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Kirkland News Room

Kirkland, Areté Honored with Governor’s Smart Communities Award

Areté Mixed-Use Development plan implementation recognized

Contact: Jeremy McMahan
Planning and Building Department 

KIRKLAND, Wash. – The City of Kirkland and Areté, a contemporary, mixed-use development in Kirkland’s downtown central business district, this week received the Governor’s Smart Communities Award in the category of Smart Projects. The award, presented by Governor Jay Inslee, recognizes the collaboration between the City and the project developer around shared commitments to affordability, diversity, quality design, transportation choices and green building.

“These projects help create and sustain thriving communities,” said Gov. Inslee. “They facilitate the growth of local economies by creating 'quality of place' that can help retain and attract business and broaden the economic growth around the state." 

“Areté has been a remarkable process of the Kirkland community collaborating with the private sector to make real progress toward the vision, goals and policies of our Comprehensive Plan,” said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee. “To Kirkland, Areté is the result of a partnership between a Kirkland resident/developer who was willing to take chances, lobby and educate and our City as we explore new ideas to solve ongoing problems.”

“It was great to work with the City on this new vision of sustainable, affordable living,” said Developer Robert Pantley. “Together we built a community that works on many levels to create a space that provides access to art, events and green living. Areté reflects the City’s values and the attitudes of Kirkland residents.”

From the outside, Areté is a beautiful piece of contemporary architecture and urban planning that successfully fits into the context of its downtown Kirkland setting. On the inside, Areté is a cutting edge mixed-use collage of complementary uses including dwelling units, retail, restaurant and community meeting space integrated with art.

The residential component of the building includes 228 residential suites which are single room occupancy units. This type of development was not allowed in Kirkland until Mr. Pantley brought the idea to the City and worked with the community through a thoughtful process of amending City codes.

“We are thrilled to receive this award from Governor Inslee,” said Mayor Amy Walen. “The project is a fine example of how a private-public partnership can come together to build an affordable housing alternative. These residents are enjoying the kind of community that we envisioned in our Comprehensive Plan process. They have the opportunity to walk, bike or use transit to meet all their daily needs.”

Areté was one of Kirkland’s first LEED Platinum certified projects and has been used to showcase how smart sustainability measures can be incorporated into development projects in a way that both minimalizes the environmental impact of new building and results in reduced operating costs that can be passed on to residents.