Downtown Kirkland is getting a face lift as work on the Kirkland Urban development continues.
Hundreds of construction workers were busy at the development on a recent morning under the shadows of three large cranes.
The expansive 12-acre multi-use development broke ground September 2017 and its first building goes on-line this October.
Matt Van Leishout, project manager for Ryan Companies, which is behind the development, said there will be three phases.
The first will create multiple buildings that will house residential units, offices and open space, along with 1,700 parking slots.
There will be two office towers, clocking in at seven and eight stories.
Views from the top floor include the Olympics mountain range and the Seattle skyline as well as Lake Washington.
The first phase will have 600,000 square feet and the total development will clock in around 1.2 million square feet.
There will be at least 185 housing units available, including townhomes.
The exteriors will be mostly glass and stone and while the company said they want to keep the atmosphere of downtown Kirkland intact, the new development will be a major addition.
“It’s really changing the entire environment down here,” Van Leishout said.
Bret Jordan, who is the senior vice president for Ryan Companies, said Kirkland is unique on the Eastside due to its downtown running along Lake Washington instead of having a residential buffer.
The city is highly walkable, he said, and they wanted to keep that atmosphere with Kirkland Urban.
The buildings will have a road running through them and an outdoor plaza area with views of the lake.
The large brick building currently sitting east of the development will be torn down and replaced with a new one once the first phase of the project is completed.
One of the driving factors for bringing the development to Kirkland was a lack of space for companies to expand, Jordan said, including Costco, which moved its headquarters out of the city.
“Everybody was lamenting they had to leave because there’s no place to grow,” Jordan said.
Kirkland Urban has already signed anchor tenants including Tableau Software, Wave Broadband and QFC, which is currently located at a building on the southwest corner of the development.
Jordan said they appreciate the support they have received from the community as their projected progresses.
“Folks see it as a great opportunity to upgrade the downtown,” Jordan said.
Ryan Companies is working with Talon Private Capital to complete the project.
Ryan Companies is a Minneapolis-based firm with around 1,300 employees nationwide and recently opened an office in Kirkland.