The City of Kirkland announced that its highly anticipated Park Lane Enhancement Project is coming to a close. The project is scheduled to wrap up the week of May 18. The $2.3 million reimagining of the Kirkland shopping area is a plaza-style street that will make it easier to create a pedestrian-only area for festivals and events.
Most notable in the update is the addition of that plaza-style street, which Marshbank Construction made possible by replacing a 59-year-old concrete water main. Day to day, Park Lane will be open to traffic, but the construction of the European-style plaza street featuring new greenery, trees, outdoor furniture, rain gardens, and short vertical posts will separate pedestrians from traffic.
“With these enhancements we hope to create not just a street—but a vibrant, bustling destination,” says Ellen Miller-Wolfe, economic development manager for the City of Kirkland. “Park Lane will be a place for people to go and shop. These enhancements will improve the walkability through downtown Kirkland and ultimately provide a venue for festivals, live music and celebratory occasions.”
Simplicity Décor and Simplicity ABC, a home décor and a children’s gift boutique, respectively, are two of Park Lane’s signature businesses. Their owner, A Liengboonlertchai, says he was nervous about how construction would affect his business when he first found out about the project, but knew the updates were essential both for safety and long-term viability of his businesses.
Liengboonlertchai did see a downturn in business during construction. “Both stores got hit quite significantly but [business was] still very positive and I am certain that once the project is complete, it will improve the look and feel of the street and downtown Kirkland as a whole. It will bring more people to Kirkland and businesses in the downtown area.”
To celebrate the completion of the project, the city plans to host its first Park Lane Street Fair from May 29-31. The event will start with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 29 with a performance by Geoffrey Castle Band, plus a street fair, live entertainment, and in-store promotions throughout the weekend.