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Kirkland Biz News March 2015

Welcome Kirkland Biz News – a monthly e-newsletter that features current news and information important to businesses and for businesses.

Greater Seattle economy in good position for foreign direct investment

The Greater Seattle economy is in an enviable position to seize investment opportunities that derive from the global economy. Currently 66,341 regional jobs owe their existence to foreign-owned firms. Of the jobs in the State of Washington, 40% are tied to exports. Moreover, our unique location and proximity to Canada and Asia are advantageous to tapping foreign investment. For more information about foreign direct investment and globalizing the Seattle economy contact the Trade Development Alliance ( at 206.389.7301 or email, or contact the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County 206.389.8650. The statistics were provided by Brookings Institution, International Trade Administration and International Competitiveness Strategy.

Answer the call: City Business Satisfaction Survey in March

The City of Kirkland will launch a Business Satisfaction Survey in the next month that will conclude at the end of June. The survey will include 400 telephone interviews and several focus groups. While assessing the current services that the City provides to business, the survey also will ask businesses that are not currently in Kirkland their opinions of the pros and cons of locating in Kirkland. In addition, the survey will analyze satisfaction with broadband services. The City wants to make sure that satisfactory broadband is available to businesses, and also wants to understand whether there is a city role in broadband delivery. Any questions please contact Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Economic Development Manager at or 425.587.3014.

Totem Lake Mall: Council approves to extend and amend Redevelopment Agreement

Following a public hearing on March 3, the City Council unanimously approved the extension and amendment of the Redevelopment Agreement for Totem Lake Mall. In 2006, the City and then property owner Coventry II/DDR, entered into a redevelopment agreement, which is set to expire in 2016. With the approval by the City Council, CenterCal Properties, LLC, a retail development company, retains the vested rights to development standards established in the original agreement; including the City’s commitment to invest up to $15 million in public improvements. Prior to the public hearing, the City’s Planning Director approved the addendum to the SEPA Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) as well as changes to the conceptual designs contained in the Totem Lake Mall Conceptual Master Plan that was approved by the City’s Design Review Board for Coventry’s earlier proposal. To view the staff memo for background and the Redevelopment Agreement and to watch the City Council public hearing, go to, search “On Demand Programming” and select the March 3, 2015 City Council meeting. To receive future updates on the redevelopment of the Mall, go to and search “Totem Lake Mall Redevelopment.” For specific questions about the project, contact Jon Regala, Senior Planner, at 425.587.3255 or

Totem Lake Conversation: Monday, March 9

The Kirkland City Council invites you to talk about Totem Lake over lunch. The agenda will include updates on Totem Lake Mall, and citizen amendment requests currently before the Planning Commission. Bring your own updates to share with the group. This conversation will be held on Monday, March 9, 2015 at Café Veloce, 12514 120th Ave NE at 12:00 noon. Lunch is on you; the conversation is on us! For more information, contact Ellen Miller-Wolfe at 425.587.3014. To register, click here. (DATE CORRECTION: In the February Kirkland Biz News, the date was incorrectly published as March 7.)

Parkplace redevelopment gets “Thumbs Up” from Kirkland City Council

Following a public hearing on February 17, 2015, the Kirkland City Council unanimously adopted three ordinances that approve amendments to the environmental planned action ordinance, zoning code, and master plan and design guidelines related to the revitalization of Kirkland Parkplace. The adoption of the ordinances (1) amends an environmental document called a planned action ordinance that was approved in 2008 when plans to redevelop the retail center into a mixed use development were first submitted to the City by a previous developer; (2) approves changes to the zoning requirements requested by the current developer, Talon Private Capital, that add residential square footage, an increased incentive for a movie theater, a bank drive through, and a 10% affordable housing requirement; and (3) approves amendments to the Master Plan and Design Guidelines for Parkplace originally approved in 2008. For additional information contact Angela Ruggeri at or 425.587.3256.

Kirkland Waterfront Demand Study: Key Findings show that increased visitation translate to increased revenues for businesses

In its efforts to bring more visitors to Kirkland to increase hotel stays and to augment entertainment, shopping and restaurant markets, the Tourism Development Committee (aka Lodging Tax Advisory Committee) commissioned a Waterfront Demand Study. Among many insightful findings the study determined that over eighty percent (80%) of boaters using Kirkland moorage are visiting from outside of Kirkland. And, with improvements to the operations and infrastructure of current moorage facilities, the downtown Marina has the potential of attracting more visitors to Kirkland. Further, increased visitation could translate into substantial revenues for businesses adjacent to waterfront parks with an estimated $150 per boat spent on land. Key findings were presented to the City Council on March 3, 2015 (PDF) and to the City’s Park Board on February 11 (PDF).

New owners for Kirkland’s Heathman Hotel

Hotel Kirkland Limited Liability Company (Los Angeles, CA) has purchased the award winning Heathman Hotel. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Interstate-Rim Management Company will manage the boutique hotel. The Kirkland Reporter notes the sale price was $17.4 million.

City to reach out to businesses affected by plastic bag reduction program

The City’s Recycling Division will be contacting retail businesses in Kirkland affected by the recent adoption of the plastic bag reduction policy. The reduction program is intended to reduce the amount of waste created by plastic bags and enhance the environmental quality of life for Kirkland businesses and residents. The reduction policy encourages customers to shop with reusable bags, is incentivizing consumers through a five-cent charge on all paper bags, and restricting the use of certain disposal plastic bags by retailers. Program details are available at Please contact the Recycling Coordinator at 425.587.3812 or


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[March 5, 2015]