Sitework began last week for Sierra Construction’s new 13,000 square foot office building on the City’s last office-zoned property.
The permitting process with the City took over two years from initial submittal to final approval this Spring, allowing construction to begin at the intersection of NE Woodinville Duvall Road and NE North Woodinville Way.
The construction company has called Woodinville home for over 18 years. Founded in 1986, Sierra Construction is a general contractor and construction management company specializing in commercial, industrial, mixed-use and tenant improvement construction in four northwest states. Local projects include the Village at Beardslee Crossing, Nobo Business Park (presently occupied by 20 Corners and Bobs Heating), Woodinville Athletic Center (Gold’s Gym), Woodinville Heated Storage, 12 office buildings in the North Creek Business Park and multiple Woodinville industrial warehouses that were built in the 1990’s.
Sierra’s 40 local employees are relocating less than a mile from Sierra’s present location in Woodinville’s north industrial zoned area off of 144th. Sierra currently leases office space in the old fire station building it sold to the City a number of years ago. Zoned Industrial, no more than 50% of the current building can be used for office, thus precluding expansion.
When the company decided it was time to move, Sierra began to look at available office space as well as sites that could accommodate ground-up construction. The biggest item on the checklist was to own the new space versus leasing.
Due to zoning restrictions and lack of available office space, it was a challenge to keep the company in Woodinville. With very few options in the City for pure office, the likeliest possibility was the Office-zoned King County surplus property on NE Woodinville Way across from Woodinville Heated Storage, which Sierra built in 2000.
An alternative site was proposed to the City near the new Hampton Inn that would have allowed the company to combine their storage lot with the office location. However, with the recent zoning changes to the General Business designation, the open storage required to make that site economically viable was not approved.
The goal of the project is to construct a modern office building while leaving as much of the site unchanged as possible. Only one-third of the two acre site and less than half of the street frontage will be altered, while the majority of the land will remain in its natural state and be preserved as a native growth protection area.
The building will be built adjacent to the road, minimizing disturbance to the hillside. This creates a buffer to the residences north of the site, as well as to the seasonal stream, and retains much of the hillside’s natural wooded area. An architectural wall is also being used for the driveway, further minimizing grading activity. In actuality, most of the area for the structure was a cut slope previously cleared when the road was put in.
Due to the desire to disturb less ground area, the surface parking was limited to 20 stalls with the remaining required parking stalls tucked under the building in structured underground parking, minimizing exposed impervious surfaces. A fourth leg of the traffic signal light will be added and additional signal improvements made to the intersection.
Sierra Construction is pleased that the move just down the street will have little impact on its employees or customers, and looks forward to many more years of calling Woodinville home.