Kirkland 4th of July Needs You

First, because I am a nosy nelly and love this kind of stuff. Did you see this article in the Seattle Time Pacific NW Magazine? Stuart McLeod, Kirkland local and owner of Hector's and Milagro Cantina, has a home that many of us check out and admire while on Lake WA Blvd while sitting in traffic or jogging down the boulevard.  I love that he shared a sneak peek inside for this article.

Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July 2017 needs our help. They're still $14K away from being able to pay the bills for this year's event. And who doesn't love a good party in honor of 'Merica?  Every bit counts, please send what you can to support this great Kirkland tradition: or you can mail to Celebrate Kirkland/KDA at 440 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033 or drop off a check at The Grape Choice or Hallmark Realty. 

MelodyLynneVineyard  <-- I spy wine on Kirkland Ave. Melody Lynne Vineyard Tasting Room & Wine Bar opening soon.


Park Place Redevelopment- Quick Nuggets

Talon Private Capital is the new cat in town that is poised to re-develop Kirkland Park Place.  It's hard to believe, I know, and somebody will have to pinch me when they actually break ground which is going to be BEST CASE scenario March of 2016.  Bill Pollard , Founding Principal, was at our neighborhood meeting a few nights ago and even though he only had about 20 minutes on the agenda, I thought it was SO exciting I wanted to share the highlights:

-Prudential, who owns KPP, allowed them to start from scratch instead of starting with Touchstone's previous plan

-This version is scaled back 

-There WILL be a new movie theater- think upscale/iPic-like in current QFC location.  This part makes me giddy.  Seriously.  You had me at 'movie theater.'

-650K sf office space, 200K retail, 300K apartments, and NO hotel.

-A new QFC twice the size latest/greatest will still anchor (moving to different location on site)

-Restaurants, also some pop- up ones on the 2nd floor w/view of the lake

-Multi-family apartments for rent (our geo has demand for more 2-3 bedrooms than most)

-100 surface parking spots, rest are sub-terrain

-Focus on walk-ability, there's even a little U-Village-like lane w/slow traffic, open courtyard feel

It's early in the process, they are still working with the city and have not yet hired an architect or gone through the Design Review Process.  The next meeting is the Planning Committee's Study Session at City Hall on 12/11 at 7pm if you have input.  Questions can be directed to Natalie Price at   I love that they are getting out and talking to all of the neighborhoods (when is your next nhood assoc mtg??).  And did I mention there will be a movie theater? ;-)

King County Assessor Kicks A$$ in Kirkland

WHAT IS UP with the property value notices that just came out?!?! Is this happening to you too?  Ours went up 20% from last year, which nearly made me spill my wine coffee.  I've heard lots of other residents squawking in disbelief also.  One Kirkland friend said her assessment is 100% higher than last year (with no changes or improvements to land/dwelling).  The real estate market is picking back up, but not THAT fast. 

I haven't called their office yet, but it sounds like to appeal your evaluation you need to act quickly.  July 1, 2014 or 60 days from the mailing date on the postcard....clearly the latter in my case.  You can also contact the King County Assessor at 206-296-7300 or the King Co Board of Equalization 206-696-3496. Please share your story in the comments if you have experienced a tax-induced heart attack or been through the appeals process. 

Sotheby's and Asher Photos

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If the Sotheby's was trying to be a tempting place that we wouldn't be able to walk by without stopping in for a glass of's working!  Nice job - total northwest swanky Kirkland style real estate office.  Here's the scoop on what they're doing.  Stop in to this Delille location Mon-Thurs 11-7 and Sat/Sun 11-9. 

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And then check out the pics of Asher's new digs across the hall from Sotheby's.  They moved from Central Way to Lake St. for the location/exposure and more space.  Love that they have incorporated more 'man gifts' and other accessory type soaps and things for when you're not quite ready to buy your guy a plaid shirt.

Sotheby's : Art, Wine, Real Estate

Sotheby's International Real Estate
office in the heart of downtown Kirkland (15 Lake St) will be wrapping up their build-out and is poised to open on March 1st. Sotheby's has over 650 offices and is the 2nd most highly viewed real estate website in the world.  This location will be more than just a global network of real estate buyers and sellers, they will also be offering art and wine (aaaah, they know us too well...).  It is a zoning requirement that they have a retail component, so what a great idea to partner with local winery, DeLille Cellars (their second tasting room).  They will also be selling art and featuring artist Josee Nadeau this March, whose impressionistic style is a favorite of stars like Clint Eastwood and Pierce Brosnan.  She has trained and been recognized all over the world.  

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The Sotheby's office will have a "classic contemporary" feel, says founding broker Brad Vancour.  There will be lots of glass, concrete and high open ceilings. Here are some pics (above) from when I walked through a couple weeks ago.  Expect lots of wine and art events that help welcome people in the door- the big roll-up garage doors, that is.  Brad said they liked Kirkland because of the foot traffic and they have designed this office to be a place where you can come in and have some wine, look at some art and learn about local, or global, real estate in this "lifestyle showroom." More info in this press release. 425-658-5300. 

1st Rate Insurance: New 'Digs' on Market Street


Have you been wondering what the big hole is they've been digging at 820 Market Street?  Wonder no more.  My hole investigation is complete.  It used to be a beautiful pale yellow eyesore 4-plex hogging up the corner of Market and 9th.  Now 1st Rate Insurance is building a new structure that will be 1300 sf of office space for their agency (upstairs) and two 2BR/2BA luxury apartments below (heated floors, granite, FP, pet-friendly).  There will also be 518 sf of commercial space available.  1st Rate is ten person insurance brokerage firm that offers auto, home and life insurance through over twenty reputable companies.  The Kirkland Reporter gave them the "Best of Kirkland" award for 2012-2013.  It is owned by Ken and Diane Martin, both active parents in the Kirkland community.  They've been in business 20+ years and their company has been in Kirkland since 2005, so they really wanted to stay local after the Ford dealership in Totem Lake bought their property on Slater Ave.     

4D Architects designed the building (rendering above) and Stark Construction is the General Contractor on the job. The Martins donated the old building to the Kirkland Fire Department for them to do a training exercises before it got torn down.  Now it's a patient...very patient... wait on building permits, but hopefully they will have everything complete by August if things go according to plan. Questions/inquiries can be sent to .425-821-1000 ~j

Special Thanks from Krista Warnock of SpaKrista

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Anyone that's met Krista Warnock, the owner of SpaKrista in Lakeshore Plaza, has an instant friend. She is somebody who loves the connections that she's made and whose soft kindness is appreciated by all of her clients. Herein lies the problem.  After five successful years in the Kirkland community, she has decided to sell her business.  With a sixteen year old daughter she'd like to spend more time with and a laundry list of work-related joint pains (elbow, back, fingers-ouch!), Krista has decided to make a lifestyle change.  All of these decisions happened quickly, so she wanted to be sure to publicly thank Kirklanders for being so supportive. She is very appreciative of all the friendships she has made along the way.  

Krista will be working at the spa thru January and then she's off to work for a start-up company called Care-Cap.  She is hopeful that somebody will come along and want to take over her little oasis down by the lake, and all of the clients that she will miss so much.  Farewell Krista, best of luck on your next chapter. ~j


Cross Kirkland Corridor- Lawsuit for Kirkland

Just saw this letter from the City Manager's office I thought you might be interested in...huh...

April 2, 2013

message about the Cross Kirkland Corridor

Dear Community Member,

It is with great disappointment
that I share with you that the City of Kirkland was served on April 1, 2013
with a Federal lawsuit which seeks to stop the City from removing the rail
tracks and ties along the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The lawsuit was filed by
Ballard Terminal Railroad Company (“Ballard”) in Federal District Court in the
Western District of Washington.  In addition to the injunction, Ballard
has filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board (“STB”)
seeking to reactivate the Eastside Rail Corridor for freight service from
Woodinville to Bellevue, WA.  These actions make it necessary for the City
to carefully evaluate Ballard’s claims and to consider our legal options.

As you may be aware, the City has
hired a contractor to remove the rails to make way for an Interim Trail along
the Cross Kirkland Corridor.  The removal has been anticipated to begin
this month; with construction of the Interim Trail to begin this fall. We
intend to keep with the community’s desire to allow use of the trail as soon as
possible, even if it requires us to put our plans on hold as we take time to
better understand the impacts of the lawsuit and petition.

The Cross Kirkland Corridor is 5.75
miles of the 44+ mile Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC).  Apart from the
segments owned by the City of Kirkland and the City of Redmond, the ERC has
been recently acquired by King County. 

It is our initial understanding
that Ballard seeks to keep Kirkland from removing the rails on our Corridor so
that freight use can be re-established.  We are hopeful that the Federal
District Court will rule on the injunction case in the coming weeks and that
the STB decision regarding Ballard’s request to reactivate our Corridor as a
freight (not transit or excursion train) corridor will also be expedited.

We are confident that Kirkland will
ultimately be able to carry out our citizens’ vision for the Corridor. 
However, there are many complexities to this issue and your understanding and
patience is appreciated.  Updates will be released through the City’s
email notification subscriber lists and posted to the Cross Kirkland Corridor
webpage at

If you have a specific question,
please send it to Pam Bissonnette, Director, Public Works Department, at
425-587-3802 or



Kurt Triplett

City Manager

City of Kirkland

Lake Street Place: What's in Store for Downtown Kirkland

It's time to get ready for some exciting new development in downtown Kirkland.  Finally!  The re-vitalization effort on Lake Street, spear-headed by Stuart McLeod, is a down-sized version of the approved plans from 2007.  The new spaces will add 185,000 sf total, which includes 70,000 sf of office space, retail and restaurants on the ground floor and 252 new parking spots in a concealed above ground parking garage (which will be public in the evening-yahoo!).  Stuart is a long-time Kirklander, and with the help of Chesmore/Buck Architecture, they have created a well thought out plan which includes a courtyard area and wide sidewalks to keep the look and feel of Kirkland and to encourage foot traffic and community gatherings. "If another developer was doing a project on thissite, they could just place the face of the building 13’ off of the Lake Streetcurb instead of the gracious 33’ width of the courtyard proposed by McLeod. The courtyard will be such a public amenity for year round activities"," said architect Rick Chesmore.   Building heights max at 55 feet, which is the current zoned code.  You can see from the rendition above how office space gets tiered on top of Milagro and behind Hector's with patios and landscaping.  And where there is office space, there are hungry employees to eat in our restaurants and patrons to shop in our stores. 

The 5th hearing with the Design Review Board was this week, and they received approval to move forward with their plans.  Next  they will submit for a permit.  The project will likely spend a year in development (permit/bidding process/pre-leasing) and is estimated to take 18-24 months to build.  I'm looking forward to this endeavor breathing new life into our downtown.   ~j