Molbak’s forced out of Gardens District
Molbak’s Garden + Home, a local Woodinville landmark since 1956, announced Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2023, they are being forced out of The Gardens District by Green Partners, LLC., the developer of the project. Green Partners is associated with Cascade Investment, LLC., the family office of Bill Gates.
According to the release, a new Molbak’s was supposed to be the centerpiece of The Gardens District, a “city in a garden” which also includes housing, retail, restaurants and other amenities. Green Partners informed Molbak’s that it is no longer part of the project and the agreement to include Molbak’s in the project is cancelled.
“We’re shocked and devastated that Green Partners is cutting us out of The Gardens District,” Molbak’s CEO Julie Kouhia said. “We’re still reeling from this news and considering a range of options as we work to better understand this sudden change.”
Molbak’s has been working closely with Green Partners since 2008 to co-create The Gardens District, a new development that will transform more than 19 acres of Woodinville into a one-of-a-kind community rooted in nature, sustainability and human connection.
Woodinville officials were surprised by Green Partners’ decision and strongly supported keeping Molbak’s in The Gardens District. Despite the unexpected move by Green Partners, Molbak’s remains committed to the original vision of The Gardens District.
“We remain passionate about The Gardens District and what it would mean for our company, our customers and our community,” Kouhia said. “The project was our plan for the future of Molbak’s and our opportunity to remain in Woodinville—the place where it all began for us and that we love dearly.”
Molbak’s is hopeful a deal can still be reached that would allow them to remain a key part of The Gardens District. “We don’t really know the status of the project or what Green Partners is planning,” Kouhia said. “We’d love to continue to be the heart of The Gardens District and we’ve asked Green Partners to reconsider its decision and meet with us to find a way to make that happen.”
The Gardens District is an affirmation of Molbak’s commitment to Woodinville and the Northwest. Envisioned with both climate and community in mind, the project celebrates gardens, sustainability and responsible growth and is designed to encourage walking, biking and exploring the natural components of the property.
Egon and Laina Molbak arrived in rural Woodinville from Denmark in 1956, bringing with them a passion for gardening and a dream of creating their own business. More than six decades later, the family-owned business is the Northwest's premier garden and home destination.
“We have deep roots in the local community. We’ve been in Woodinville for 67 years—and hope to be here for another 67,” Kouhia said. “Molbak’s is more than just a store. We’re a treasured tradition for many local families and have thousands of Northwest gardeners who love and rely on us.”
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