A big crowd was already poised to celebrate an historic moment for Tukwila on Friday – the groundbreaking for Tukwila Village.
But Tukwila City Council President De’Sean Quinn took the celebration to another level when he yelled, “We are taking our boulevard back” to thunderous applause.
The City of Tukwila, the Senior Housing Assistance Group and the King County Library System marked the start of the new mixed-use development that will bring intergenerational housing, a community gathering place and new retail and office space to Tukwila International Boulevard.
KCLS is building a 10,000-square-foot library on the Tukwila Village campus to replace its Foster Library.
“Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many individuals and organizations that were committed to improving the City of Tukwila and especially Tukwila International Boulevard,” said Mayor Jim Haggerton.
Revitalizing the boulevard is a 20-year vision for the City of Tukwila. The city’s efforts got a boost a year ago this month when three crime-ridden motels were seized by federal marshals.
Haggerton announced that just this morning, the City of Tukwila purchased the Great Bear Motel and purchases of the Travelers Choice and the Boulevard Motel should happen before the end of August, again to loud applause.
What the city wants for the boulevard is a “safe haven” for families, where they can walk and feel safe at anytime, he said.
Officials with the Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) and the King County Library System also spoke.
Bryan Park, the developer and a principal in Tukwila Village Development Associates, which includes SHAG, gave a brief outline of the project. He has worked with SHAG to develop senior-housing projects throughout Western Washington.
In an interview, he outlined the construction schedule for Tukwila Village. It started Friday with the demolition of a restaurant on the corner of the boulevard and South 144th Street. The city didn’t have money for the demolition, so Park paid $50,000 to get the work done.
The review of construction bids should be completed on Monday, Park said.
The initial work includes extending utilities and building a stormwater detention system. Sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, workers will begin laying foundations and building buildings.
The first phase should be completed by the end of 2015 or early 2016. Phase 2 will start soon after, with completion in 2016. A start date hasn’t been set for the third phase. Developers may want to make adjustment to their “product,” based on their experience with the first two phases, he said.
But construction of all three phases of Tukwila Village could be completed at the end of 2017, he said.