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January 10, 2023

Vacant former Fry's site to become 1,179 Renton units

Real Estate Editor

Rendering by Carrier Johnson + Culture [enlarge]
The northwest corner of the Phase I building, with a possible grocery store facing Garden (at right).

Plans emerged in late 2020 to redevelop the over 11-acre Fry's property at 800 Garden Ave. N. That Renton store closed in early 2021. The general outline for the new mixed-use plan, from Bay West Development and architect Carrier Johnson + Culture, is now 1,179 units in three midrise buildings also to include retail/commercial space.

The city of Renton declared last week that the permit application was complete. The public comment period ends Jan. 18. SEPA and design review are currently underway.

Bay West's site lies between The Landing and Interstate 405, a little south of Southport. The vacant big box dates to 2002, and will eventually be demolished. A new perimeter access road would circle the site, separating it from the Lowe's, to the north, and east railroad tracks.

The phased project would total nearly 1.9 million square feet, proceeding in three phases from north to south. Assuming the permit process and demolition go smoothly, Phase I, with 419 units in an eight-story building, might begin next year. That's now all surface parking, so the south Fry's building itself could serve as a job site office and for construction staging.

Phase II could break ground in 2029. And Phase III might begin in 2034. The latter two would be seven-story buildings, adding another 760 units.

A potential grocery store could occupy 25,000 square feet in the north Phase I building, facing Garden. That would also have a retail plaza with public art. The south building, at North Eighth Street, would also have open public space. (That's east of the Target, and north of the Kenworth plant.)

All three buildings could have up to 48,761 square feet of retail, restaurant and commercial space.

Units would run from studios to three-bedrooms, in a range from about 540 to 1,230 square feet.

Parking for the entire project would total about 1,613 stalls. Almost all of it would be structured, with three levels in the north building; then two levels in the following pair. About 660 bike stalls are planned for tenants, plus short-term stalls for shoppers.

It's unclear if privately held Bay West, of the Bay Area, intends to hire a general contractor or self-perform that role. The team also includes GeoEngineers, geotechnical; KPFF, civil engineer; TenW, traffic consultant; Urban Forestry Services and Bartlett Consulting, arborists.

Bay West, led by Bill R. Poland, acquired the land from Boeing in 2000 for over $15 million, and developed the Fry's before The Landing. The latter is mostly owned by AEW Capital Management, while Target owns its portion of the Landing. Griffis owns the apartments there, with 880 units on two blocks.

If Bay West realizes all three phases, the project would almost certainly be the largest mixed-use residential development in Renton city history. Its partners in past projects have included Berkshire, PCCP, USAA and Principal Insurance.


Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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