A full-scale commercial and residential development is planned for a 70-acre site on the city’s north edge, which officials have renamed the Auburn Gateway. REPORTER PHOTO

A full-scale commercial and residential development is planned for a 70-acre site on the city’s north edge, which officials have renamed the Auburn Gateway. REPORTER PHOTO

Developer of old Valley 6 property announces pre-leasing

It has been four years since the Valley 6 Drive-In theaters came down, a harbinger, it was said at the time, of a large-scale commercial and residential development by then already 11 years in the planning stages.

But after all that time, the Robertson Property Group (RPG), having determined that the Auburn market is ready to absorb a full-scale commercial and residential development, last week announced pre-leasing opportunities on its 70-acre site on the city’s north edge, which it has renamed Auburn Gateway.

“It’s been a long pull with them,” said Auburn’s Economic Development Manager Doug Lein. “I know the mayor and myself have continually stressed with them that this is a prime piece of property on the north end of our city, and it’s one of those pieces that can be a solid game changer for us as far as that kind of new development.”

RPG has contracted with First Western Properties as its leasing agent for retail space. The proposed site plan calls for box retail, junior anchor retail, restaurants, office space and residential development.

In February, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and Lein flew to California to meet with the top brass of RPG and presented them with a due-diligence package on their property. A month ago RPG sent a team of corporate officials to Auburn met with brokers, builders, contractors and others.

“Last week they came back to us and told us they’d picked a brokerage they wanted to work with that understood the South Sound and regional market and that they were convinced that it was time to pull their property to market,” Lein said.

In 2011, the Auburn City Council approved an ordinance and a development agreement between RPG and the City that allowed RPG to begin offering about 70 acres of property, including the Valley 6 and several adjacent properties at the city’s north end, for office, retail and residential development.

The Auburn Gateway Project site plan included in the development agreement shows a multi-phased development of 720,000 square feet of retail, 500 residential units and/or up to 1.6 million square feet of office space. It calls as well for an extension of I Street Northeast to South 277th.

For several years, the City had negotiated with RPG on future development of the acreage, touching on preparation of an environmental impact statement, changes to the comprehensive plan and zoning code to authorize a mixed-used commercial zone, and preparation of a draft development agreement and a draft planned action ordinance.

In the development agreement, which lays out development guidelines, the RPG agreed that the layout and uses of the Auburn Gateway Project would follow these strictures:

• Other than common areas, parking and access, no multiple family residential uses will be allowed on the ground floor of any building but only in upper stories of multi-story buildings.

• It shall contain more full-service, sit-down restaurants than fast food, including drive-thru restaurants

• Gas stations and car repair service and parts business will only be built as part of a larger retail operation.

Lein estimates the project will take 7-to-8 years to complete.

More in News

Green River College presents Bree Newsome: civil rights icon

Activist to visit Auburn campus for a discussion Feb. 22

Punching back at Parkinson’s

Boxing program helps those fight debilitating disease

Community offers Guiding Good Choices, a free family management and skill-building course

The Auburn Prevention Coalition and Neighborhood House present Guiding Good Choices, a… Continue reading

Register early for Petpalooza’s 3K/5K Dog Trot

Registration for Auburn’s Dog Trot 3K/5K Fun Run is underway. Save money… Continue reading

Local legislators hope to find property tax relief

Strong revenue forecast opens possibilities in Olympia

Algona’s Schunke appointed to WaterWorks Grant Ranking Committee

The King County Council on Tuesday unanimously confirmed the appointment of James… Continue reading

Miloscia to hold 30th District telephone town hall meeting Tuesday

Residents will have a chance to learn more about issues before the… Continue reading

Most Read