Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC. The Topgolf facility in Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Topgolf website.

Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC. The Topgolf facility in Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Topgolf website.

Topgolf to bring high-tech driving range to Renton

Construction is expected to be complete in 2021, according to the land-use notice.

Topgolf has officially marked a location in Renton and offered an application to city planners.

A land-use notice has gone up at 745 Park Ave. N., indicating the spot for a new nearly 14-acre Topgolf, a high-tech golf driving range facility. Land-use documents also include a mixed-use facility for a hotel and restaurant to be completed in the same area, on the corner of Park Avenue and 8th Street.

The land-use notice states construction is expected to begin in fall 2019 and be completed by 2021.

The project is estimated at $30 million.

The location will be a full-size range, which includes 102 climate-controlled hitting bays. Players hit microchip-embedded golf balls into a full outdoor range, enclosed by a large perimeter netting, according to land-use documents submitted to the city.

Topgolf hopes to create netting 170-feet high, which will need to be checked with Federal Aviation Administration to make sure it accommodates airport regulations.

Each hitting bay can handle up to six players at a time, and each bay includes seating, golf clubs and televisions to watch sports or monitor Topgolf scores.

Preliminary site plans show a three-story facility. There will be an estimated 464 parking stalls, including a parking structure and lot as well as parking near the mixed-use facility.

The building is expected to be a six stories tall. It’s expected to include a 220-room hotel and 3,400-square foot restaurant. A phase 2 application for that facility will be submitted later, according to land-use documents.

The Boeing facility on that block will remain, from the look of the site plan. The whole development will create 330 jobs.

“With its mix of new services for consumers the proposed development provides a vastly expanded range of job opportunities, from housekeeping to specialized golf lessons,” the documents state.

Topgolf has several programs as well: Topgolf lessons from PGA professionals, week-long summer golf classes for kids ages 6 to 12, and a summer tournament series with prizes.

Representatives for Topgolf and engineers held a neighborhood meeting on Dec. 18, 2018, to discuss the project. Nine neighborhood members attended the meeting and expressed concerns about congestion, noise, the impact of lights and sufficient parking.

At the meeting, one person was concerned about congestion on Logan Avenue, and wondered if access could be created on 8th Street to alleviate traffic. Tanner Micheli, director of real estate at Topgolf, said peak arrival times for Topgolf customers will be 7 to 9 p.m., outside of peak commute hours. Micheli said the entrance and exit on Park Avenue North will provide additional access, and that they work with mapping outfits like Google Maps to make sure people receive “the most expeditious routes to the facility.”

The Park Avenue North access point will take drivers to the hotel/restaurant mixed-use site and then through to the Topgolf facility, according to land use documents.

Micheli also said the parking will meet the established need for a Topgolf facility, including a parking garage at the hotel site.

Other Topgolf facilities do not have issues of light spillage or noise impacts, Micheli said, even from residents who live 400 feet away from a facility in Northern California.

One meeting attendee asked about the longevity of Topgolf in Renton, citing the vacant Sam’s Club. Micheli said that they see potential in “burgeoning” Renton and committed to being part of its growth for decades to come.

On May 6, the city council passed an ordinance that allows outdoor recreational facilities in the Urban Center zone, the zoning Topgolf would be in, and that any buildings oriented along Park Avenue North have pedestrian entries. Senior Planner Clark Close said the ordinance does not allow marinas, parks, golf courses and outdoor sports arenas. It does allow golf driving ranges.

Topgolf applied for a location in Tacoma in 2018, and recently announced a Topgolf lounge in Kirkland. The company currently has 52 locations, according to its website, and receives over 13 million guests annually.

The city is hoping to accept the project soon, but had not as of Tuesday, May 7.

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