Wednesday, October 24th marked the celebratory groundbreaking of the South Kirkland Park & Ride garage. The buzz word of the day was “TOD”—Transit-oriented Development—and this particular TOD is truly buzz-worthy. The project has been ten years in the making and has involved an enormous amount of planning and collaboration between the City of Kirkland, the City of Bellevue, King County Metro Transit, local developers, architects, and other funders. The project will provide jobs and housing close to public transit and will increase the public transportation capacity along the SR-520 corridor.
The groundbreaking was very well attended and included speakers Gary Young of Polygon Northwest, King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmember Jane Hague, Mayor Joan McBride of Kirkland, Mayor Conrad Lee of Bellevue, and our own Executive Director, Ann Levine. In Mayor McBride’s speech, she joked that this project is the inversion of Joni Mitchell’s song about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.
The 7-acre property, owned by King County Metro Transit, actually spans the divide between Kirkland and Bellevue and required an inter-local agreement for development.
Conrad Lee, Mayor of Bellevue, remarked, “This project is another great example of what can be accomplished when we work together with our regional partners. The new South Kirkland Park & Ride promotes transit ridership along the SR 520 corridor, supports Bellevue’s policy to pursue affordable housing opportunities, and strengthens the integration of transportation and land use.”
The property will house a 532-car garage (an expansion of 250 stalls over current capacity), 7,000 square feet of retail space, and 242 apartments, of which 58 will be affordable Imagine Housing residences. Each aspect of the project is being developed with the appropriate green standards for the type of structure. Polygon’s apartments will meet Build Green 4-star criteria, Imagine Housing apartments will follow the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard, and the parking garage will be built using the guidelines set forth in the King County Sustainable Infrastructure Score Card. The Metro Parking Garage, being built by Andersen Construction Company, will soon be underway and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2013.
We here at Imagine Housing are incredibly proud to be a part of such a landmark project.
The City of Kirkland’s website has a great overview of the project with a section explaining more of the history of this project.
For more press coverage on this event see:
Complex project to revitalize South Kirkland Park and Ride, Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce
South Kirkland Park & Ride garage breaks ground, Bellevue KOMO
South Kirkland Park & Ride Transit Oriented Development garage breaks ground, Kirkland Views
Dignitaries Break Ground on S. Kirkland Park & Ride Residential Development, Kirkland Patch
South Kirkland Park & Ride garage breaks ground, Kirkland Reporter
~Marchelle Mertens, Housing Development Associate