Elected officials, developers and affordable housing advocates Wednesday morning participated in a groundbreaking to mark the first phase of construction of a mixed-income, mixed-use transit development to include a 532-stall parking garage and 242 residences at the South Kirkland Park & Ride.
With the apartment complex to be located along the south edge of Kirkland and the parking garage just inside Bellevue, the groundbreaking recognized the cooperation between King County and the two cities.
"This project is another great example of what can be accomplished when we work together with our regional partners," said Mayor Conrad Lee. "The project supports Bellevue's policy to pursue affordable housing opportunities and strengthens the integration of transportation and land use."
The long-awaited project will both improve transit operations on the SR 520 corridor and expand housing opportunities for moderate-income residents.
The first large structure will be a new 532-stall parking garage for King County Metro to serve commuters. Transit service will be maintained throughout the construction with a new transit access drive built for improved service. The garage is expected to open in the summer of 2013.
Following completion of the parking garage, a mixed-income, mixed-use community of 242 apartments will be developed, with initial occupancy targeted for December 2014. Full build-out is anticipated in the first half of 2015.
"The South Kirkland Park & Ride Transit Oriented Development is another milestone for King County as we work collaboratively and in partnership with the Eastside to locate jobs and housing near transportation," County Executive Dow Constantine said. "It reflects our shared priorities to bring greater mobility to our community, and it demonstrates the type of interagency coordination that makes this region strong and vibrant."
For the apartment complex, Polygon Northwest will build a mixed-use community with 184 residences, approximately 7,000 square feet of retail and 287 additional parking spaces for residents. Imagine Housing, a local nonprofit affordable housing developer, will build 58 affordable residences.
An important goal of the South Kirkland Park & Ride project is to place new jobs and housing in close proximity to a key transportation hub, and to add density to a historically low density area. The new transit and residential campus will feature a network of pedestrian linkages, plazas, courts and sidewalks, which are being built to connect the new community to the wider neighborhood.
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