With gold shovels in hand and demolition already going on behind them, the Kirkland city council, representatives from CenterCal, and future vendors officially broke ground on the Village at Totem Lake.
“Kirkland is open for business, and we couldn’t be more excited about it,” said Kirkland deputy mayor Jay Arnold.
The project will bring a Whole Foods Market to Kirkland; the store will be an anchor tenant in the development. Trader Joe’s, already in the area, will move and be another anchor of the shopping center.
Gary Hall, CenterCal’s senior leasing director, said other announcements for tenants will be forthcoming. Overall, there will be 60-80 food, entertainment, and retail tenants. The Village at Totem Lake will be mixed-use and have on-site residential space.
The Whole Foods should open in fall 2017, said Rick Beason, CenterCal’s vice president of development. It will be part of the phase one lower mall area.
Totem Lake has been on CenterCal’s wish list for a long time. As the company looked to expand along the west coast, a location on the Eastside was ideal.
“Being on the 405 … it’s an ideal location,” Beason said. “We’re one of dozens of developers (that were) looking at the site.”
Joe Rogoff, Whole Foods’ Pacific Northwest region president said Kirkland residents have been contacting him for awhile about moving a Whole Foods into their neck of the woods. Right now, the nearest markets are south to Bellevue or north to Alderwood.
Kirkland’s culture is part of the reason Whole Foods is moving in. Rogoff said that the company is committed to sourcing whole, healthy, and environmentally conscious products.
“I think Kirkland is a very progressive place when it comes to (food standards),” Rogoff said.