Nearly two years after it first became known that a hotel might be going in on Snoqualmie Ridge, framing is almost complete, giving residents a pretty clear idea of the hotel’s height and proximity to Snoqualmie Parkway.
Opinions about the hotel range from eyesore – to stop all the development – to cautious optimism – to excitement over having a nearby hotel when the in-laws come to visit – to wishing it just didn’t sit so close to the Parkway.
The project has been controversial since building standards were amended so the project could move forward – and because due to a computer error, not all residents living within 500 ft. were notified by mail about the possible project. This also forced the mayor to hold a private meeting with homeowners of the nearby condominium complex last year in an attempt to mend fences.
Early last year the city council approved a building set back amendment, allowing the hotel to be within 15 feet of the property line vs. 50 feet. The developer asked for the amendment due to a large PSE power line easement that restricts buildable area to the northeast portion of the property.
To compensate, the city stated it would require increased design standards on the building’s rear which fronts Snoqualmie Parkway. The rear will have a modulated design that is is most often required for the front of buildings. The city is also requiring new Parkway trees to help with screening.
An amendment was also approved allowing part of the hotel to be 5-stories. Previously the maximum was 4-stories. The 60-foot maximum building height code was not amended, though, as the 5th story of the hotel will essentially be a daylight basement, which keeps the structure within the allowable 60 ft. height limit.
For those who missed previous articles on the development, the hotel will be a Hilton Hampton Inn and have 99 rooms. The east end of the building near Fairway Ave, where the property slopes, will have 5-stories. This where the indoor pool is predicted to be located. The rest of the hotel is 4-stories and approximately 45 feet high.
Next to the hotel – at the corner of Center and Snoqualmie Parkway – will be a two-story mixed use retail/office building, which has not been framed yet.
A new turn-in/ access road to the development will be added about half way between Center St. and Fairway. This also has not been constructed yet. It will incorporate a circular design, complete with a waterfall.
The hotel is estimated to open in fall 2018 or early in 2019. It will have an indoor pool; meeting space, a restaurant and one or more retail spaces on the main floor; 178 parking spots; and an outdoor ‘pedestrian plaza.’
The city says the hotel will have a positive impact, including bringing a much-needed mid-range hotel to the city which draws millions of tourists each year visiting Snoqualmie Falls. Currently the only hotel in Snoqualmie is the Salish Lodge and Spa. In North Bend, there are small motels and one small inn located in Fall City. [North Bend is also in the process of adding a mid-range hotel near the outlet mall.]
The city hopes hotel patrons will bring new business to the nearby retail area and increase its tax base, which is currently heavily dependent on residential property taxes.
It’s going to be a while before the facade of the building is finished, but for those who are curious, below are some of the conceptual renderings for the project, along with construction photos. *Click photos to enlarge.*
For more info on the City of Snoqualmie Hotel Project page.