New City of Bellevue Website

City of BEllevue logoI visit the City of Bellevue website frequently. Its a great resource for finding out what’s going on in the city. The City recently launched its new website (https://bellevuewa.gov/). Its more interactive, easier to navigate and mobile friendly. The new site makes it easy to search for just about anything you need to know about Bellevue:

  • demographic information
  • events and news releases
  • parks & recreation
  • traffic
  • jobs
  • doing business in Bellevue
  • public safety
  • resident resources
  • city government  – City Council meeting schedules, agendas and information
  • emergency/extreme weather information
  • MyBellevue customer service app for reporting issues and requesting service/repairs

    The website is translated into the five top languages spoken in Bellevue and there’s real time information about emergency and severe weather issues. Take a look at the new site. A few bugs are still being worked out  –  the City would love to have your input.

Amazon Expanding to Bellevue

centre-425

Centre 425 (NBBJ) rendering by Neoscape

After a 20 year absence, Amazon is returning to its Eastside roots as it prepares to occupy the recently completed Centre 425 office building in downtown Bellevue. Amazon employees are scheduled to move into the 354,000 SF space this summer. The initial plan is to move about 1,000 people into the new office with the potential for growth in the future.

Amazon currently employs 40,000 people in Washington State with many working in several buildings in Seattle’s South Lake Union and Denny Triangle neighborhoods. As the company continues to grow, it is anticipated the move to Centre 425 won’t be the last Eastside location for Amazon.

Centre 425, located at the corner of NE 4th Street and 106th Avenue NE, will once again be home to a Bank of America branch. B of A originally occupied the street level retail space in the former building and moved to temporary quarters during construction.

Bellevue’s Light Rail Tunnel

Bellevue Light Rail Tunnel Video

Construction has been under way for months on the south portal site for the tunnel under downtown Bellevue. Part of the Sound Transit East Link extension, the tunnel will host light rail service in Bellevue and run between the future transit stations at East Main and Downtown Bellevue. What you might not know . . .

  • The tunnel will be approximately one third of a mile long when completed and will run between the East Main and Downtown stations, mostly under 110th Avenue NE
  • Excavation work should be complete in about two years followed by another year of construction to complete the tunnel interior
  • Crews are excavating at the south portal site at 112th Avenue SE and Main Street. Construction is on pace to dig 3 to 4 feet of tunnel a day. The north portal will surface at the light rail station at NE 6th Street near the current Bellevue Transit Center
  • The completed tunnel will be nearly 28 feet tall and run 30-60 feet below ground
  • The budget for the tunnel is $121.4 million
  • Instead of a tunnel boring machine, this tunnel is being built using the sequential excavation method (SEM). SEM uses an excavator and cutting equipment to take out soil. As soil is removed, lattice girders are installed and then pressurized concrete, called shotcrete, is sprayed onto the tunnel sides, ceiling and floor. This method, vs a tunnel boring machine, should minimize disruption to surface streets, homes and businesses.

East Link is scheduled to open in 2023 and is part of the 14 mile, 10 station light rail extension. When open a trip from downtown Seattle to downtown Bellevue will take about 20 minuted. The next extension is scheduled to open the following year linking stations to Redmond.

2023 will be here sooner than we expect. Access to light rail is going to be a game changer downtown, adding appeal, convenience, prestige and value to downtown Bellevue’s business and residential communities.

Continued Seller’s Market in 2017

Population growth in the Puget Sound region continues to exceed the national rate. With Bellevue’s population and employment growth, its projected the local real estate market will remain strong this year. The continued development in Bellevue’s central business district, the addition of  jobs, amenities and services, access to award winning schools, transportation and future light rail will all continue to make this a highly sought after place to live.

For the past few years housing has struggled to keep up with job and population growth, creating a housing crunch and driving up prices. Inventory  levels should pick up as we head into spring, but the increase won’t be enough to meet demand. It will continue to be a seller’s market this year with property values expected to increase    7-8% over the next 2-3 quarters. What does this mean for buyers? They will still need to position themselves to compete n this market. Start the loan process early, be fully vetted and approved for a mortgage, have patience and follow the advice of your loan consultant and Realtor®. Sellers will have the market edge again this year but homes still need to be prepared for the market with repairs completed, an appealing presentation and market-appropriate price. While cash offers will still be common, but sellers need to know a cash offer isn’t always the best offer. (Cash buyers should be vetted and funds verified to prevent delays in closing.) Buyers using financing are still a big part of the market; lenders, underwriters and appraisers will still be involved in the successful sale of many homes in our area.

There is good news. There are condo and townhome communities planned in downtown Bellevue that will break ground in the coming weeks/months and others that are in the planning and design phase. I live and work in downtown Bellevue. A Realtor® and condo specialist, I keep tabs on what’s happening, and what’s about to happen, in the marketplace. Contact me for information about new communities and projects planned in and around the central business district.

SoulCycle Opens at Lincoln Square

SoulCycle has opened at Lincoln Square. Classes are available today and a grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday January 21st  from 8:00 AM to noon.

SoulCycle, a luxury fitness center, has 65+ locations across the country. Their focus is a full body and mind workout with a mission to change bodies and change lives, offering a variety of cycling-based classes for all skill levels. This is the first facility in the Pacific Northwest. The cycle center 3,500 SF with a 62 bike studio space and boutique featuring SoulCycle’s original clothing collection.

Duke’s is Returning to Bellevue

Long time Bellevue residents may remember when there was a Duke’s Chowder house in downtown Bellevue adjacent to the original QFC grocery store and Thompson Drugs on NE 8th Street and its later move to Lake Bellevue. Dukes closed that location and left Bellevue in 2001.

The ownership of Duke’s announced this week plans for a new restaurant opening next year in the new Lincoln Square expansion at The Bellevue Collection. The new location, targeted for a late April 2017 opening, will be on the second floor near the new W Hotel. Duke’s will be one of 12 restaurants in the Lincoln Square expansion.

Duke’s was a popular Bellevue destination  –  it will be great to have Duke’s downtown again.

Bellevue Picked for White House Smart Cities Project

The City of Bellevue is one of several cities selected to work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Global City Teams Challenge as a lead city in Smart City design in the US. The White House announced in September that Bellevue had been selected to work with NIST, its collaborators and other community and technology partners to develop a pilot Smart City dashboard, a citywide digital platform that would better connect its systems, departments, employees and residents. The dashboard would allow for making better use of existing data and gathering new data for future planning and provide the city with greater effectiveness and efficiency in operating individual departments and communicating across departments (integrating smart lighting, parking, water and other systems). The Smart City program would eventually be available to all cities allowing them to replicate the online tool for improved service delivery.

Bellevue also received one of our Replicable Smart City Technologies grants from NIST that enables 11 cities and communities to work together on innovative smart city solutions.

As Bellevue continues to grow citywide systems and services must continue to improve to meet the needs and demands of a growing population. Bellevue is committed to becoming a leader in Smart City design and implementation in its effort to enhance the daily lives of its residents, businesses, employees and visitors.

Other lead cities in the White House Smart Cities program include Atlanta, GA, Columbus OH, Kansas City, KS, Kansas City, MO, Newport News, VA and Portland OR. For more information on the Smart Cities project visit the City of Bellevue website at www.ci.bellevue.wa.us.