Holly House Development Task Force Update for January

It’s January! A time to look back on the year just past, and look forward to the year ahead. The Holly House Development Task Force was busy last year, and will be busy in this coming year. Here is a rundown on what happened, and what lies ahead.

We completed the Dream Big conversations in November, and have compiled the list of Dreams. We will make the complete list (all 30 pages!) available on the East Shore website, and will have printed copies for those that want them. We will be posting individual dreams electronically and physically around the campus. Look for these “Easter Eggs” soon.

We began a series of educational seminars, to provide members of the congregation with additional information to help them make a decision. Two seminars on financial sustainability were presented in late November/early December, and a seminar on affordable housing was presented in November. In February and March, there will be another affordable housing seminar and one on financial sustainability, and we are working on a conversation around sacred land use to be held in late January.

Because the congregation may be presented with multiple options, the Task Force is looking into alternative voting methods including instant runoff and cumulative/approval voting. We are considering another seminar on voting/decision-making. Please contact the Task Force if you have an interest and/or experience in this area.

The Task Force is reaching out to communities outside the congregation. We met with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and the Muslim Community Resource Center. The Duwamish Tribe was contacted. We are pursuing contacts recommended by the state’s Office of Homeless Youth Prevention & Protection. Finally, the City of Bellevue Parks Property & Acquisition Manager will be evaluating the property in early 2019 as potential park land or open space.

Members of the Task Force met with the affordable housing bidders in early December. We had a chance to give the bidders an update on the East Shore process and approximate timeline and the bidders were able to ask questions. Our goal is to help the bidders submit the best proposals possible and we continue to communicate. All bidders will finalize bids by the end of January. East Shore members with questions about the affordable housing bids can talk with Roger, Dave, or Carrie. We anticipate providing information on the bids to the full congregation during the first quarter of 2019.

The brokerage team selected a commercial broker. We started with a list of five brokers that responded to our solicitation. All five were interviewed, and the list was narrowed to two after the interviews. We asked all the brokers we met with to present proposals. The proposal review (and professional referencing) was part of our vetting process. Both of the remaining brokers were asked to submit proposals. Based on the proposals, one was selected. We are currently vetting the listing agreement with attorneys and real estate professionals in the congregation.

The next step is to align the timelines among the bidders. Organizations relying on external funding have longer timelines, and we want to be fair to everyone.

Speaking of timelines, the Task Force is hoping to present a set of options to the congregation in March 2019, with a vote to follow in late March. A lot needs to happen between now and then for this to occur, so the date is tentative. The Task Force will be working to ensure we have a robust set of bids for consideration. We will be working to ensure that you, the congregation, have received the information you need to make a decision. We want to ensure that all voices have been heard before making a vote.

Upcoming events
• Affordable housing, financial sustainability, and sacred land use seminars (dates and times TBD)
• Complete list of Dreams on website, and in print (mid-January)