The Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded the city of Kirkland $150,000 in grant funding to help meet long-range goals to increase the housing supply, bolster walkability and improve access to transit around Sound Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station at Northeast 85th Street and I-405.
The station is scheduled to open in 2024.
According to a press release, this award will assist the city complete a station area plan encompassing neighborhoods extending up to a half mile around the planned BRT station. The station area plan, which is currently underway and scheduled for completion in 2021, aims to maximize the area’s mixed-use landscape by enhancing its transition to a walkable, transit-oriented pedestrian corridor through increased residential density, heightened pedestrian safety and improved connections to transit services.
The award is integral to the city’s goals of sustainably increasing its housing supply in areas served by transit that are appropriate for growth, the release states. Additionally, the grant enables Kirkland to undertake a more robust environmental review of project alternatives while helping residents visualize how the neighborhood surrounding the BRT station will look and feel in the future.
The grant award was made possible by the state Legislature through E2SHB 1923, which created the funding source to help cities increase urban residential building capacity through streamlined regulations, the release states.
“This is such a wonderful opportunity for the city to create significant new residential density around the future BRT station, and to make sure this density is livable and enhances the long-term sustainability of our community,” said Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet in the release. “We are thrilled with this award and thank our lawmakers for crafting this important source of funding.”