Sports arena takes one large step closer to reality
Approval from an impartial hearing examiner has cleared one more hurdle in a private developer’s effort to build an indoor sports complex on 6.73 acres along the Bothell-Everett Highway adjacent to the Gateway Shopping Center.
The building site plan for the 96,370-square-foot building with landscaping, drainage facilities and parking for 382 vehicles was given the go-ahead with specific conditions after a public hearing on the project in late January.
CSA Real Estate LLC will invest more than $10 million in the project, according to Norm Gill, project manager for the developer, Pinnacle Indoor Sports of Flagstaff, Ariz.
The approved plan includes two indoor soccer fields, a warm-up field, eight bowling lanes, laser tag, party rooms and an inflatable play area. The structure will also house space for a commercial kitchen, party rooms, storage and administrative offices.
Representatives of the developer noted the parking area was designed to eliminate overflow parking in surrounding neighborhoods.
Pinnacle hopes to begin construction during the summer of 2017 and open for business early next year.
The sports complex fits the goal outlined in the two-year budget submitted by City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto to enhance the city’s income from recreation and tourism.
She said the complex will support the goal to provide opportunities for neighbors and families to get out together while they build a strong bond within the community.
“We are pleased with the hearing examiner’s decision,” Polizzotto said. “This arena sports facility will have a tremendous, positive impact for our community.”
Polizzotto noted that the facility has been designed to attract events and people who will eat at restaurants and shop with local merchants during their visit to Mill Creek.
Opposition to the proposed development was limited to concerns about noise during construction and traffic congestion from the estimated 400 visitors the complex will draw on a daily basis.
City engineer Scott Smith said stormwater traffic and roadway issues were addressed to meet the 2005 requirements mandated by the Department of Ecology.
“The runoff situation will actually improve,” Smith said.
The approval included transportation mitigation fees of $153,000. Smith said the majority of traffic coming in and out of the complex will be during off-peak hours.
Alexandria Hohman, an attorney and resident of Rivendale condo complex, said her major concerns with the project were limited to security, noise, light, landscaping, and aesthetics. She said third-floor condominiums have bedrooms that look directly down on the development.
Hohman said she was concerned with the possibility of car prowls and vandalism. Rich Metcalf from Dumas Lane told the examiner he also was worried about security and noise from the dumpster. He said there already is significant drug activity and littering on the site.
An attorney brought in by residents of Rivendale said the plans for the on-site parking lot seem excessive, estimating the lot could accommodate 1,400 cars per day. Peter Ojala said he would like plans modified to reduce parking on the Rivendale side of the development.
Civil engineer Mark Villwock spoke on behalf of the developer. He said the 382 spaces exceeds the minimum of 195 stalls he estimated would be the minimum required. Villwock said the city does not have minimum requirements for parking. His estimate was based on 12 years of work on similar projects.
Duane Wright, president of the homeowners association at Dumas Lane, was concerned about rising property values and taxes as well as traffic and safety.
“There is already an overflow of traffic from Jackson High School,” Wright said.
Eugene Kim spoke in favor of the project, describing the arena as great for the community. Barrett Crane said he would have liked to see a lacrosse field included in the complex.