Molbak’s says it has been forced out of The Gardens District project in Woodinville

Molbak’s Garden + Home is being forced out of The Gardens District, a housing and retail project in Woodinville, according to a media release from the garden center.

The “new Molbak’s was supposed to be the centerpiece of The Gardens District,” the media release stated.

According to Molbak’s, Green Partners informed Molbak that it is no longer part of the project and the agreement to include Molbak’s is canceled.

“We’re shocked and devastated that Green Partners is cutting us out of The Gardens District,” said Julie Kouhia, CEO of Molbak’s. “We’re still reeling from this news and considering a range of options as we work to better understand this sudden change.”

In an email sent to Molbak’s customers, the garden center said they have worked closely with Green Partners since 2008 to transform more than 19 acres of Woodinville into The Gardens District.

As recently as June 20, a spokesperson for Green Partners expressed support for the project, according to the media release.

“We don’t know the status of the project or what Green Partners is planning,” the email from Molbaks’ said. “Our goal is to be a part of The Gardens District, to remain in Woodinville and to continue to be the premier gardening destination in the Northwest for decades to come.”

On a website dedicated to the project, Molbak’s said, “We’ve asked Green Partners to reconsider its decision and meet with us to see if we can find a way to make that happen.”

Cascade Investment LLC sent us this statement:

Cascade is surprised by the Molbak’s announcements given that we have no plans to remove Molbak’s Garden + Home from its current location.

We’ve been partners with Jens Molbak since 2008 and allowed Molbak’s to operate for years with significantly below-market rent. Moreover, Molbak’s has years remaining on its lease.

While Cascade is no longer planning to develop the Gardens District, we had been negotiating with Mr. Molbak toward the inclusion of his family’s business as a key feature of a possible future Gardens District. However, Mr. Molbak upended the discussions even in the face of Cascade’s offer of concessions including free rent.

We expect that the Gardens District will serve the needs of Woodinville, regardless of what Molbak’s decides is in its interest.