Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
AP Hurd, Vice President of Touchstone Development, was our first guest. AP updated us on the Park Place redevelopment which is undergoing Design Review. In 2008 Touchstone received approval for building several 8 story buildings, with smaller buildings tapering down towards Peter Kirk Park. A central plaza is designed for maximum sunlight. AP was asked about movie theaters and said that a two-screen specialty theater is looking likely. The project will be "phased" over 6-9 years in three of four phases starting in the northeast corner of the property. A new QFC will be built while the old one stays open. There will be over 300,000 square feet of retail space with 8 to 11 restaurants. Breaking ground should happen near the end of 2011 or 2012 and the first businesses should open around 2013.
Maura O’Brien, of the Washington Department of Ecology, was our next guest, giving us an update on the cleanup of the former Pace Chemical site on 7th Ave. S. Recent test boring on land surrounding the site has revealed that Vinyl Chloride, the main chemical of concern, was not present. It is however still present in the groundwater on the site. Most if not all of the contaminated soils have been removed. If this can be confirmed and no further cleanup action required, the site could be "delisted" with the DOE within a few months and be available for development or sale.
Seth Dostart, Director Kirkland Teen Center was next. The Center serves 9,000 kids in 26,000 visits with a staff of 6. 80% of the teens are Kirkland residents. The Bellevue YMCA will be taking over the contract to run the Center from Friends of Youth, a group which has been around since 1952. The programs and staff are not expected to change. The Center is open Tues – Sat at 3pm.
Stefeny Anderson, new manager of the Kirkland Wednesday Market, gave us an overview of the market for the 2010 season which opened May 5 and runs through Oct 13. There are new meat and cheese vendors with the aim of providing market goers with the ability to do all of their food shopping. The Market also has several types of prepared food and pizza. There will be weekly newsletters on the Market website.
Mike Metteer, of the Kirkland Parks Dept., was next. Mike told us about upcoming special events in Kirkland parks. This will be 32nd year in a row for summer concerts. Visit the Parks Dept. web site for a complete listing of summer events http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/parks/. Mike mentioned that Juanita Beach Park will be closed for 10 months for a much needed upgrade. The park has not been improved in about 50 years.
Katya Difani, Herbalist and owner of Herban Wellness 103 Lake St. told us about her business. We have been focusing on downtown business' by inviting local merchants to our meetings. Katya described therapeutic use of herbs, tea blends, herbal concentrated extracts, and Aroma Therapy. Katya also teaches classes and can custom-blend herbal teas for various health issues. The store is open Tues – Sat 10:30 – 6pm and Sun 12 – 5pm.
Don Winters briefed us on two ongoing projects in town. Houghton Center is nearing completion and the new Metropolitan Market is now scheduled to open June 3. Two new tenants, Nature's Pet, and Sports Clips are on board and the center is 100% leased. The parking lot will be upgraded and repaved along with the renovation.
Phase I of the Hector's project -- the renovation of the Waterfront Market building on Lake St. -- is also nearing completion. A new Mexican restaurant will fill the northwest corner of the building which was previously the home of a smaller eatery. The new place will be 8,000 square feet, more than twice as large as the old restaurant space. Some of the upstairs office space remains to be leased. Depending on this, phase II of the project, a new building tying in with Hector's, will start by the end of the year with a tentative completion date of next summer.
Our next meeting will be Sept 20, 2010 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.