In the 1960s, Aurora Square was opened to provide the Shoreline community with a variety of shopping options. It has changed little since then, remaining a relic of that time. In 2013, recognizing its potential to generate community and business activity, the Shoreline City Council created the Aurora Square (now known as Shoreline Place) Community Renewal Area (CRA). By creating the CRA, the City Council acknowledged the public interest in the economic renewal of the 70-acre commercial area. In 2013, the City Council adopted the Aurora Square Community Renewal Plan to outline the City’s vision to bring about that renewal.
Since its original development in the 1960s, one of the primary anchors of Aurora Square was Sears. Unfortunately, in 2015, the financially-struggling Sears Corporation decided to close their Shoreline store. In 2017, the approximately 17-acre Sears site was sold to Merlone Geier Partners. The property acquired by Merlone Geier Partners represents approximately 25% of the total CRA.
In 2018, Merlone Geier Partners and the City began negotiating a development agreement. In May of 2019, the Shoreline Planning Commission began consideration of the proposed draft Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement. The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on July 11 and will make a recommendation to City Council on the Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement. The City Council will discuss the proposed Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement and the Planning Commission’s recommendation on August 5. The City Council is tentatively scheduled to make its decision on September 9.
If approved, the Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement will guide redevelopment of the 17-acrea of property owned by Merlone Geier Partners. Merlone Geier is proposing to develop 75,160 square feet of retail, 1,358 residential units, and 3.47 acres of public gathering spaces. Merlone Geier’s proposed development will most likely be phased over a 20-year period and will likely be built in four phases. It is anticipated that the first phase will be the building of 17,000 square feet of retail near the existing entrance to Shoreline Place at 155th and Westminster.
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions that have been raised regarding the Community Renewal Area and the Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement.