SAY SO LONG TO SEARS
The Shoreline Sears, the site of SCC’s off-campus parking lot, will be closing this spring, paving the way for new development and setting the stage for changes to SCC’s shuttle service.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. first opened its massive store in Aurora Square in Sept. 1967. Fifty years later, Sears sold their 17-acre property to Merlone Geier Partners, the owners of the Town Center at Lake Forest Park and the Shoreline Marketplace with Trader Joe’s on North 175th Street.
What does this mean for the SCC shuttle?
Currently, SCC runs a shuttle between the college campus and an off-campus parking site at Sears. The shuttle stops by the 1000 Building, in the turnaround by the 1900 Building and by the old Sears Marketing building behind Sears.
With Sears closing, many students have wondered what will happen to the shuttle after the store is closed.
Merlone Geier’s Shoreline Place Team said that the parking arrangement with SCC will remain in place until construction begins and that they are still in the early stages in planning.
Likewise, Stuart Trippel, SCC’s senior executive director and CFO, said that Merlone Geier has not indicated any plans or decisions regarding construction to the school.
What is Merlone Geier planning?
Merlone Geier has said they plan on turning the Sears property into a mixed-use development. They want to combine retail, restaurants and housing, and turn Aurora Square into Shoreline Place.
They say they have yet to decide what will go into the development and that they are seeking community input. They have a survey available at shorelineplace.com for students and other members of the community to weigh in on what should go into the development. The Shoreline Place Team said survey will be available until March 9.
The Shoreline Place Team said they are hopeful that the development becomes a destination for SCC students.
What is the City of Shoreline planning?
In 2013, the City of Shoreline designated Aurora Square as a Community Renewal Area. Under the leadership of Dan Eernissee, the city’s economic development manager, Shoreline has spent the past four and a half years preparing for redevelopment.
Eernissee wrote a plan laying out the city’s intentions for Aurora Square, made available to the public on the city’s website. He said the city plans to create an entertainment district with shopping and dining options, improve the roads around the square and buy part of the WSDOT property to build a parking garage.
Parts of the plan have already been put into place, with North 160th Street being designated as “College Way,” banners along Aurora Avenue near SCC promoting the college and the Shoreline Farmers Market being moved from City Hall to the Square.
On the other side of the square, the city said the property in Westminster Triangle on Aurora Avenue is also nearing development, construction started in 2015 but issues with the developer brought development to a halt in 2016.
The city has said they have since found a new developer, and their new project will be a mixed-use development with over 300 apartment units. The new developer has said that they hope to break ground in June.
The city said that public open house will be held at Shoreline City Hall to discuss the redesign of roads around the Westminster development, particularly Westminster Way North between 155th and Aurora. The open house is from 6-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Council Chambers.
What does this all mean for SCC?
Because of the square’s proximity to SCC, both Merlone Geier Partners and the City of Shoreline said they are keeping the college in mind as they move closer to the development of Shoreline Place.
If more parking is made available, off-campus parking may become more popular among students.
Change will come, but only time will tell how it will affect students in the long run.
By Tyler Hanthorn,