Kirkland Parkplace one of Four Seattle-Area Developments to Receive High Praise for Smart Growth

Quality Growth Alliance uses rigorous criteria to honor planned projects offering real-world solutions for sustainable design and development

The Quality Growth Alliance (QGA) announced today four local development projects have been recognized for their high potential to contribute to the Central Puget Sound region’s sustainable economic, environmental and quality-of-life objectives. The honored projects, all in the pre-entitlement, conceptual design phase of development, are part of the Alliance’s inaugural Recognition Program. They range from residential developments in urban Seattle neighborhoods to mixed-use communities in suburban cities.

Recognition of each project was based upon full consensus among all eight QGA Partner organizations, which include environmental-, real estate-, and civic-related organizations. The partners are committed to managing growth and leveraging it as an opportunity to address critical concerns such as density; access to transit; the creation of community benefits such as mixed-income housing; and minimizing impacts to the environment. QGA Partners include the Urban Land Institute Seattle District Council; Puget Sound Regional Council; University of Washington College of Built Environments; Enterprise Community Partners; Cascade Land Conservancy; Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties; Futurewise; and NAIOP – The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Washington State Chapter.

The Recognition Program is not a traditional awards program, as each project is in the pre-entitlement phase of development. QGA Recognition Program jurors will personally provide valuable public testimony for each of these projects as they proceed through their respective approvals processes.

The four proposed developments to receive recognition by the QGA include:

Yesler Terrace (Developer: Seattle Housing Authority) is a planned effort to replace this community’s aging housing with a vibrant mixed-use community that will provide a mix of office, retail and housing. It will attract people from diverse backgrounds, inspire cultural diversity and provide high-quality housing for all income levels with nearby amenities.

Kirkland ParkPlace (Developer: Touchstone) is a planned mixed-use development in downtown Kirkland that will include 1.2 million square feet of technology-office space (accommodating approximately 6,000 jobs); 300,000 square feet of retail space; a full-service hotel; 3,500 underground parking spaces; and about 160,000 square feet of public space featuring art installations, landscaped areas, pedestrian walkways, and other parts of the “public realm.”

Interbay (Developer: The Freehold Group) is a planned neighborhood development in Seattle’s Interbay district, between the Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods. The new Interbay Master Plan includes elements to create a neighborhood where affordable housing, commerce, recreation and industry will co-exist.

Sunset Electric Building (Developer: Pryde + Johnson) is a historic, 2-story, brick structure in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that is being converted into an apartment building that will preserve the site’s historical integrity while providing 89 affordable, energy-efficient apartments.

“Each of these outstanding, pre-entitlement projects demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing critical and complex issues facing our region. We believe they will help create growth that will have a positive impact on our communities over the long term,” said Bill Kreager, FAIA, a veteran Seattle architect and chair of the QGA’s Recognition Program.

Projects submitted for recognition are judged based on the following seven criteria: Location; Density, Design, and Mix of Uses; Transportation/Mobility/Accessibility; Environment; Mixed-Income Housing (for residential projects); Community Benefits; and Community Participation.

“The collaborative efforts of the QGA’s diverse membership are a laudable development of planning and sustainability,” said Josh Brower, a land use attorney with Tupper Mack Brower and chair of the Seattle Planning Commission.

Allan Giffen, Director of Planning and Community Development at the City of Everett, said, “The City of Everett is pursuing an exciting vision for quality growth and development in our community. The Quality Growth Alliance’s Recognition Program has set a high standard for recognition of exactly the type of projects that we are seeking.”

In addition to public supportive testimony, the QGA will provide recognized projects with a letter of recognition that demonstrates support by the organization’s diverse members. Honored projects will also receive praise through publicity, advertisements, online promotion, and announcements at various business- and civic-oriented events.

For more information on the Quality Growth Alliance and its Recognition Program, visit the organization’s Web site at www.qualitygrowthalliance.org.

About the Quality Growth Alliance

The Quality Growth Alliance is committed to building upon shared principles and fostering creative approaches not only to manage growth, but also to leverage it as a regional opportunity. Alliance members include the Urban Land Institute Seattle District Council; Puget Sound Regional Council; University of Washington College of Built Environments; Enterprise Community Partners; Cascade Land Conservancy; Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties; Futurewise; and NAIOP – The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Washington State Chapter. More information is available at www.qualitygrowthalliance.org.

About the Quality Growth Alliance Recognition Program

The QGA’s Recognition Program honors residential, commercial, institutional and mixed-use projects that exemplify smart, sustainable, high-quality growth throughout King, Pierce, Kitsap and Snohomish counties. The QGA will accept nominations this winter for its second round of Recognition Program projects.