A new proposed hotel in North Bend was among many of the items discussed at the annual State of the Cities address last week.
The address was held by the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce on March 28 and featured Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson and North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland.
McFarland announced in a pre-recorded video that they believed a new hotel is on the way for the North Bend Premium Outlets mall. The hotelier would be Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, and a new roundabout could be constructed outside the outlets to better facilitate traffic coming into town and leaving from I-90.
The conceptual proposal includes a two-brand Wyndham hotel at the corner of Bendigo Blvd. and Mt. Si Blvd., with the brands being La Quinta and Hawthorn, said Danna McCall, spokesperson for the city of North Bend.
Wyndham hasn’t submitted a formal application, but a conceptual plan has been submitted that will be presented during an upcoming review meeting. The concept includes 5 stories and 130 guestrooms — 75 for La Quinta and 55 for Hawthorn. The Hawthorn is Wyndahm’s extended stay brand, and La Quinta is for daily stay. It will also include 1,300 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool, fitness room and a rooftop bar.
The hotel property would be on about 1.3 acres, and would require demolition of a portion of the current outlet mall where Vanity Fair is located.
The hotel will exceed the current height limit, and will need to go through a public comment process. A commercial project like this typically takes from six months to a year to make it through planning. The hotel could be completed during the first quarter of 2023.
On housing, McFarland said over the past seven years, the city has experienced a boom in single-family housing. That trend has peaked, and single-family housing construction is slowing in the city. However, there are still multi-family projects moving forward that have been in the works for years. These include the Cade Vue Condominiums, Habitat for Humanity townhomes, Cedar River Partners and River Run Apartments.
McFarland said the city decided to reserve growth capacity for commercial properties.
The Dahlgren and National Guard properties were recently brought into North Bend’s water service area, allowing the city to provide water for developments. These include a 212-unit apartment complex, and a potential National Guard armory and emergency response center, both on the east side of town.
Puget Sound Energy has also proposed a new 50,000-square-foot building near where Nintendo is currently located on the west side of town. It will be used to train its workforce in electrical and gas delivery. The company is working with the city to get that building permitted, which will include a large auditorium, which McFarland said he believes will be open for use by other groups.
On parks, the city will have a new 4-acre park as part of the Dahlgren development, which will connect to Tanner Landing Park and have access to the Snoqualmie River. The City Hall Veterans Memorial Garden and Monument is also open now.
On housing affordability and diversity, the Habitat for Humanity project is moving forward, which will include seven permanently affordable townhouse units. Two units will be reserved for families making less than half of the area median income, and the rest will be marketed toward those making 80% or less.
North Bend and Snoqualmie also both opted to collect their own new tax for affordable housing, which was established by the state Legislature, instead of going through King County. McFarland said this is expected to generate up to $250,000 each year for affordable housing in North Bend.
The city is also considering moving to a form-based code, which only dictates what buildings must look like on the outside, without prescribing what kind of use the building should be for.
Both mayors said they are expecting to receive federal funding from the American Rescue Plan — North Bend to the tune of $1.3 million, and for Snoqualmie, $2.97 million.
Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said he’s also hoping for $3 million in potential funding from a proposed American Jobs Plan, which could go toward projects on the Snoqualmie Parkway, a community center, Sandy Cove Park, Riverwalk Downtown and the State Route 18 widening. The city is currently talking with its congressional representatives.
In Snoqualmie, Larson said he’s excited for a potential hotel in North Bend because overnight visitors in one city benefits the other as travelers spend money in the area.