A transportation link vital to yesterday’s businesses, the Eastside Rail Corridor, is being dusted off and placed in service once again to ensure the success of Kirkland and its business community. Completed in 1904 to haul coal and lumber, freight lines carried agricultural products in the early to mid-1900’s, and later moved Boeing airplane parts, light industrial products and, in the latter half of the 20th century, the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train used the same tracks. Abandoned in 2009, the new vision for the Corridor is as a multi-modal transportation conduit for bicycles, pedestrians, and, in the future, some form of transit.
Much like the railroad, in the 21st century, the remaining warehouses along the Cross Kirkland Corridor
are being repurposed for uses as varied as high tech offices, advanced manufacturing, and children’s indoor recreational centers. These new uses will have the advantage of a Corridor that will connect them to Kirkland and to the region, including the Woodinville wineries and Seattle.
Imagine employees bicycling or walking to work, or children walking from home to school, or from school to after-school activities. Imagine bus riders hopping on the corridor where it connects to a refurbished SR 520 and going to work at Google, INRIX, Revel or one of many other businesses that continue to flourish and expand in Kirkland. The return on investment for Kirkland and the businesses that call Kirkland home is tangible, based on the experience of other communities that have developed abandoned corridors. Currently, there are more than 1,800 businesses located within 2,000 feet of the Corridor with over 18,000 employees. Plus, the Corridor will likely attract new businesses to Kirkland. These businesses can be recognized as green businesses for their part promoting transportation alternatives.
Moreover, recreational trails like the Connector buoy property values and accelerate property sales. They spur reinvestment in residential and commercial real estate. They can be strongly correlated with increases in food, beverage, clothing, and recreational equipment sales.
Your business can be part of the growing coalition of Kirkland businesses that support the corridor. A coalition of Kirkland businesses, called The Founders, is connecting with other businesses to grow support for the Cross Kirkland Corridor
Google campus in 2012; adjacent to the Corridor before the tracks were removed in 2013.