Urban Centers are regionally-designated places that contain a mix of uses, have existing or planned high capacity transit service, are well suited to accommodate future population and employment growth, and represent priority areas for federal transportation funding. There are two designated Urban Centers in Kirkland: Totem Lake and Greater Downtown Kirkland.
Urban Centers are designated by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), which includes elected leadership from the cities and towns, port districts, transit agencies, Tribes, and King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties. This collective body of nearly 100 members develops policies and coordinates decisions about growth, transportation, and economic development planning in the region.
Greater Downtown Kirkland Regional Growth Center
Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) designated Greater Downtown Kirkland as a Regional Growth Center in June 2023. The application drew from the completed planning work for the NE 85th Street Station Area Plan (adopted June 2022) and Moss Bay Neighborhood Plan Update (adopted December 2021). The center encompasses Kirkland’s historic downtown and the NE 85th Street Station Area and also includes the Kirkland Transit Center, one mile of the Cross Kirkland Corridor, Lake Washington High School, Lakeview Elementary School, and two Google campuses. The historic downtown consists of mixed-use commercial and high and medium-density residential areas. The Station Area is planned to accommodate higher density residential and commercial growth with increased pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections.
The primary goal of the center is to continue to foster a walkable, compact, pedestrian and transit-oriented area, relying on decades of community planning work within the Greater Downtown and especially the recently adopted plans. Additional goals include maximizing the use of the future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Station that will serve the Greater Downtown, promoting PSRC’s VISION 2050, and complementing the planned growth in the other Eastside Regional Growth Centers.
Totem Lake Regional Growth Center
PSRC designated the Totem Lake Regional Growth Center in 2003. The center includes The Village at Totem Lake, a major destination in Kirkland, which contains residential, retail, and office uses. The center also includes Totem Lake Transit Center, Evergreen Hospital, and Totem Lake Park. The Totem Lake Neighborhood Plan was last updated in 2015 and is part of Kirkland’s Comprehensive Plan.