KXLY is proposing to purchase 2 acres of city-owned land along Regal Street as part of their plans to develop their part of the Southgate District Center. This sale proposal and what it means for our neighborhood will be a major topic of our November meeting. Below you will find some background information as well as copies of the latest version of the proposed sale agreement (PSA) and drafts of KXLY’s larger proposal for a land swap involving the Southeast Sports Complex.
Background on The District Center
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, KXLY owns 15 acres of land on the west side of Regal Street across from the new Target center and south of the Southeast Soccer Complex that is part of the Southgate District Center. They also own an additional 15 acres of land behind their property on Regal that has their broadcast tower located on it (this will be important in a minute). Their District Center parcel is subject to a Developer Agreement with the city passed in 2009 that allows them to build a big box store up to 108,000 square feet (for reference, Shopko is about 95,000 sqft) and the property is zoned Center and Corridor 2 (CC2), just like Target.
Background on the Proposed Sale
Directly to the north of KXLY’s property along Regal lies a small 2 acre parcel that was formerly owned by District 81. In 2013 this land was swapped for 20 acres of city-owned land by Joe Albi Stadium. Now the KXLY is proposing to purchase the 2 acre parcel from the city in order to gain easier access to their District Center property from the new stoplight at Regal Street and Palouse Hwy.
The Southgate Neighborhood Council was approached in September by Council President Ben Stuckart to provide some conditions to the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) to help ensure the deal furthers the development of our District Center consistently with Spokane city ordinances and helps implement the Southgate Neighborhood Plans developed a few years ago. The SNC Land Use Committee proposed the following conditions (Section 7.3 of the PSA):
- The Southgate Neighborhood’s appeal settlement (in the form of an ISP Implementation Memo) for the right-of-way design in the District Center be finalized prior to the sale of the land to KXLY.
- Development of this property is subject to the notification provisions recent adopted by the city and that our District 2 city council members be notified as well.
- The property be zoned CC2 (currently it is zoned single-famiy residential) to match the rest of the Southgate District Center.
- The property would be subject to the existing KXLY Developer’s Agreement.
- The property would be subject to the terms of the Integrated Site Plan for the District Center
- Any access road or easement across the property be set back from Regal Street 250′-300′ to help create an urban scale block (no frontage road style design)
- The city will set aside $300,000 of the sale price for further development of multi-use trails in the conformance with the Southgate Neighborhood Connectivity Plan
- KXLY agrees to substantive input/collaboration with the neighborhood on site plans, infrastructure, public realm, and architecture related to the ISP or Southgate Neighborhood Plan.
The buyers (KXLY) were also able to supply conditions to the sale and their included (Section 7.1 of PSA):
- Land Use Approvals that included a zoning change from residential to commercial, “authorizing use and development of the property generally and substantially consistent with the approvals previously recorded” in the Developer’s Agreement, ISP. KXLY, “reserves the right to determine whether mitigation is reasonable or consistent with the … development agreement.”
- KXLY will have obtained an easement from the City of Spokane Park Board for pedestrian, vehicle, and utility access to the intersection at Regals Street and Palouse Highway.
Since late September the city, Southgate Neighborhood Council, and the developers have been ironing out the wording and details of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. We will discuss this in detail at the Southgate Neighborhood Council Meeting on Wednesday, November 11th. Please plan on coming to listen to the details and provide your thoughts on this proposal.
The Next Steps and Land Swap
As mentioned above, KXLY has proposed an easement across the Southeast Sports Complex as condition of the sale of the city land (meaning if they can’t get the easement, they don’t have to buy the land). This easement is a critical component of KXLY’s plans for developing their property in the District Center. It provides them signalized access to their property and will provide easier access to the businesses in their development. It is also the first step in a larger proposal they made 21 months ago to the Spokane Park Board for a larger land swap along Regal Street.
In January 2014, KXLY’s architect and lawyer presented a draft proposal for a land swap wherein KXLY would take control of the eastern part of the Southeast Sports Complex (along Regal Street and 46th Ave.) and swap the Parks Department for some of the land behind their District Center property (under the radio tower). See, I told you that other property would be important.
The vision of KXLY is to add more commercial property from the corner of 46th heading south along Regal into their property. They provided a letter of intent to the Park Board to enter into discussions about this plan and it was adopted by a resolution passed by the Park Board at their meeting in January 2014. Now a swap would likely take the form of a sale or long-term lease, both of which the Park Board (and city law) saws require a vote of the people of Spokane. This concept would also require a land use amendment since the park land is zoned single-family residential and would have to be converted to some form of commercial zoning.
So as you can see, this land sale and easement are the first two dominoes that set the stage for some rather drastic changes to the current makeup of our neighborhood, especially our largest park. I encourage you to read the proposed sale agreement and to attend the November Southgate Neighborhood Council Meeting so we can start this process off on the right foot and make sure the development plans are appropriate based on the guiding laws and policies of Spokane.