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Spring District/Bel-Red Development News and Photos

186244 Views 1149 Replies 95 Participants Last post by  apardoe
From the DJC's recent Urban Development special piece

http://www.djc.com/news/re/11201144.html
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First, what an awful name. I really hope they come to their senses and pick something better.

Second, why no high-rises? I don't get it. A transit corridor should have high-rises, especially around the stations. From what I've read, these types of developments have been extremely popular Vancouver---IIRC something about a 500 or so unit condo tower complex being sold out within 30 hours. A project in the suburbs around a sky train station. It will be sad to see the Bel-Red corridor be underused---it has so much potential.

Third, just because I think this is interesting, the project will supposedly include 800 to 1,000 residential units, at least 800 of which are apartments from what I can tell.

So, 36 acres and say, 1,000 units... That equates to just under 18,000 units per square mile... Say 1.5 people per unit, and we're just under 27,000 people per square mile. That's certainly fairly dense, but I still think it could be quite a bit more. No high-rises perplexes me---who's going to complain if they build some? A cold storage facility? Ugh.

Overall, over the next 25 years the 900 acre Bel-Red Corridor could have up to 5,000 residential units (some plans have a lot less proposed, I'm using the maximum). Say 1.5 people per unit (perhaps I'm being too generous or too conservative with my estimate there, but whatever) and that gets to about 5,300 people per square mile... Pathetic.

I don't mean to sound angry, but it just seems so disappointing... Does anybody else feel the same way, or is my logic flawed? Sigh.
When/if light rail is put through the Bel-Red Corridor, I really hope the areas immediately around the stations have high-rises. Maybe only a dozen or so 15-20 story towers. It just seems like a waste not to have high-density directly around the stations. It could also be an opportunity to provide high-density but quiet neighborhoods with great access to public transportation, maybe something families would be interested in. I'm thinking of something along the lines of what Metro Vancouver has been building around their suburban sky train stations.
I would love to see that area redeveloped! I think something really cool could be done with that little lake.
This is pretty darn close to DT Bellevue. If DT Bellevue keeps growing, the Lake Bellevue area is probably the next step after the areas west of 405 fill up.
Streetcar? Link will go through here with multiple stops.

Nexus of two major thoroughfares? It's very close to 405 and 520.

Proximity to downtown? It's very close to downtown Bellevue, and has Microsoft not too far on the other side.

I think there's potential here. But yeah it might be hard to get it going at first.
SLU has been a great success but it had a lot going in it's favor (streetcar, nexus of two major thoroughfares in Mercer and Westlake, proximity to downtown) so it was inevitable that'd it eventually develop.
Pearl District? Haha, this should be our new theme when Portlanders try to compare their city to Seattle. You're only in the same league as Bellevue, neener neener.
Most apartments/condos on the Eastside aren't near offices anyway.

There is still a lot of opportunity for growth outside of those 36 acres. It will be interesting to see how it all develops.
Maybe, but it will be connected to it by grade-separated rail. The same can't be said for SLU.
Too bad its not as close to the core of Bellevue as SLU is to the core of downtown Seattle.
13,000 workers and only 2,000 apartments worries me. Where are all of these people going to live? I realize a portion will come from the light rail line, but more will probably come from far-flung places in Snohomish County. I hope we see more residential in the area, even if not in this specific project. Not just so more workers in the immediate area could live there, but to increase the number of opportunities for people who are working in Downtown Bellevue, Downtown Seattle, Overlake, etc. and would like to live on the rail line, too.
But why does it have to be this way? It's not like most people who live in apartments are within walking distance of their job. Not everyone can afford it or is necessarily interested in a mixed-use neighborhood.

The Bel-Red Corridor is the only real option for a new transit-oriented neighborhood on the entire light rail line (and arguably the entire system thus far - Northgate has potential). Think of all the people commuting from apartments in Mukilteo, Mill Creek, Kent, etc to Downtown Seattle and Downtown Bellevue... I think there could definitely be a market for a high-density residential neighborhood here. Not to mention Bellevue's school district is widely considered the best in the area.
First the jobs, then the residential. Certainly not a place I would want to live if it wasn't for work.
I appreciate your optimism, but a lot of those places already have stations and the results have been unimpressive. Furthermore, East Link will be mostly grade-separated. A lot of those neighborhoods are in or will have to get through the surface rail in the Rainier Valley.

And of course apartments average more than one person per unit, I'm not that stupid... :tongue3:

But even if one person in the household worked in the Spring District, the other probably isn't going to as well. And of course some will be children. And many units won't have tenants who work in the Spring District at all.

My overall point is I'd like to see more residential development on the line. The stations south of Downtown Bellevue are basically a joke, unfortunately. Progressives may have just taken over the city council, but it's too late. The damage has been done and we'll have to live with it for decades to come.
That's opportunity?

To me, demand is a crucial aspect of opportunity. A location needs a certain level of demand for any opportunity to actually manifest itself.

Unfortunately many of the locations you guys are talking about lack demand. These stations are open, the local economy is booming, and not a lot is happening there.
Well, I did say arguably, didn't I? ;)

I think it's definitely true for East Link though. The other stations on the line are already developed or developing or have no potential.
There's no reason it has to be this way. It's our own fault we keep taking short cuts, from the surface rail through Southeast Seattle to the horrible routing through South Bellevue and the freeway stations with no TOD potential in North Seattle and beyond. And where we could probably have high-density development, like Capitol Hill or Roosevelt, NIMBY opposition would prevent it. It's all very disappointing.
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Welcome to Belgrade-Red.
I wish I could say I like it but there is nothing remotely attractive or inviting about this place. Nothing but concrete slabs and what almost looks like "commie" housing designs.
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