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.


Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • 1. What is the difference between a Community Renewal Area (CRA), a Planned Action, and a Development Agreement?

  • 2. Why a CRA at Shoreline Place?

  • 3. What is Shoreline Place's potential?

  • 4. What is the City's role in the CRA?

  • 5. Did the designation of Shoreline Place as a CRA change zoning or other applicable regulations?

  • 6. Did the City develop a Master Plan for Shoreline Place?

  • 7. Are there property rights objections to CRAs?

  • 8. Where can I learn more about Community Renewal Areas?

  • 9. Why is Merlone Geier asking the City to approve a Development Agreement?

  • 10. Can Merlone Geier develop the Sears property without the Development Agreement?

  • 11. Does a development agreement exempt a developer from meeting the City's development regulations?

  • 12. What criteria must the City Council consider when deciding whether to approve or deny a development agreement?

  • 13. What are the public space elements being proposed in the Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement?

  • 14. What is the Park Impact Fee (PIF) proposal for the Merlone Geier Partners Development Agreement?

  • 15. Has the City considered the potential impacts of Merlone Geier Partners' proposed redevelopment to the surrounding area during construction?

  • 16. Has the City considered the architecture and design of Merlone Geier's proposed redevelopment?

  • 17. How are issues like parking and access handled across the CRA since there are multiple property owners?

  • 18. Is the former Sears building here to stay?

  • 19. Is Merlone Geier proposing to turn the entire shopping center into a residential development?

  • 20. Aside from the former Sears property, are other parts of Shoreline Place undergoing similar redevelopment?

  • 21. If other parts of the CRA are redeveloped, will they be commercial, office, residential, or other uses?

  • 22. Is the additional public space only available if the City Council allows taller buildings?

  • 23. What types of buildings are proposed by Merlone Geier in its Conceptual Design Plan?

  • 24. Are there high-rises planned for Shoreline Place and what is the height of buildings proposed by Merlone Geier Partners?

  • 25. Will there be development "buffer zones" between apartment buildings and the neighborhoods across the street?

  • 26. Why are there changes to street entrances, including the addition of new entrances along 160th?

  • 27. Will it still be possible to drive straight through Shoreline Place as many do today?

  • 28. Will Central Market's access be compromised or, worse, will their delivery trucks be unable to reach the store to drop off fresh produce and goods?