Ready to grow: Work starts on North Bend’s first big subdivision in 20 years
By ALLISON ESPIRITU
Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter
April 27, 2010 · 2:26 PM
Rural woodland has given way to bare earth, lines of trenches and rumbling excavators at Tannerwood, a new neighborhood going up in North Bend’s Tanner annex.
Site preparation began this spring for 70 single-family homes being built by developer John Day Homes. The three-year project is the first large development in North Bend in nearly two decades.
“We’re really creating a neighborhood here,” said homebuilder John Day. “There really wasn’t much of a community right here before. This will be a nice addition to the area.”
Tannerwood is the first large development to be built since Forster Woods was constructed in 1990. A 12-lot development called Snoqualm Place was completed during North Bend’s just-ended 10-year water moratorium, as it was in the works before the moratorium was in place.
Development is expected to bring income to North Bend, as real estate excise and business tax comes in.
“It means more people will be around to buy the services of private businesses,” said Ron Garrow, director of North Bend Public Works. “They’ll use downtown, helping boost the economy.”
Mayor Ken Hearing, however, isn’t expecting a huge impact right away.
“We are not over our economic slump and we’re not going to see a big bump of homeowners coming in,” Hearing said.
“But that being said, what little bit of development revenue we can reap will be welcome.”
Predictions call for Tannerwood to add between 180 and 210 people to the city’s current population of roughly 5,800, about 3 percent growth.
City Administrator Duncan Wilson said that city infrastructure is ready to absorb the new growth. Sewer and roads are being built as part of the project, and the Snoqualmie Valley School District is aware of the project, he said.
“They’re well prepared for additional growth,” Wilson said.
Day is paying fair impact fees for transportation, parks, schools, water and sewer, he added.
“Growth is paying for growth,” Wilson said.
Day said the city of North Bend processed his preliminary plat and construction plans in record time.
“The city of North Bend has been unbelievably good to work with,” he said.
Day is now filing a final plat. Once approved, he will be able to create lots for homes.
If works proceeds as planned, the first homes will go up this summer. John Day Homes plans to build two homes a month, predicting as many as 10 homes finished in the first quarter of 2011. Houses will be around 3,200 square feet, with starting prices in the low $500,000s.
The sluggish economy may slow phases of the project.
“Our plan is to build them as quickly as we can sell them, but not quicker than three a month,” Day said. “Our quality will go down if we do more, and we just won’t do that.”
The development includes a one-acre park at the entrance and a 41-foot-wide wildlife corridor at the rear. Public hearings in the planning process turned up resident concerns about elk moving through the area.
This is the first time that John Day Homes has handled utility and sewer installation in a housing development.
“It’s very competitive out there right now,” Day said. “Our company wasn’t doing a lot of work, so it gives us something to do before we build houses.”
With two other projects under his belt for the near future, even with the slow economy, Day has found himself fortunate to have work lined up.
Next year, Day will build 30 cottages in a 142-home development in downtown North Bend.Contact Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter Allison Espiritu at aespiritu@valleyrecord,com or 425-888-2311.