Eastside Updates

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Lincoln Square. Photos courtesy Kemper Development Company. Renderings by Neoscape; City of Bothell.

Bellevue Collection Expansion
A robust local economy and strong retail sales, including 48 consecutive months of sales increases, inspired the Kemper Development Company of Bellevue to commit to a $1.2 billion mixed-use expansion to its popular shopping destination. The Bellevue Collection (Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, Lincoln Square) already attracts more than 22 million shoppers annually from a six-state region and Canada. The Bellevue Collection retailers consistently outperform other regional shopping centers with retail sales at $853 per square foot — double the International Council of Shopping Center’s average.

“The Bellevue Collection is just coming off of its strongest year ever in our 68-year history for all of our categories including retail, dining, entertainment, hotel, office and residential. It is an exciting way to head into our next opportunity for community building in Bellevue as we launch into our expansion of Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square,” said Kemper Freeman, chairman and CEO of Kemper Development Company and The Bellevue Collection. To celebrate, they will be the title sponsor of the Bellevue Downtown’s Association’s annual Fourth of July event.

Digging for the underground parking will begin by the end of second quarter 2014. The $1.2 billion Bellevue Collection expansion is two-fold: the Lincoln Square expansion and the Bellevue Square expansion. The Lincoln Square expansion is first and will feature a luxury hotel, flexible meeting spaces, a ballroom, more than 700,000 square feet of additional Class A office space and more parking spaces. There will be added chef-driven restaurants, upscale entertainment and more retail.

The Bellevue Square expansion will connect more luxury and aspirational retail space to Bellevue Square. The site will feature a boutique hotel, 250 luxury residences and additional parking.

New stores at the shops at the Braven
Shoppers also have their eyes on The Shops at The Bravern this year. A world flagship, 8,000-square-foot Gucci store is set to open in late spring, Hermes is expanding to a location three times its current size (will be 9,300 square feet), and Moncler has just announced that they will be opening at The Bravern mid-summer 2014 (one of only seven U.S. locations). Three other leases are signed and currently in the planning stages. The Bravern is comprised of a 309,000-square-foot luxury retail space (The Shops), two office towers and two residential apartment towers. “We are thrilled at the direction The Shops at The Bravern are headed,” said Erica Garvey, asset operations/associate investment manager, at Schnitzer West.

Kirkland Cross Corridor
In Kirkland, a different kind of project is taking off — the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Between May and October, the interim trail will be upgraded with a crushed gravel path and better crosswalks. The goal: turn the once-deserted railroad tracks into a memorable experience for walkers, runners and bikers. The $3.5 million project is fully funded. The 5.75-mile Cross Kirkland Corridor trail goes from the South Kirkland Park and Ride to the Totem Lake business district. Citizens are “using it like crazy,” said Kurt Triplett, Kirkland city manager.

Free-thinking is also flying high. At an advanced transportation summit on February 8, the city looked at several advanced transportation technologies with the idea that the Cross Kirkland Corridor might be an ideal spot for a pilot project. One of the ideas, gondolas, captured everyone’s attention. “We have to wait for Sound Transit to finish assessments for phase three,” said Triplett. “We are excited to think different and think of modes that might be unique to the suburbs,” said Triplett.

Tateuchi Center
The stage is set for the Tateuchi Center, formerly known as Performing Arts Center Eastside (PACE). The Tateuchi Center has been designed and engineered, said John Haynes, the center’s executive director and CEO. Blueprints have been approved and building permits issued. It will be built on a donated site adjacent to the Hyatt Regency. The Center will include a 2,000-seat flexible concert hall and a 250-seat cabaret theatre. Now the most pressing goal is to complete fundraising for construction costs — $115 million left to go.

Officials are helping to develop a public/private partnership to help reach that goal.

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Bothell

Bothell Revitalization
Downtown Bothell, a 104-year-old community, is undergoing a total transformation. The city engaged the Bothell community in a multi-year planning process that guides the city’s actions today, said Bob Stowe, Bothell city manager. To date, Bothell has broken ground on $94 million of public improvements in downtown Bothell. The city’s investment of $94 million in vital capital improvements is part of the $150 million program of planned infrastructure improvements.

“Our goal is to create a vibrant, mixed-use downtown that supports housing, retail and office amenities that have been targeted by our community,” said Stowe. It was started back in 2005 after public meetings. “The revitalization features the largest capital investment in the city’s history — a $60 million infrastructure project called the Crossroads. The effort, which is primarily aimed at relocating a state highway, is now in the final stage of construction. Several road projects are nearly concluded, which will soon ease traffic congestion. In 2015, people will see vertical construction of buildings.

In the process of assembling land and constructing needed infrastructure to support a redeveloped downtown, the city relocated 32 businesses and tore down 30 buildings, “turning back decades of auto oriented/strip mall development to make way for a re-imagined city,” said Stowe. The city purchased 25 acres of land within the downtown which the city is now strategically selling in its role as master developer. The city has been removing contamination that has been a challenge for private sector development to make properties ready for development. The city improved the development permit process to improve predictability for those who choose to invest in Bothell

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