County had now complied with the requirements of the Board’s prior ruling that required, among other things, that additional environment impact review be conducted.
On February 6 and 7, 2013, the Town of Woodway and the community group Save Richmond Beach filed requests to the state Supreme Court asking that it review this decision of the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court is expected to take approximately four months to consider whether to accept the parties’ request to consider this appeal. If accepted, the Supreme Court appeal process will likely take another year to reach final resolution.
Growth Management Hearings Board Approves Snohomish County’s Compliance Efforts for Zoning Designation of Point Wells
The Washington State Growth Management Hearings Board has approved Snohomish County’s efforts to bring its comprehensive plan and zoning designation for Point Wells into compliance with the Board’s prior decision. In May, 2011 the Board invalidated portions of the County’s prior actions which had designated Point Wells as an Urban Center. In its December 20, 2012 order, the Board approved of the County’s actions in amending the County’s comprehensive plan and development regulations and its redesignation of Point Wells as an Urban Village. The Board also revoked its prior order which had invalidated portions of the County’s Urban Center regulations.
To achieve compliance, the Snohomish County Council adopted legislation in October 2012 which expanded its policies and regulations regarding the development of smaller, less dense Urban Village alternatives to the more dense Urban Center designation. This legislation also changed Point Wells’ land use designation from Urban Center to Urban Village.
Following the Washington State Growth Management Hearings Board’s approval of Snohomish County’s compliance efforts regarding Urban Village amendments, and the Washington State Court of Appeals decision confirming the vested status of the Point Wells Urban Center application, Point Wells can theoretically be developed either as an Urban Village or as an Urban Center.
(See News and Events for more information on these project-related milestones)
The owner of Point Wells, BSRE Point Wells, LP, is working with the City of Shoreline and the County to determine the best way to proceed with the property’s development. As this effort progresses, the opportunity for even greater public input and comment will be an important part of the approval process.
BSRE Point Wells is proposing to transform the site from a century-old petroleum products distribution facility into a model urban community. Following environmental remediation of the site, Point Wells would be developed in phases over 20 years. It would provide new public access opportunities to two-thirds of a mile of sandy beach along the shores of Puget Sound, parks and other public amenities, on-site retail and services, and other features for residents of Point Wells and surrounding neighborhoods.
For Immediate Release: October 17, 2012
Snohomish County Council Expands Its Regulations and Redesignates Point Wells as a Less Dense Urban Village
Snohomish County—The Snohomish County Council today adopted legislation which creates a new, less dense “Urban Village” alternative to development under its Urban Center regulations. The Council then changed the designation of Point Wells from Urban Center to Urban Village.
The County’s actions were in part designed to bring it into compliance with the requirements of the Growth Management Hearings Board decision in appeals of its earlier designation of Point Wells as an Urban Center. The Board will review the sufficiency of the County’s actions in a December hearing.
“We have followed and, where appropriate, supported the County’s efforts to comply with the requirements of the Growth Management Hearings Board,” said Gary Huff, land use counsel for BSRE Point Wells. “We trust that the Board will approve of the County’s actions so that our collective efforts moving forward can focus on further understanding and appropriately mitigating the impacts of our specific proposal.”
The County’s efforts to comply with the requirements of the Growth Management Hearings Board order include the publication of an addendum to its 2009 urban center programmatic environmental impact statement. The addendum was written as if the analysis had been included in the County’s 2009 programmatic EIS and reviews the impacts of a generic urban village-style project.
Huff noted that the Board mandated “less dense alternative” addressed in the addendum does not reflect BSRE’s proposal. More importantly, Huff emphasized that the specifics of BSRE’s proposal will be thoroughly addressed in a future, project-specific environmental impact statement which will update and reflect the evolution of on-going discussions with interested parties regarding the optimal approach to limiting vehicle trips and most effectively mitigating project impacts.
“The upcoming project-specific EIS will include an expanded and updated traffic analysis. We are confident that project-related traffic can and will be effectively managed, limited and mitigated.”
BSRE Point Wells is proposing to transform its 61 acre industrial site on Puget Sound into a signature mixed use community. The project will be developed in multiple phases over 20 years, beginning with clean-up of the aging petroleum facility. The new master-planned community would provide new public access opportunities to 2/3 mile of sandy beach, parks, a public pier, restored and enhanced habitat and other amenities.
Paramount Petroleum currently owns and operates a marine fuels distribution center and asphalt facility at the site.
For more information on the proposed transformation at Point Wells, visit www.pointwells.com.
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Gary Huff, for BSRE Point Wells, LLP, 206-224-8024
Developer may seek alternative path established under Snohomish County’s Urban Centers Code as Woodway abandons negotiations
Snohomish County— As the result of litigation filed September 12 by the Town of Woodway, BSRE Point Wells, LP, (BSRE Point Wells), proponent of the transformation of a 61-acre industrial site into a signature mixed-use community, will now consider formally withdrawing from the Municipal Agreement negotiation process established under Snohomish County’s Urban Centers Code. A neighborhood group, Save Richmond Beach, has joined Woodway in the litigation against BSRE Point Wells and Snohomish County.
BSRE Point Wells is proposing a project developed in phases over 20 years, beginning with clean-up of the aging industrial site. The new master-planned community would provide new public access opportunities to 2/3 mile of sandy beach, parks, a public pier, restored and enhanced habitat and other amenities.
“Unfortunately, Woodway has chosen to litigate rather than negotiate,” said Gary Huff, an attorney representing BSRE Point Wells. He said the developer is now considering whether to request that its Urban Center Application be reviewed under an alternative application process, which includes a public meeting before the Snohomish County Design Review Board and a public hearing before the county’s Hearing Examiner.
Dating back to April of this year, BSRE Point Wells has been engaged in on-going discussions with a goal of reaching a Municipal Agreement with both Woodway and the City of Shoreline.
“This is particularly disappointing given that Woodway has not participated in meaningful negotiations for several months,” said Huff. “We have repeatedly requested written confirmation of specific concerns and suggested project revisions from town officials to allow us to undertake the appropriate analyses and consider the feasibility of their proposals. For whatever reason, Woodway has refused to provide us with any kind of reliable response.”
“By filing this lawsuit, the Town of Woodway and Save Richmond Beach appear to believe they can overturn the long-standing constitutional and statutory bases for Washington’s vesting doctrine,” said Huff. “The vesting doctrine provides that the rules and regulations under which a project will be reviewed are those which are in place on the date of filing of a permit application. We are confident the court, as it has for over 50 years, will continue to uphold Washington’s vesting rules.”
A successfully negotiated Municipal Agreement–covering the manner in which the project would be developed and its impacts mitigated—would be submitted to Snohomish County for review and possible inclusion in a Development Agreement between the developer and the county.
Huff said BSRE Point Wells will continue discussions with the City of Shoreline following the city’s August 24 publication of a Letter of Intent expressing a desire for a negotiated agreement.
“Our conversations with the City of Shoreline have been productive, resulting in a general agreement on the manner in which the traffic impacts of the proposal will be measured so that mitigation measures can be analyzed and established,” said Huff. “While significant differences remain, we are encouraged by the progress to date.”
“It’s important to note that this is a long-term public process with many opportunities for public participation and input,” said Mark Wells, Environmental Manager for Paramount Petroleum, which currently owns and operates a marine fuels distribution center and asphalt facility at the site. “Key considerations, including traffic, are among those to be addressed in the upcoming preparation of an environmental impact statement.”
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Barry Bartlett, The Bartlett Group, 206-529-3612 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Huff, for BSRE Point Wells, LP, 206-224-8024
BSRE Point Wells, LP, the developer of the proposed urban center at Point Wells, continues discussions with the City of Shoreline, theTown of Woodway and Snohomish County regarding the future redevelopment of Point Wells following rulings by the Growth Management Hearing Board (GMHB).
The GMHB decision grants Snohomish County one year to take action to amend components of its comprehensive plan, which designated Point Wells as an urban center. Because BSRE Point Wells submitted complete permit applications to Snohomish County prior to the date of the Board’s decision, the county’s review of the application continues despite the ruling.
BSRE Point Wells’ plans for long-term redevelopment of the 61-acre industrial site into a signature mixed-use residential community will be supported by further engagement with local municipalities and transit agencies to address traffic, transit and other considerations.
“Prior to the March findings by the GMHB, we had already initiated conversations with municipalities and agencies addressing concerns aired by the board’s ruling,” said Gary Huff, an attorney representing BSRE Point Wells. “We have made slow but steady progress, but we believe we are on the correct path.”
Among the elements under discussion include transit services and a new Sounder rail station at the site. Huff said that a mutually-beneficial outcome–a municipal agreement with Shoreline, Woodway and BSRE–would be presented to the County for possible adoption as part of a development agreement with BSRE.
Huff believes the eventual Environmental Impact Statement of the project and proposed mitigation, as more fully developed and memorialized in a development agreement, should largely resolve concerns raised in the appeal to the GMHB.
The proposed project, which would be developed in phases over 20 years following clean-up of the site, would transform the current petroleum products and storage facility into a model urban center. The new community would provide new public access opportunities to the 2/3 mile of sandy beach, parks and other public amenities, on-site retail and services, and other features for residents at Point Wells and surrounding neighborhoods.
The GMHB recognized the site’s unique characteristics and potential:“By virtue of its single ownership, waterfront location, and 180-degree views over the Sound to Whidbey Island and the Olympic Mountains, the site presents a unique opportunity for creation of a mixed-use, residential/commercial community. BSRE presents an attractive proposal modeled on successful development in Vancouver BC. BSRE envisions lively and dense urban development incorporating innovative sustainability measures for reduced energy use, walkability, stream daylighting, shoreline restoration, water reuse and recycling, and the like.”
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Mark Wells, for BSRE Point Wells, 206-794-9759
Barry Bartlett, The Bartlett Group, 206-335-4694 or email@example.com
Snohomish County accepts project application by developer of proposed urban center at Point Wells
Everett, WA— Development of a proposed mixed-use community at Point Wells reached an early milestone today as the site’s owner submitted a project application to Snohomish County in accordance with the Snohomish County Urban Center Code. The application was accepted by Snohomish County planning officials.
BSRE Point Wells, LP is proposing to transform the industrial site into a new community encompassing residential units, commercial and retail spaces, habitat restoration, transit components and new Puget Sound shoreline access opportunities for the public.
Located in the Southwest corner of unincorporated Snohomish County, the 61-acre site currently hosts the Richmond Beach Asphalt Plant and Marine Fuel Terminal operated by Paramount Petroleum Corporation.
The project application contained a wide range of permit applications, conceptual drawings and studies as a precursor to a one to two-year Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. This will be followed by site remediation, construction permitting and phased development over 15-20 years.
Proposed plans for the urban center include 3,081 residential units in three villages and a commercial center. Buildings of various heights, with some up to 180-feet, would be located and scaled to minimize view corridor impacts for surrounding neighborhoods.
The redevelopment would provide new public access opportunities and amenities, including access to the 2/3 mile sandy beach and existing pier, a dramatic amphitheater, waterfront boardwalk, plazas and open space.
The proposed plans include inter-modal transportation options, ranging from van pool to a Sounder commuter rail station. Plans include site design elements to minimize trips to and from the new community, linkages to existing and future transit options on SR 99 and I-5, and preliminary mitigation design considerations for the Richmond Beach Road corridor and Richmond Beach Drive.
The new community would showcase sustainable development and living, with LEED-certified sustainable architecture and other components.
BSRE Point Wells is affiliated with Blue Square Real Estate Ltd., a major developer of real estate. It is a holding of the Alon Group, a company operating in the real estate, energy and retail sectors.
For more information on the proposed urban center project at Point Wells, visit www.pointwells.com. Developer of proposed transformation of industrial site at Point Wells files project application for urban center
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Mark Wells, for BSRE Point Wells, 206-794-9759
Barry Bartlett, The Bartlett Group, 206-335-4694 or firstname.lastname@example.org