Tehaleh begins developing retail, commercial center

Big Sky Park is one of the 1,800 acres in the Tehaleh development that is planned to be park, trail or open space. Photo by Erin Cawley-Morse

The Tehaleh development just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Last week, developers American Newland Communities and North America Sekisui House announced they are taking the first steps in developing a 3.9 million square foot area of commercial and retail land by selling an 8-acre parcel to Kahne Corporation and Carl J. Sanders Construction, both Enumclaw-based companies.

Being built on that 8-acre parcel will be a self-storage facility.

Construction is expected to begin in early March, and the building open for business by late 2017.

“The approximately 100,000 square foot facility will be one of the employment-based community’s first commercial ventures, joining Tehaleh’s Caffé D’arte, The Mantel restaurant at Seven Summits Lodge, nearly 20 in-home businesses, and 10 builders currently building at Tehaleh,” Newland Communities wrote in a press release.

Other construction in the area is also well on its way, but Tehaleh is only approaching the five year mark out of a 20-year planned development period.

By March 1, 837 homes have been completed, and another 189 homes are currently under construction, said Scott Jones, senior vice president of Newland Communities.

By the end of the year, developers expect to have sold more than 1,000 homes in the area.

More homes mean more families, more families mean more kids, and more kids mean more schools — and the Sumner School District has that covered.

Bidding for construction on a new elementary school is slotted to begin later this spring, and construction expected to start July.

The district expects the school to be open by July 2018.

Infrastructure improvements are also being eyed by developers, with some projects already underway or already been completed.

Improvements to Bonney Lake’s state Route 410 and Veterans Memorial Drive – helped paid for by the Tehaleh development — are virtually completed, barring a few small Department of Transportation details, said Bonney Lake City Administrator Don Morrison

Additionally, improvements to the Tehaleh entrance are now being made, Jones said.

LONG-TERM GOALS

In the long-term, around 9,700 homes are expected to be built in Tehaleh, as well as 475 acres dedicated to employment uses.

Approximately 40 percent of Tehaleh (or 1,800 acres) is expected to be open space, parks, trails.

Currently, the development has opened 11 parks and more than ten miles of trail.

To accommodate the increasing number of families and businesses moving into the area, developers are also eying more infrastructure improvements.

“Newland Communities anticipates participating in construction of Pierce County’s New Rhodes Lake Road East, which will provide a new traffic corridor to SR162 and open a second entrance to Tehaleh,” Jones said.

Additionally, the Sumner School District and the Orting School District have plans to build seven schools total in the area.