A New Downtown Fire Station

fire-engine-sign

Flickr/Andrew Siguenza

As downtown Bellevue grows, so does the need for expanded life, fire and property emergency response. The Bellevue Fire Department, after completing an extensive study to examine how to meet the city’s current and future needs, has proposed construction of a new Fire Station 10. The City Council has approved funds for property acquisition for Fire Station 10 in the 2015-2021 Capital Investment Program. The proposed site for the new station is on the west side of 112th Avenue NE and NE 12th Street, just north of McCormick Park. The 2.82 acre site will not affect McCormick Park.

Downtown’s residential population is expected to increase to 19,000 by 2030 and the city’s employment base is expected to grow to 70,000+ by 2030. The Fire Department’s goal is to reduce the target travel time to the increasing number of high-rise residential and commercial buildings and ensure quick response times for the nearby neighborhoods of Northtowne, Bel-Red, Northwest and West Bellevue and Wilburton.

Construction of Fire Station 10 is scheduled for 2019 and will take approximately 18 months with an occupancy date in 2021. For more information about Fire Station 10 visit the City of Bellevue’s website at www.ci.bellevue.wa.us.

Plan Ahead for Traffic Revisions

detour-signWith so many buildings under construction and, along with staging and construction of the light rail system, there are going to be temporary and long term delays and detours in and around downtown Bellevue. Here are the current long term detours to watch for in the coming months.

  • 120th Avenue between Bel-Red Road (NE 12th Street) and Northup Way (NE 20th Street) will be closed through April 2017 for construction of a new light rail bridge.
  • 110th Avenue NE from Main Street and 112th Avenue SE to 110th Avenue NE/NE 6th Street will have ongoing closures through late 2016 for installation of light rail tunnel monitoring equipment.
  • NE 2nd Place from 110th  Avenue NE to 111th  Avenue NE will be closed through 2018 for use as a staging area for Sound Transit

There will likely be other occasional closures in the coming months, so be patient and flexible with your route planning and timing – trips could take a few minutes longer than expected.

 

Post Office Moves this Weekend

For as long as I can remember, and I’ve lived in Bellevue for over 30 years, the post office has been located downtown at the corner of NE 12th Street and Bellevue Way. Long overdue for either a major face lift or new building, the downtown Bellevue post office will be moving to its new digs this weekend. Starting Monday, September 12th you can buy stamps, ship packages and access your post office box at the new location just east of I-405 at the corner of Bel-Red Road and 124th Avenue NE (the former Land Rover dealership). Most services will be available through Saturday and hopefully everything will be up and running starting Monday.

I will miss the convenience of having the post office downtown within a block of my home, but definitely won’t miss the giant potholes in the parking lot.

Downtown Bellevue – Opening Soon

Big changes coming to downtown Bellevue with the addition of several new shopping and dining experiences celebrating grand openings in the coming weeks.

 

carmines-bellevue-logo

Carmines will offer an upscale white tablecloth dining experience plus an expansive covered, heated patio. Located at 88 102nd Avenue NE at the south side of the Downtown Park. Scheduled to open September 12th.

 

WHOLE FOODS 365

The organic grocer’s small format, less expensive store is scheduled to open September 14th at Bellevue Square in the space previously occupied by J C Penney. Wild Ginger has been selected to operate a quick, casual dining space within the store.rei

 

Opening September 13th, REI is relocating its Redmond store to Bellevue. REI will open in the new retail space shared with Trader Joes and Home Goods at the corner of NE 4th Street and 116th Avenue NE. The Grand Opening celebration is scheduled for September 23-25.

 

trader_joes_logo-svg

Trader Joe’s is targeting a mid-October opening at the new location just east of downtown Bellevue. Trader Joe’s will share space with REI and Home Goods.

hg-homegoods-logo

Home Goods, the popular home fashion and decor retailer, is planning its grand opening for October 2nd. Home Goods will be joined by REI and Trader Joe’s.

 

Cafe-Trophy.png

CAFE TROPHY – Trophy Cupcakes has relocated to a larger space at The Bravern and transitioned to a bakery-cafe-champagne bar. The cupcakes we love will still be featured along with an expanded menu of breakfast and lunch items and evening dinner selections with an impressive wine and beer list.

Affordable Downtown Condos

Downtown Park fountain 6-2015Eastside condo prices have continued to increase this year, headed toward another 10-12% in appreciation by the end of the year. While a record breaking $13.9 million dollar condo just came on the market at Bellevue Towers, not all condo prices are sky high. There are opportunities to find affordable digs in downtown Bellevue. Within the central business district there are currently ten condos priced under $500,000 and if you step just a few blocks outside the CBD another half dozen or so condos priced under half a million dollars are on the market.

The local real estate market typically slows during the month of August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend. If you’re in the market to buy a condo downtown, be patient, there should be more homes to choose from in the coming weeks. If you’re getting ready to sell, now is the time to get your home in ready-to-show condition and take advantage of what promises to be an active fall market.

This Week’s Live at Lunch Schedule

Live at Lunch logo

This week’s weather forecast is perfect for attending downtown Bellevue’s Live at Lunch summer concert series. Bring your lunch and don’t miss this week’s performances.

  • Tuesday – Tobias the Owl (Indie-Acoustic) at the Bellevue Square Fountain Court
  • Wednesday – The Kareem Kandi Band (jazz, blues & funk) at The Bravern
  • Thursday – En Canto (world pop music) at the Bellevue Connection (Galleria

Concerts continue every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through September 8th.

Downtown Bellevue Condo Stats

Bellevue evening skyline

  • There are currently 76 new construction and resale condos listed for sale in  downtown Bellevue (98004 zip code) with prices ranging from $274,999 to $1,983,000 reflecting a median list price of $797,260. (Median sale price – half the condos sold for more, half sold for less.)
  • During the first half of the year 124 condos (new construction and resale) sold downtown with sale prices ranging from $237,500 to $1,750,000 reflecting a median sale price of $599,443. (Peak sales months were March, May and June.)
  • During the same period in 2015, 131 condos sold with sale prices ranging from $212,000 to $2,035,000, a median sale price of $550,000.
  • Sales data for the first half of the year reflects a 9% increase in median sales prices this year over 2015.

27 of the 76 available condos represent the remaining new construction units at Washington Square. (The developer of Washington Square has been marketing those homes since 2009). Removing the 27 WA Square units from the available inventory leaves only 49 resale condos on the market downtown. With an average absorption rate of 21 condos per month, there is just over a two month supply of available resale condos in downtown Bellevue. (Since January 1st 9 condos have sold at WA Square.)

Local real estate activity tends to be sluggish in August  –  great weather is predictable, its peak vacation time, parents are busy getting children ready for school or off to college. With interest rates expected to remain low through the end of the year, and with limited available inventory, the fall market should present opportunities for buyers and sellers.