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.

Advertisements

Bellevue Downtown Park Expansion

Downtown Park Intersection Closure

photo courtesy City of Bellevue

The “Complete the Circle” project at the Downtown Park is underway with work scheduled to be completed in time for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. The expansion includes completion of the last section of the circular canal and tree lined promenade, creating a new entry and water feature at the south end of the park, upgrading the playground to create a universally accessible Inspiration Playground, adding landscaping and terraced seating and enlarging the parking lot on 100th Avenue NE.

Construction of the park’s new south entry and pedestrian crossing caused the closure of the intersection at NE First Street and 102nd Avenue NE this week. The intersection is expected to open again mid-to-late April.

The Downtown Park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of the city and the centerpiece of the Bellevue Parks System. There’s something for everyone . . . a half mile level tree-lined promenade, canal, waterfall and reflecting pond, a ten acre lawn area, playground, picnic areas and formal gardens . . . all framed by views of Bellevue’s skyline and Mt. Rainier. It will be exciting to see the improvements and have the park open again this summer.

What’s Going On in Your City

What’s going on in your city?  Take a look at this month’s edition of the City of Bellevue’s Lake to Lake television show highlighting the following:

  • take a tour of the new KidsQuest Children’s Museum
  • update on an important milestone for East Link Light Rail
  • highlights of the city’s supportive employment project
  • the recent  Women in STEM career fair

” target=”_blank”>City of Bellevue’s Lake to Lake television

Reality TV or Unreality?

remodel

Flickr/Cheryl Marland

Like most people, I spend more time indoors and watch more TV in the winter. I enjoy the HGTV home remodeling shows (Beachfront Bargains is one of my favorites). There’s always something to learn about new design trends and construction and real estate around the country.

Unfortunately, the shows don’t tell you everything about the mistakes, cost overruns and amount of time and money required to complete a project. First, there’s the myth about the time it takes to find a home and complete a remodel project. In a 60 minute show buyers look at 3 houses, find the home of their dreams, and then complete a full remodel in 6-8 weeks. Seriously, it could take that long to hire a contractor and get permits. With few exceptions, remodeling takes longer than anticipated, costs more than expected and there are always surprises. The idea of completing a high end kitchen for $20,000 is unrealistic, and I love it when homeowners are shocked that it is going to be a problem (and expensive) when the HVAC and main waste lines run through the wall they plan to remove.

When clients ask about remodeling I tell them to start with their eyes wide open and remind them “this isn’t HGTV”. Be realistic, plan for a project to take longer than expected, be prepared for surprises and have contingency funds available for the unexpected.

So why do I watch these shows? Chip and JoJo have a great sense of humor, they’re entertaining and they really know their stuff. I love to see whether homeowners will “love it or list it” and the Property Brothers, also entertaining, are generally right on with remodel costs (even though they work wonders in just 6 weeks). And who knows  –  I may find the beachfront bargain of my dreams.

If there’s a remodel in your future give me a call. Over the years I’ve gathered resources for vendors and contractors who can help with minor update to major remodel projects. If your remodeling a condo, before you start you’ll need to know about working within the guidelines of the HOA and community rules and regulations.

Finally . . . New Bellevue Condos

While several new apartment communities have been completed and more are planned in Bellevue, its been nearly a decade since any new condominium residences were built.  (Both Bellevue Towers and Washington Square were completed in 2009. WA Square still has developer owned units for sale in both towers.) Finally, there’s new condominium inventory on the horizon.

PARK 12
Just east of the central business district, construction has started on this community of 12 luxury townhomes. Sited in a protected park overlooking Kelsey Creek, 3 bedroom floor plans offer 2,000+ SF with an open concept design, contemporary finishes, private garages and rooftop decks. The convenient location is minutes to downtown Bellevue, the Spring District and future light rail. Prices start at $835,000. Completion is expected in fall 2017; nearly half of the homes are already pre-sold.

METRIC
Just a few homes remain in this new community of 23 townhomes just south of Main Street at 107th Avenue SE. Homes are generous in size with 2,000+ SF featuring contemporary design, rooftop decks with skyline views and private garages. A few homes remain with prices starting at $1 million.

VISCAIA
Also under construction, 18 townhomes will be available for occupancy fall 2017. Located in the Crossroads neighborhood, the community is walk-able to shopping, restaurants and multi-screen theaters. 3 bedroom open concept floor plans offer 2,000+ SF of living space. Prices start at $789,900.

ONE88
With no new condos downtown in nearly a decade, One88 will be a welcome addition to the city’s residential skyline. Bosa Development, developer of the successful Insignia condominiums in Seattle, is set to construct a 21 story building at the corner of NE 2nd Street and Bellevue Way NE. 143 residences ranging from 1 bedroom floor plans to luxury penthouses are planned complimented by world class owner amenities. Construction is scheduled to start early this year with occupancy in 2019. No floor plan or price information is available.

ELEV8 at Bellevue International Plaza
Two 40 story towers will be part of a four tower residential/hotel/office/retail project at the corner of 110th Avenue NE and NE 8th Street (west of the Bravern). Phase 1 of the project is projected to include 355 condominium residences in one tower and 435 apartment residences in the other. High end retail and an urban grocer are part of the first phase plans. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-to-late 2017 with a 2019 completion. No floor plan or price information available.

S. Bellevue Park & Ride Closure

Sound Transit light railThe south Bellevue Park-and-Ride will be closing  for East Link light rail construction. The site will be used to stage equipment and materials for construction of the light rail track, station and a new 1,500 stall parking garage. The Bellevue park & ride could close as early as January 2017 and will remain closed for up to five years, though Sound Transit and the contractor hope to explore opportunities to reopen the park & ride sooner if possible.

To serve commuters during this closure Sound Transit has opened several new park & ride locations and expanded other lots. Bus routes serving the new park-and-ride lots will connect with many of the same routes and destinations as those currently served at the South Bellevue Location.

No doubt this is going to be inconvenient, but the outcome  –  better and faster transit options for our region  –  will be worth the wait. Plan ahead to deal with the long term closures of both the South Bellevue and Overlake park & ride facilities. Sound Transit and King County Metro have partnered to help commuters find transportation options and earn rewards for taxi, Uber and Lyft discounts, Orca cards, transit vouchers and more.

Visit www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/Parking/plan-ahead-2017-park-and-ride-closures for an interactive map showing the new park & ride locations. Learn about eligibility to earn perks and rewards at justonetrip.org (click on the “resources” tab)

 

New Bellevue Condos

downtown-park-fountain-2-compressedAll recent residential construction in downtown Bellevue has been rental apartments. No new condominiums have been built since the completion of Bellevue Towers in 2009. With the growth and appeal of urban living, the demand for condominiums in downtown Bellevue has been strong for the past several years. Unfortunately, the limited amount of resale inventory has left many buyers with few choices.

Bosa Development, developer of the 698 unit Insignia condos in downtown Seattle, has plans to construct a 21 story residential tower with street level retail at the SE corner of Bellevue Way NE and NE 2nd Street. The community, to be named One88, will feature high-end residences. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017. Bosa Development recently purchased another parcel in downtown Bellevue at NE 8th Street and 106th Avenue NE where it is anticipated condominiums with street level retail will be built.     The property is currently home to a strip retail center.