Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Mike Nolan, Google Facilities Manager, was our first guest.
Mike explained that Google has been going through a process of "space rationalization" on a global basis as a way of managing costs in the economic downturn. During this time, work was stopped on the new Google campus on 6th. St. S.
After reviewing its options, Google has confirmed that it will remain in Kirkland and work has resumed on finishing the buildings. The employees are happy to be in Kirkland and want to be good neighbors who make a positive impact on the community. On a worldwide basis, Google employees are involved in local non-profit organizations in their communities. The company is focused on environmental issues. Google strives to be an open and accepting employer embracing all nationalities, religions, cultures and personal philosophies. Although growth has slowed, Google is still hiring talented people.
The new Kirkland campus was designed by the builder to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver. As the occupant, Google is shooting to achieve the highest LEED certification possible. To reduce the impact of transportation, the company provides bike rooms & showers, carpool parking and a ride share email system.
The Kirkland campus will house engineering and product development teams. The Seattle campus (Fremont) has engineering and sales personnel. Employees would resist any attempt to combine the campuses.
Mike said that early September is current move-in date. The capacity of the new campus is 1,000 employees in 195,000 sq ft. The current plan is for Google to employ 400 employees in 80,000 sq ft. and to sub lease the remaining space.
Margit Moore, of the Kirkland Cultural Council, was our next speaker. This group of volunteers was created by the City Council to oversee the big picture related to the arts and heritage in Kirkland. They sponsor events such as "Uncorked" and "Kirkland Artists Studio Tour". For more info go to: http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/Boards_and_Commissions/Cultural_Council.htm
Maura O’Brien, Geologist / Hydrologist, Washington State Department of Ecology was our next guest. Maura is in charge of the cleanup at the former Pace National site on 7th Ave. S. Pace has occupied the site starting in 1969 -- mixing and packaging chemicals at the facility through the early 1990s.
The state has records of at least 4 separate clean-ups at the site. 14 underground storage tanks have been removed and lots of soil has been hauled off. ULTRA Corporation, owners of the site, is cleaning up under an “agreed order” with the State. The clean up conforms with the Model Toxics Control Act.
The ground water is contaminated with petroleum and vinyl chloride.
Two clean up tests are being undertaken. One started in March and the other started in April. The results should be available in 6 months. If the tests work, they can be used to clean up the entire site. The clean up could start in 2010 and finish by 2012. Development and construction could be done in parallel with the clean-up. Camwest Development, which had an option on the property, has “stepped back” from purchasing it.
Maura will keep the neighborhood informed as to progress on the clean-up.
Bruce Knowton, VP Development, Camwest was next.
Camwest will host a Grand Opening at Nettleton Commons on State St. June 27 &28 from noon to 6pm. Members of the neighborhood are invited to visit.
New homes are available starting at about $789k. Three or four homes have been sold to date. The Nettleton home is still available.
The landscaping on the site is temporary.
Carolyn Hayek, Member of the Planning Commission told us that the commission is reviewing Kirkland's tree ordinance. Citizens are encouraged to send ideas for improvement.
Neighborhood question time
SRM is still looking for a tenant for the office building project at State and 2nd Ave S. After further discussions with the neighbors, the private school idea was rejected.
City Council Member Bob Sternoff mentioned that the Bank of America project was about to start construction. The "McLeod" property project is on hold due to the economic climate. There has been some talk of redevelopment on the "Antique Mall" property, but nothing of substance has emerged as of yet.
We will be taking our summer break and our next meeting will be Sept. 21, 2009.