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Construction and leasing progresses for East Gateway Urban Village expansion

Construction of East Gateway Urban Village's latest development, The Farm, is progressing well. Some buildings will be completed the summer of 2021 and lease commitments are now being finalized.
Drone view of The Farm construction looking south from 132nd Street SE. Image courtesy of YouTube.

By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek, January 29, 2021.

Senior Planner Christi Schmidt is the City of Mill Creek’s project manager and lead contact for The Farm, which is the newest East Gateway Urban Village development.

At the request of Mayor Brian Holtzclaw, she gave a project update to the city council at their virtual January 26th meeting.

The Farm is a 17-acre mixed-use development with over 100,000 square feet for ground floor retail/commercial uses, 354 residential dwelling units, and 1,186 parking spaces.

The Farm’s site plan went through a lengthy review process and the Mill Creek Hearing Examiner granted his final approval in March 2019. Construction began a few months later.

The developer is building new public roads from the 39th Avenue SE/132nd Street SE intersection to 133rd Street SE as part of this project. These new roads are a segment of the East Gateway Urban Village Spine Road and provide a connection to The Vintage at Mill Creek senior housing community.

Residents/visitors of The Vintage at Mill Creek will be able to safely turn left on 132nd Street SE from the new portion of 39th Avenue SE once the roads are opened.

Eventually the Spine Road will connect to the already developed commercial and residential developments at the east end of East Gateway Urban Village including Mill Creek Meadows apartments and Buffalo Park.

According to Schmidt’s summary, “Earthwork and building/utility construction have been ongoing since the third quarter of 2019. As of now, most of the utilities are in the ground. Much of the base course of the paving for the new road and access drives have been completed. All of the ten buildings are under construction.”

A YouTube video showing the development can be seen by clicking on this link: The Farm Project Drone Video- 12/28/20.

Schmidt explained the site supervisor is confident that the entire The Farm development will be complete by the end of the year, but the construction of the six single story, stand-alone commercial buildings should be completed this summer.

The developer’s construction focus is on the commercial space because the city won’t issue occupancy permits for any residential units until a minimum of 75% of the freestanding commercial buildings and the ground floor commercial spaces in the mixed-use buildings are completed and commercial spaces are listed for lease and/or sale.

Schmidt shared that buildings D and F along with the parking garage are closest to completion.  The map below shows the location of these buildings

She wrote in her summary, “These three buildings are expected to be ready for residential and commercial occupancy this summer. Prior to occupancy, the developer will be marketing and pre-leasing the residential units.”

According to Schmidt the developer now has lease commitments from a number of businesses representing 50% of The Farm’s total commercial space, but only one lease has been made public.

She said Bright Horizons, a commercial day care/Montessori school, will be leasing Buildings B and C. She explained that these single-story buildings are on the frontage along 132nd Street SE and west of the intersection/signal at 39th Avenue SE.

Schmidt added that the developer has lease commitments from a physical therapy studio, a Mexican restaurant, a Thai restaurant, a grab & go grocery store, and a dentist office.

She went on to say the developer is in negotiations with representatives for a wine bar & small plates restaurant, a nail salon, a sushi restaurant, and a BBQ restaurant.

Construction of East Gateway Urban Village's latest development, The Farm, is progressing well. Some buildings will be completed the summer of 2021 and lease commitments are now being finalized.

The Farm development map. Image adapted from City of Mill Creek source material.

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