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May 13, 2024

Overlake Christian Church plans 800 Redmond units

Real Estate Editor

Image via Kidder Mathews [enlarge]
The property, in orange, on the east side of Willows Road, went on the market last year.

Once an industrial park, the 27-acre Overlake Christian Church property in Redmond has a huge expanse of parking lots west of its building at 9900 Willows Road N.E. The church is just west of the Sammamish River, and immediately south of the Willows Run Golf Complex.

Last week, working with developer Evans Wakefield, the church presented an initial plan to the city that could yield up to 800 rental units of workforce housing, for households earning about 80% of area median income.

Two midrise buildings are contemplated, in a phased development that would have a structured parking garage between the duo. The project hasn't yet entered design review. There's no sign yet of an architect. Rezoning may be needed.

According to the church's informational website, the plan has been brewing for a while. It was prompted in part by the Washington State Legislature's 2019 passage of House Bill 1377, which allows greater density for affordable housing on church-owned properties.

The Overlake congregation voted to proceed with the plan in February, with 95% of the those voting in favor. Church leadership intends a 99-year ground lease with Evans Wakefield.

Last year, Kidder Mathews had offered the west lots (spanning about 6 to 8 acres, per the listing), which have industrial zoning. The current listing says the property status is pending. Kidder's Steve Pelluer, Andy Miller and Kim Hutchins are the brokers for the church. If an industrial land sale (or lease) was the old plan, a ground lease for housing is the new plan.

Surface parking now has some 1,700 stalls. The proposed west development, right next to Willows Road, would span over 6 acres on what the church calls Lot C and Lot D. (Those now have some 555 stalls.) Per the project website, “This opportunity also helps OCC become financially healthy in the long-term.”

The church calls the housing project “a generational-sized opportunity to use what we have, to meet one of our region's greatest needs.”

And more: “Many individuals in our community's workforce earn less than 80% of the area's median income, including: educators, social workers, public servants, nonprofit professionals, workers in the medical, transportation, construction, food, hospitality sectors, among many others. Too many people are unable to live in the very community they work and serve — we want to change that.”

No firm timeline is offered. The church imagines that the first new rental households might take occupancy late this decade. A lot boundary adjustment is still pending, and the ground lease agreement hasn't yet been recorded by King County.


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

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