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Spring District/Bel-Red Development News and Photos

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From the DJC's recent Urban Development special piece

http://www.djc.com/news/re/11201144.html
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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.
Maybe a better way for me to say it is that if City of Bellevue wanted to keep a cohesive downtown, AND develop the land within its limits to the greatest density possible, perhaps they should have shifted zoning in such a way as to encourage downtown-type development to spread across the freeway--redevelop auto row and let it cascade toward the "Spring District." Allow the infrastructure to take shape as it creeps out to the old warehouses.

Won't do a heck of a lot of good now, and even still there is viable property for densification within downtown Bellevue even now. The spread of highly dense high rise type development--either naturally spreading in one direction or trying to fill in between downtown and satelite density would take way too long to suit a developer who has set their own plan into motion. What they've introduced here, no matter how distasteful to us high rise enthusiasts seems to be appropriate for its surroundings, and represents what seems to me as the best business choice. (At least to my reasoning).

[Now that I've defended the city planning department and the developer, would you please be nice to my bosses company and give us all of your work?]
I think the natural course will be that if two downtown cores emerge, heavy residential will will the area in between (live near both). On a larger scale, that's what has happened to the suburbs between (generally) Seattle and Tacoma.
I think this was also posted in the Bellevue compilation thread but thought I'd revive this one as well
http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2012/08/wright-runstad-files-plans-for-two.html
I was looking for that thread! :)
I'm skeptical about this project. I'm no expert on urban development or anything but I figure it'd be difficult for a new urban district to successfully emerge out of nowhere unless there's a seamless connection to existing neighborhoods. 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.

I liken the Spring District to the South Waterfront project in Portland. Like the SWF, the Spring District is located less than a mile from it's city's downtown core but is on the opposite side of a highway and is separated by a wasteland of nothing. Even with the streetcar connecting it to downtown Portland, the SWF has struggled to recover from the recession and all future projects there are on hold indefinitely. The Spring District won't have a transit connection to downtown and until that infrastructure is created, I am very pessimistic on the prospect of this being a success.
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.
See my responses in bold below

Streetcar? Link will go through here with multiple stops. True but Link won't reach the eastside til 2023 at the earliest. The streetcar was kind of a catalyst that kickstarted the SLU neighborhood.

Nexus of two major thoroughfares? It's very close to 405 and 520. Also true but there's no quick way to reach it from 405 or from 520 westbound. Mercer and Westlake go straight through SLU while 405/520 are on the outside fringes of the Spring.

Proximity to downtown? It's very close to downtown Bellevue, and has Microsoft not too far on the other side. it is close, but it is not directly adjacent like SLU is. This is why I made the comparison to the South Waterfront in Portland.

I think there's potential here. But yeah it might be hard to get it going at first. There's definitely some potential here but i still find it hard to believe that this project will be successful before light rail reaches it. I'm also a bit biased since I want all of the new office and multi family development in Bellevue to go in downtown first :)
I guess you don't gather most of the real-estate in the downtown of a good sized city without being a bit of a douche... Build your pretty towers in Bellevue Kemper, and then kindly eff off
Maybe we just need to get the city council warmed up to the idea of allowing developers to build on auto row first before seriously developing Spring Hill.

Wilburton Hill facing towards downtown Bellevue will provide little resistance to mid-rise developments on that waste of zoning on 116th.
Except that light rail will not service that area.

Spring District is a must-do to justify the stops they've designated.
Maybe we just need to get the city council warmed up to the idea of allowing developers to build on auto row first before seriously developing Spring Hill.

Wilburton Hill facing towards downtown Bellevue will provide little resistance to mid-rise developments on that waste of zoning on 116th.
Jeez .. if that's hate and douchery, I wonder what one would call, say, a skinhead riot?
Yah Im with you...Of all the things he's said/done this is the least douchey.
Kemper's always worried about the same thing: area desirability. Kemper wants higher rises in the DT Bellevue core, anything outside of that pulls resources and developments away from Kemper's long term goal: higher profit through anchor tenants, more shoppers, more offices downtown.

For example, Kemper's been pretty pro-vehicle and anti-mass transit. Why the sudden change of view on increased traffic caused by cars? It's rhetoric, that's all.
Kemper needs to STFU and build towers.
I really hope the area around 116th gets developed into something pretty soon. That area is basically dead and I'm not sure how some of those dealerships are still afloat.

The NE 4th extension will be starting either this year or next, and the Best Buy will get moved to another location.
Realizing this is only the most general of early representations ... I like the way they have offset the placement of those virtually identical boxes to give it more of a hip/playful atmosphere for the pedestrians.
Reminds me of the Pearl District in Portland...which is a good thing. In a few years this area will have quite a few new places to choose from for a Sunday brunch followed by a wander.
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