Apartments, gyms coming to Totem Lake neighborhood
By RAECHEL DAWSON
Kirkland Reporter Reporter
September 7, 2012 · Updated 1:33 PM
The Totem Lake Malls have long been under-occupied by businesses but a new tenant on the south end and other surrounding developments could help to revitalize the Totem Lake area.
“The plan is that Totem Lake will become a major site over the next few years,” said Eric Shields, city planning director. “We are welcoming new developments.”
Despite the nearly empty Totem Lake Malls, the Totem Lake neighborhood has been an area of growth. Recent data indicate 36 percent of Kirkland jobs are located in Totem Lake with only 11 percent of Kirkland’s population on 13 percent of the city’s acreage. The Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, located in the neighborhood, is one of Kirkland’s biggest employers and employs 3,290 workers.
But plans to further develop the neighborhood include a nearly finished 50,000 square foot L.A. Fitness scheduled for a grand opening Oct. 1, a 108-unit apartment complex called Slater 116 – expected to finish near the end of 2013 and a 24 Hour Fitness, which has yet to apply for building permits.
“We have zoned Totem Lake to accommodate high-density development,” Shields said.
The L.A. Fitness will employ more than 40 workers and is the second “signature club” in Washington. The first is in Ballard.
The gym will include a basketball and racquetball court, a “Kids Klub,” a lap pool, saunas, an Emerald City Smoothie, cycling classes and group fitness - yoga, kick boxing and cardio classes - and personal training. Hundreds of weights and cardio equipment are also available for members who want to pay between $29 and $50 a month.
General manager Kristi Tran said the construction costs equate to about $30 million. There are currently 500 L.A. Fitnesses nationwide and this will be the 23rd in Washington.
The gym will replace Dan’s Sporting Goods. And Tran said they’ve expanded the building by a significant amount.
Developers chose 12618 120th Avenue N.E. because of various demographics, nearby residential and corporate areas and also because of its proximity to Trader Joe’s, which has a “flood of people,” according to assistant manager Zachary Thompson.
He notes the freeway also has a lot of to do with its location, as well as its scarce competition.
“The community is lacking in fitness facilities,” Thompson said.
Jessica Lozeau, who was signing up to become a member, said she is attracted to the gym because it’s “really close to home” and has group classes such as yoga.
The new gym will see competition when the 24 Hour Fitness’ permit application goes through.
“They have filed for a Tenant Improvement Permit,” Shields said, “which means they will not be building a new structure.”
He said the gym’s expected location will be where the CompUSA, in the south Totem Lake Mall, used to be. According to him, one of the traffic engineers asked for information on parking requirements at the time of the Reporter's interview.
Shields expects the application will be turned in by early September. Jon Regala told the Reporter that Michael Chen, with Group Mackenzie, is the architect representing the 24 Hour Fitness.
NEW RESIDENTIAL UNITS PLANNED
New shops are expected to fill the 10,000 square foot base of 108 one-bedroom and one-bedroom loft apartments at the Slater 116 complex.
“We are hoping to find a bank or credit union, some quick-serve food tenants, a coffee operator and service-type retailers to cater to the residents, as well as employees, of the surrounding office and retail tenants,” said Pat Lindsey, associate vice president of Kidder Mathews, the listing agent for the space.
The for-rent homes will be located at the corner of N.E. 116th Street and 124th Avenue N.E.
Pre-leasing will begin three months before they are finished by the end of next year.
Features include: built with “green” certification, “lightning fast” fiber optic Internet, charging stations for electric vehicles, Metro Orca passes for every new resident, a 2,000-square-foot off-leash dog park, 8,200-square-foot outdoor courtyard, basement parking garage, Wi-Fi lounge, exercise facility and onsite storage with bike lockers.
Marc Boettcher, operations and project manager of MainStreet Property Group LLC, said the location was picked because the site has great access to public transportation and accessibility, which makes it a good location for professionals, students and families.
“Totem Lake is home to 80 percent of Kirkland’s employment opportunities and is also central to the region’s top employment centers and employers,” Boettcher said. “(It) has a tremendous amount of shopping, dining, amenities and services within close proximity to Slater 116.”
According to Shields, other small developments planned in Kirkland include: Totem Station, a new public safety building, a new Toyota of Kirkland showroom, a Fred Meyer gas station, 100 lots of new homes in Kingsgate, a 100,000-square-foot expansion of Fairfax Hospital, an 8,000-square-foot office building in downtown Kirkland and 235 apartment units near the south Kirkland park and ride.
Contact Kirkland Reporter reporter Raechel Dawson at email@example.com
Contact Kirkland Reporter Reporter Raechel Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 X5052.