The District reveals ambitious Lynnwood City Center plans

A project rendering showing a busy avenue

During a recent Lynnwood Chamber of Commerce meeting, Lynnwood Public Facilities Director Janet Pope shared plans designed to make downtown Lynnwood a bustling, homegrown activity center. As Pope put it, the organization’s vision is to “transform a 1960s-era strip mall and small events center into a tourism and community town square”.

A general map of the project

The idea is to include a variety of programming and local retail spaces as part of the District’s upgraded plaza. New amenities planned for the area include:

A diagram of event center modifications
  • Upgrades to the Lynnwood Event Center, which will approximately double the size of the space to accommodate larger conventions of up to 2,500 people. The building will grow in length, width and height– adding an opulent third floor with a view of the mountains. Planned renovations also include installation of an event center lawn for programming such as outdoor concerts, family movie nights and activities like soccer.
  • An upscale hotel containing roughly 300 rooms to accommodate the larger groups of people that may use the upgraded convention and event space. Planners anticipate that the privately developed hotel will stimulate economic growth by increasing jobs and tourism revenue.
  • Festival streets and plazas that can be closed off to host local events like farmers’ markets, car shows and cultural celebrations. The promenade will host a variety of  “homegrown” businesses as opposed to larger chain stores. This includes space for locals to relax, meet up and spend time. Pope mentioned that a large part of the District’s focus is to create a space where people feel included and involved. This includes giving people access to features like street performance areas, hosting a winter ice-skating rink and a play areas for kids.
  • Based on current estimates, about 20,000 square feet of space would be dedicated for food/beverage restaurants, 4,000 square feet for a brewery, 10,000 square feet for shops/service retail, 10,000 square feet. for health and beauty spas and 25,000 square feet for a health/fitness club or entertainment venue.
The district “lawn” is drawing from University Village, seen here.

One major focus in Pope’s presentation was the inclusion of affordable housing. Since 70% of Lynnwood’s workforce lives outside of the city, planners believe that building a livable downtown is a priority. The goal is that workers within the District would be able to afford living in the two new five-story, mixed-use apartment buildings. The District says it is planning to attract apartment developers with experience in building “attainably priced” apartment homes of all sizes – up to three-bedroom units. Of note, Pope says that the buildings will be constructed conscientiously to avoid noise disturbance for residents in the area.

PFD Director Janet Pope

Those attending Pope’s presentation during last week’s Lynnwood Chamber meeting asked about parking and wondered about the traffic congestion that could result from the expanded district. Pope replied that the District’s plans largely focus on bicycle and pedestrian transit within the space itself, but will include a 350-vehicle parking lot. Separate lots will also be constructed for the hotel and apartment buildings. In addition, the District is working with the City of Lynnwood to conduct traffic studies for the area.

A rendering of the expanded event center

Regarding financing, the District is investing $240 million in the project. Additionally, as a public facilities district, it will also be able to raise funds using bonds. Other sources of revenue include public and private fundraising initiatives.

The District project timeline expects that design and underwriting will continue until sometime in 2025. Phase one construction – encompassing the event center expansion, parking garage, retail spaces, plazas and essential infrastructure – is expected to begin in late 2026 or early 2027. Phase two construction – including the hotel and housing components – will start after that.

–By Jasmine Contreras-Lewis

    1. Personally, I’d wait for the property values to keep going up due to people wanting to live in Lynnwood due to additional amenities. Why is your reaction to this news to “leave” Lynnwood?

  1. I love these plans! Lynnwood needs a city center to give it some character, not just a place to run errands & then go elsewhere to relax & have down time.

  2. Yes, what will happen to the post office? It is very convenient for the east side of the city.

    1. It’ll likely be folded into the commercial spaces on the ground level of the housing developments. Or, will move somewhere new. That current space is worn down and needs a bunch of work anyway.

  3. This doesn’t replace the Northline Village plans near the light rail station, right? It feels like there are two “centers” being planned just a couple of blocks apart.

  4. It’s so great to have a grandiose vision and taxpayers to finance this gamble based on economic upswing. I’m more concerned about the congestion and crime that this light rail will be bringing with the downturn. That’s more likely. This ain’t gonna be Bellevue West. Uh uh.

  5. Funded or not be prepared homeowners to have your taxes go up and up and up…..
    Vehicle traffic is getting heavier with all the multifamily living spaces being built….and now more are going up.
    How is traffic going to be managed?

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