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Bellevue tower a go

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Seattle Times - Tenants or not, Bellevue office tower a go

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King County Journal - $400 million mixed-use development may open in fall 2008

A $400 million development described as ``Rockefeller Center on top of University Village'' has been proposed for downtown Bellevue near the city's convention center.

The proposal was unveiled Monday evening by Schnitzer Northwest officials, who plan to start construction next summer on the office/retail project called The Bravern on the north half of the block where the Meydenbauer Center is located.

The block is bordered by Northeast Eighth Street on the north, Northeast Sixth Street on the south, 112th Avenue Northeast on the east and 110th Avenue Northeast on the west.

The six-acre site where The Bravern will be built is the site of an aging low-rise office/retail center called Raymer Square, whose longtime tenants include a Dairy Queen restaurant.

Upscale `village'

The Bravern will consist of two office towers -- a 23-story building and a 12-story building with a combined total of 745,000 square feet of office space -- plus a 130,000-square-foot retail ``village'' offering upscale shops and restaurants, an open-air plaza complete with a 17-foot-tall waterfall, and a seven-level, 1,860-car underground parking garage.

.....

Eastside office market watchers said The Bravern project is the latest entry in what is shaping up to be a ``horse race'' among developers to see who can be the first two or three to build new office buildings in downtown Bellevue.

Leading the pack is Bellevue Square developer Kemper Freeman Jr., who has already built the base of a proposed office tower at his Lincoln Square mixed-use complex. The retail, movie theater, and hotel portions of the project are set to open on Nov. 1, with a condo tower set to open in phases over the next several months beginning in either December or January.

Freeman said he plans to begin construction of the office tower at Lincoln Square early next year, which will become the new headquarters for apparel retailer Eddie Bauer when it opens in mid-2007.

Click here for full story

The Bravern:

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Here is an aerial photo of the area. The project is slated to go in the block on the middle right of the picture just above the convention center -

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Here is a downtown Bellevue deveolpment map from Kemper Development. The site is just above Meydenbauer Center on the middle right, it says 'Office (proposed)' & 'Hotels (proposed)' on the prospective building site -

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Bellevue's downtown has been steadily evolving for years now. Ever since PACCAR built their tower in the 70's, the place has evolved into the Seattle area's 2nd urban hub. What excites me the most is the explosion of residential towers to go along with the office towers. Here is a recent pic of Bellevue's skyline:

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Another interesting downtown Bellevue project:

The skinny on `pencil tower'

It's been dubbed ``Euro tower'' by city planners, ``point tower'' by the architect who designed it and ``pencil'' or ``wafer'' tower by others.

Whatever the name, a 20-story condominium tower proposed for downtown Bellevue is one slim building.

How lean is it?

It's so skinny that the lot on which it may someday be built is just 5,682 square feet in size, smaller than a typical single-family house lot in Bellevue.

It's so skinny there will be just one condo per floor -- a total of 18.

It's so skinny that instead of a conventional underground parking garage, there's only room for a robotic parking system that does everything for car owners but warm up the engine.

.....

An underground parking lot with a ramp takes up too much space, Hummel said, so he decided on the mechanical system that will accommodate 32 cars, requires no ramp and no employee to park the cars.

He described the underground parking system this way: A condo resident drives his or her car into an elevator ``portal,'' gets out and uses a key card to activate the system.

The car, sitting on a ``pallet,'' descends to a parking garage where the ``mechanical parking system,'' as Hummel describes it, lifts the pallet and car out and deposits them into a ``cubbyhole.''

Click here for full article.

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I see that something's going in where the Tech Tower site (currently nothing more than a big hole in the ground with a 1/2 completed parking garage) is. About time someone did something with that site.

-- LB

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Bellevue's downtown has been steadily evolving for years now. Ever since PACCAR built their tower in the 70's, the place has evolved into the Seattle area's 2nd urban hub. What excites me the most is the explosion of residential towers to go along with the office towers. Here is a recent pic of Bellevue's skyline:

So, now we just need some transit to connect the two city centers. They already have an express bus service, but I've read things about a light rail down I-90. Any developments on this?

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So, now we just need some transit to connect the two city centers. They already have an express bus service, but I've read things about a light rail down I-90. Any developments on this?

Not really. The Link Light Rail extension under const now to Sea-Tac will end at the Westlake Center downtown, and future plans have it going north to UW, not across the Lake.

However, the Sound Transit 2 long-term plan includes a possible rail link over the 520 bridge, which has to be replaced soon anyway. Funding for this plan might be on the ballot next year, and stands a better chance if the monorail is officially killed this year. But in any event, the likelihood of having rail to the eastside before 2015 is very slim.

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