Tehaleh continues to boom.
From neighborhoods to a brand new elementary school, the 4,700-acre community south of Bonney Lake has been steadily increasing in size.
It’s not over.
Newland Communities, the company developing Tehaleh, recently shared some residential, commercial and transportation improvements that are in the works.
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Last October, there were approximately 2,500 people living in Tehaleh. Now, there are about 3,800 residents. Approximately 350 people commute to the area for work each day.
Tehaleh will continue to grow by 300-350 homes per year through a mix of national and regional builders, said Newland Communities vice president Scott Jones. Already, 320 homes have been sold this year.
“I think the future of Tehaleh is very bright,” Jones said.
Residential construction is moving east of 198th Avenue East for the first time. The Sumner-Bonney Lake School District opened its eighth elementary, Tehaleh Heights, this month to accommodate the growing number of students.
Christina Groven snagged a Tehaleh property for her business when she had the chance.
A Tehaleh resident, the 45-year-old operates Christina’s Critter Care, a pet-sitting business, out of her own home. At 270 clients, Groven said it’s time to expand.
“I never dreamed it would grow so quickly so fast,” she said of her business.
When she moves into her 6,000-square-foot new space at 15137 198th Ave. E. sometime in the new year, it’ll become Tails Pet Resort, where she hopes to be able to kennel up to 50 pets.
“A lot of people are asking me to board their dogs,” Groven said, adding that the facility will give her stability. “I’m running around the neighborhood from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
Other commercial projects include a new building for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a 52,000-square-foot retail and office building by Rush Development. The project is currently seeking interested parties.
“We’re really open to any retail or commercial space that might fit the vision that Tehaleh has for the area,” said Becky Susan, marketing manager for Rush Development.
Jones said there’s a list of about 100 people who have expressed interest in retail or office space in Tehaleh. Those interested in the Rush commercial space can contact Karen Fairall, director of brokerage services, at 253-858-3636.
About 40 percent of Tehaleh residents work from home at least one day a week, Jones said. The community is considering construction of a co-working space in the town center area.
An estimated 15 percent of Tehaleh residents are retired.
According to Newland Communities, a 220-bed Wesley Homes adult-care facility is on the table. A representative from Wesley Homes confirmed a Tehaleh project but was not able to release details.
A new road in
Since Tehaleh’s creation, 198th Avenue East has been the main road leading into the development. As Tehaleh grows, so will traffic.
To account for that, that road, now two lanes, will be expanded to four lanes from 120th Street East to the Tehaleh roundabout in a $10 million project. Construction will start in October with expected completion in late 2019.
“There will be some delays, but the good news is the new road is off the existing road,” Jones said. “A good chunk of it is off to the side.”
Part of Newland Communities’ second phase of development includes about $150 million in transportation improvements. About $117 million of that will go toward the Rhodes Lake Road Corridor project, also called the “Hill Climb,” which will create a new road connecting Falling Water Boulevard East to McCutcheon Road East, creating easier access from state Route 162 and the South Hill area.
Newland Communities also is responsible for about $31 million in Route 162 improvements, but the types of improvements are not yet defined.
With a lot of dirt to move, the Rhodes Lake Road Corridor project won’t be done until 2024, with construction beginning in early 2019 if permits are secured.