Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Third Places: Learning from the Neighbors

Caffe Lento, a wonderful addition to Lake Hills Shopping Center, has found room for itself between the vacuum repair clinic and the drycleaners. They wisely picked a sunny spot. Welcome! Wish you were here!

In many ways our neighbors to the north, Lake Hills Shopping Center on 156th in Bellevue (not to be confused with our nearer neighbors to the north, Lake Heights) is under the same pressures as the Newport Hills Shopping Center:

Same age
Competition with Crossroads, Factoria nearby
Failed supermarket

According to the sign posted at Lake Hills, the proposed land use plan for the neighborhood center includes:
90 residential units
44,800 square feet of office space
69,200 square feet of retail space
10,000 square feet library and additional underground parking provided for the commercial and residential uses

This sounds like a great mixed use development ideally suited to the neighborhood. It's sustainable, and provides a "third place" in the form of a library. In other words, people can choose to live near where they work, and have a "third place" which provides space separate from living and working spaces. In future entries I hope to offer more examples of mixed use and third spaces.

In Newport Hills, we're already ahead of the game in a couple of ways: there is already existing density in the form of apartments, condos and townhomes in the center that can support a center like that on offer at Lake Hills. The more density the easier it is to draw on a local customer base--people don't have to drive so far to shop.

Another distinct difference is the appearance of solidity that NH projects through its solid brick structures. All the different storefronts are unified with the use of this brick in the facade and planters.


Blogalot said...

One wonders what the plan is for the old Lake Hills library.

RobinB said...

Good question, B!