After the Congregational vote in June 2017, in which the Congregation voted not to keep the Holly House property as-is, the Board formed the Holly House Development Task Force to:

  • draft a formal Request for Proposals to be circulated in the development communities (both affordable housing and market rate)
  • collect input from the Congregation to develop a decision matrix as one tool to use in comparing the various options that are presented to us
  • summarize the proposals to present to the Board and Congregation for vote
  • will not be making any decisions as to the future of the property

It is important to know that the Financial Stewardship Committee of the Board will also be independently reviewing the proposals to compare to their 5-year Strategic Financial Plan, and will provide input to the Board/Congregation.

Current members of the HHHDTF include Marcy Langrock (chair), David Baumgart, Benji Langrock, Seth Hamilton, Lee Dorigan, and Jason Puracal.
Current professional liaisons to the Task Force include Abbie Birmingham, Craig Nelson, and Bob Weiss.


East Shore Unitarian Church is soliciting proposals for the purchase and development of one of its properties, known as the Holly House property, located in the Woodridge neighborhood in the City of Bellevue, WA. East Shore is seeking a developer or development team to purchase and develop the property in a manner that adds value to the surrounding community, complies with the City of Bellevue’s building codes and development plans, and, either directly or indirectly, furthers the mission of ESUC. For more information, click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should market rate developers submit proposals for purchase and development of the Holly House property?
A: To be clear, East Shore is seeking proposals from both market rate and affordable housing developers. Any net proceeds from a sale of the land would be considered in support of East Shore’s Mission. In other words, we are encouraging market rate developers to submit proposals.

Q: Who is currently occupying the Holly House? And what are the plans for the current tenants?
A: The Holly House is currently being leased to The Sophia Way for transitional housing for women through June 2018. We expect any future development on the property would involve a collaborative conversation with The Sophia Way regarding timing of any potential transition.

Q: Does East Shore have a target number for the sale of the property?
A: Per the Board of Trustees Ends (1.2: By the Annual Congregational Meeting in June 2018, ESUC will have a plan reviewed and approved by the Congregation for the development of the Holly House property that will result in proceeds to ESUC of at least $1 M.), East Shore expects a minimum of $1 Million for the potential sale of the property.

Q: Can you provide us with the easement documents shown in the attachment to the RFP? Or, if that isn’t possible, provide us with the language and terms of the easements?
A: Please see attached documents. – Channel Place Condo DeclarationEasement Agreement ChannelEasement Agreement Original

Q: Are there any soils reports, arborist reports or surveys for the property? If so, can they be provided?
A: No, we are not aware of any such reports or surveys.

Q: Are there any restrictions which the church would like to place on use of the property to guide the development of the property? If so, what are they and is there a time frame on those restrictions?
A: No, legal restrictions are governed by the Bellevue City codes as well as King County.

Q: What are the major terms of the lease with The Sophia Way for the house, namely monthly rent, term of lease, payment of utilities?
A: Current monthly payment is $1400; term expires June 30, 2018, then month-to-month; Sophia Way pays the utilities.

Q: Are there any restrictions to demolishing Holly House such as a historical designation or some other restriction?
A: Please refer to the City of Bellevue. There are no historical or other unusual restrictions that we are aware of.

Q: You refer to your new 5-year strategic financial plan. May we get a copy of that Strategic Financial Plan before proposals are due?
A: The 5-year Strategic Financial Plan is still in draft form, yet to be reviewed by the Board. This is an internal document of the church to be used as one tool for planning purposes and will not be distributed.

Q: Your website and the RFP refer alternatively to finding a developer or development team to purchase the property or lease the property from East Shore. What is the church’s preference in this area? Are you interested in remaining a partner in the long-term use of the property?
A: We do not have a preference. If the long-term use is for affordable housing, it is possible that our Social Justice Ministry Teams may offer some services, although that is not under active consideration at this time. Part of our social justice mission is to advocate for affordable housing. We have not ruled out remaining a long-term partner, but that would need to be evaluated with the same criteria that all RFPs will be evaluated (e.g. revenue, costs, risk, etc.).

Q: What are the rules for having access to the property or having conversations with your representatives over the next month in order to prepare our proposal?
A: We will be happy to provide access to the property with one of our Task Force members as needed. As the house is currently occupied, advance notice would be appreciated.

Q: Your website refers to the various options that the Holly House Task Force investigated. Does this RFP fall under a particular option?
A: Yes, this RFP reflects most of the options that were submitted by our congregants.