Demolition has begun at Houghton Center as the Center receives an updated appearance including some new storefronts, new metal canopies and awnings, and an updated facade. A new Metropolitan Market store will occupy two levels of the shopping center. It will replace the Houghton Market and the store area directly below the old market space. The following tenants will remain in the Center: Bartell Drugs, Quiznos, Houghton Dry Cleaners, U Frame It, WA State Liquor Store, Curves for Women, Manon Engineering, Inc and Tracy Nails. These tenants will continue to be open throughout construction.

Sam Chung, Project Manager for The Driftmier Architects, explained that the roof over the existing atrium will be removed and the front of the atrium will be opened to the parking lot. This will create an open court yard at the mid level of the center. New paving, landscaping and seating will be added to create a brighter, open, more inviting plaza area. Circulation between stores and with the parking lot will be improved by leveling the sidewalk in front of the new Metropolitan Market and installing a broad stairway. The stairway will connect the atrium level and the lower west end of the Center to the upper market level. An elevator will be available within the market as an alternative to the stairs.

The new landscaping includes planters with concrete seating, bicycle racks, a dog tie up area and various other new landscape amenities. The Van De Vanter Group is the landscape architect for the project.

The Nelson Legacy Group, the owner, and their architect, The Driftmier Architects, P.S., submitted drawings in early July to the City of Kirkland to obtain a building permit for the planned remodel. Completion of Houghton Center is anticipated for the late spring of 2010.

The Nelson Legacy Group is a family owned and Redmond based business with properties in Redmond, Kirkland and eastern Washington. They look forward to Houghton Center serving the Houghton community for many years to come. The Driftmier Architects of Redmond designed the updates to the center and obtained permits for the projects. The general contractor is Woodman Construction of Bellevue which has completed previous work at Redmond Center and other projects for the Nelson Legacy Group.