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Old July 14th, 2005, 05:49 AM   #1
rj2uman
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Lincoln Square Tops out!

I was shocked no one posted this yet! Here you go.



PHOTOS by Rick Schweinhart/Journal: 1) A `topping out' ceremony Tuesday marked another step toward completion for Lincoln Square, Bellevue's tallest building, a year after work resumed on the project.

Work nears end on Bellevue's tallest building

BELLEVUE -- The owner of Lincoln Square marked another milestone Tuesday with a ``topping out'' ceremony for Bellevue's tallest building, but not before another dramatic incident occurred earlier in the day at the state's biggest private-sector construction site.

Though no steel was lifted into place, as it had been in January when a four-story retail portion of the project was finished, the backdrop on the 36th-floor of the 42-story, 450-foot hotel-condominium tower was impressive.

In a sprawling unfinished condo, against a panoramic view of Lake Washington and Seattle, Lincoln Square developer and Bellevue Square mall owner Kemper Freeman Jr. noted it had been only a year since construction resumed on the project.

``It's an amazing project in an amazing community,'' he said.

Located at Northeast Eighth
Street and Bellevue Way, across from both Freeman's mall and his Bellevue Place hotel-office-retail complex, work on Lincoln Square was halted in 2002 due to an economic downturn and management problems.

Kemper Development bought the project for a bargain-basement price of $40 million and construction resumed last year.

Freeman on Tuesday announced five more tenants for the retail portion of Lincoln Square: Paper Source, a seller of handmade paper; restaurants Manzana Rotisserie Grill and Trader Vic's; wine shop Vino 100; and Tully's Coffee.

He also joked about a fire reported earlier in the day at 1:04 a.m. in an unfinished hotel kitchen on the second floor. An electrical problem is the suspected cause of the fire, which caused several thousand dollars' damage. No one was hurt.

``We had a small fire and the fire department responded with 11 trucks and 30 firemen,'' Freeman said. ``Thank God they put the fire out with an extinguisher so we could have our topping out ceremony today.''

The fire was just the latest in a string of odd circumstances that have dogged the projected $500 million project since Canadian developer Ian Gillespie launched it in 1997.

Since then, Lincoln Square has seen three different owners, four different general contractors and endured two serious construction site accidents.

Since Freeman bought it and work resumed under general contractor Skanska USA Building Inc., on-the-job accidents have ended.

But on April 7, a death threat shut down the job site for a day, idling some 350 workers, and on Sunday three people reportedly parachuted off the building in the dead of night.

``It's not cursed by a long shot. The problems are definitely behind us,'' Freeman said Tuesday. ``It's been a fairly safe construction site. For this size of project it's not beyond normal.''

He said the hotel and retail pieces of the project are on schedule to open in November with the condominiums available beginning in January and wrapping up in April.

Bellevue City Manager Steve Sarkozy said completion of the project shows the Bellevue market is back. He projected that sales tax revenue generated from the retail portion of Lincoln Square will add $300,000 to $500,000 per year to the city's general fund.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #2
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woo hoo!
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Old July 14th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #3
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Lincoln Square Tower
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Old July 14th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #4
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now we wait for its sister tower.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #5
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now we wait for its sister tower.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #6
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yay! We should see the sister tower go up sometime!
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Old July 17th, 2005, 06:35 AM   #7
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i cant wait....it will be the second tallest in bellevue...and it looks nothin much like one lincoln tower. I wonder if it will start when one lincoln is done...hmm
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