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2021 Awardee – City of Kirkland Village at Totem Lake

Once, the little retail center off Highway 405 in north Kirkland was home to a dark ‘70s era mall with mostly empty storefronts.

Now the Village at Totem Lake is an Eastside destination. Whether people need health care or high-end groceries, or just want a bite to eat and a place to browse, Totem Lake is a bright, modern, mixed use destination that seamlessly combines retail, entertainment, health care and dining in a walkable urban center. It invites travelers on the highway to stop for a break and stretch their legs, or to stay awhile in the convenient housing above the complex.

It’s all the result of the Totem Lake Plan, which was adopted in 2002. The new development has 336,707 square feet of commercial space and 851 dwelling units. Although construction on the main site was only completed in 2017, it’s already a bustling part of this Eastside community.

“This is beyond what the vision was,” said Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet. “But so are many of the things that are happening in Kirkland.”

The Village at Totem Lake is an answer to a broad vision of incorporating residential units physically located over commercial properties. It’s an attractive neighborhood for young professionals, including people who are new to Kirkland. The development is conscientiously connected to the Totem Lake Park, meaning kids can play while parents can get everything they need in one convenient, inviting place.

The new neighborhood was developed through a partnership between city leadership, CenterCal Properties and public-private investment partnerships.