By Jack Mayne The latest $80 million development for the North Des Moines commercial area that will soon include the regional Federal Aviation Administration offices was unanimously approved at Thursday night’s (April 13) City Council meeting. The Council also revised the city tax on a gambling facility currently under construction at the new Four Points Sheraton Hotel on Pacific Highway South. More buildings, tree saved The Council also approved a new development in the commercial area. Denise Lathrop, Des Moines planning manager, said under this plan, the city believes the Pacific Ridge Neighborhood “is envisioned to become a new urban community.” Council documents said the “redevelopment of Pacific Ridge is appropriate because this area has excellent access to transportation facilities, view opportunities, and higher-density development which can help Des Moines meet or exceed population and employment growth targets specified by the countywide planning policies for King County.” During the public hearing on the new construction phase, it was revealed that Panattoni Development’s Seattle arm is the company that is developing the area of north Des Moines, bordering on SeaTac Bart Brynestad, a Panattoni partner, told the Council that the current Phase 4 of the development “is where we want to invest another $80 million in 512,000 square feet.” He said the company still does not know how many jobs will be created by this development. “We do know on phases 1, 2, and 3 it is about 3,000 (jobs) and we have invested about $250 million or we will have when it is built,” said Brynestad, adding it was their intent to be under construction soon “to provide jobs and benefits to all.” The project will include “two tilt up concrete buildings,” said an architect with Craft Architects, that will orient the building so that blank walls, storage areas on “more unsightly areas will be oriented away from adjacent properties and more inward.” Offices will face 24th Ave South and Pacific Highway South. Councilmember Dave Kaplan wanted to know about what some consider to be “his tree” on the former Ono property and would it be retained and Brynestad “I love that tree as well … we are going to keep that tree.” Gambling tax changed Richard Procter of the Great American Gaming Corp. told the Council that his company was partnering with the Four Points Sheraton on Pacific Highway to develop a casino in the new hotel, and are working with Highline College, the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Hospitality Association to craft an awareness training program “as it pertains to human and sex trafficking in this region.” He wanted the Council to approve a 1 percent tax rate for the remainder of the year and to increase it later on because of cost overruns on their current local project, a change in their current agreement with the city. The casino is slated for opening in May, said City Attorney Tim George. The Council approved a 1 percent rate until the end of the year because of cost overruns on the casino at Sheraton, and to increase it to 4 percent next year and 7 percent in 2019, and 9 percent thereafter.]]>