Local real estate developer Touchstone had purchased an underperforming, 400,000-square-foot office and shopping complex in downtown Kirkland. The company announced plans to transform Kirkland Parkplace into a mixed-use project including 1.2 million square feet of office space, and an additional 300,000 square feet of retail. Other uses included a hotel, athletic club, and generous amounts of open green space. Touchstone required city approval to increase the height of the planned office buildings, making the project financially feasible. The project also faced significant challenges from local residents and businesses who were opposed to increasing heights and decreasing setbacks anywhere in the downtown core.