Spring District

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Spring District
Spring District construction, March 2018.jpg
Completed and under construction buildings in March 2018
Location Bellevue, Washington
Coordinates 47°37′22″N 122°10′38″W / 47.62273°N 122.17718°W / 47.62273; -122.17718Coordinates: 47°37′22″N 122°10′38″W / 47.62273°N 122.17718°W / 47.62273; -122.17718
Status Under construction
Groundbreaking September 16, 2013
Constructed 2015 onwards
Estimated completion 2017 to 2028
Use Mixed-use development (office and housing)
Website thespringdistrict.com
Companies
Architect NBBJ, GGLO
Developer Wright Runstad & Company
Owner Security Properties, AMLI Residential
Manager Shorenstein Company
Technical details
Cost $2.3 billion[1]
Buildings 24
Size 36 acres (15 ha)
Leasable area 5.3 million square feet (490,000 m2)
No. of residents 2,000
No.. of workers 13,000

The Spring District is a transit-oriented development and neighborhood that is under construction in Bellevue, Washington. The 16-block, 36-acre (15 ha)[2] development is centered around the Spring District/120th station on the East Link Extension, a light rail line scheduled to open in 2023.[3] It is located in the Bel-Red area between Downtown Bellevue and Redmond, currently used for light industry, roughly bounded on the west by 120th Avenue NE and the Eastside Rail Corridor rail trail, on the north by a King County Metro bus base, on the east by 124th Avenue NE, and on the south by NE 12th Street.[4]

The Spring District is being developed by Wright Runstad & Company in a joint venture with the Shorenstein Company. NBBJ is the project's master plan architect, though individual buildings developed by Security Properties and AMLI Residential are being designed by GGLO. Plans for the neighborhood were drawn up in the late 2000s and allowed after a 2009 upzone of the Bel-Red corridor. Demolition of a former distribution center on the site began in September 2013. Construction of the first phase, consisting of two apartment buildings, began in June 2015 and finished in 2017. The full development is anticipated to be completed by 2028, adding 5.3 million square feet (490,000 m2) of housing, office space and retail to the area.

As of 2016, two major office tenants have confirmed their intent to occupy space in the Spring District: the headquarters of sporting goods outlet REI; and the Global Innovation Exchange, a planned educational institute formed from a partnership between the University of Washington, Microsoft and Tsinghua University. In 2016, the Puget Sound Business Journal ranked the $2.3 billion project as the second-largest construction project in the Puget Sound region, behind the East Link light rail extension.[5]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

The Bel-Red area (named for its location along Bel-Red Road between the city centers of Bellevue and Redmond[6]) was originally developed in the 1960s for light industry, such as warehouses, as well as some pockets of commercial and office development. The 900-acre (360 ha) area accounts for more than a quarter of Bellevue's industrial land.[7]

In 2005, with businesses moving out of the area,[6] the city government began a planning study that reexamined existing zoning in the Bel-Red area, with considerations to future residential units and retail lots, in an attempt to direct growth.[7] The Bel-Red area was selected in part due to plans for a light rail line through the area on the way to the Microsoft campus in Overlake near Redmond. The plan for light rail was approved by voters in 2008 as part of Sound Transit's East Link Extension and finalized in 2011 with two stops in the Bel-Red area at 120th Avenue and 130th Avenue.[8] The Bellevue City Council adopted a rezone of the Bel-Red area in 2009, allowing for buildings up to 13 stories tall, approximately 150 feet (46 m), as well as mixed-use development incorporating residential units and retail.[9][10]

Spring District plans[edit]

In December 2007, Seattle-based real estate developer Wright Runstad unveiled plans for a transit-oriented urban village named the "Spring District" to be located in the Bel-Red industrial area. The firm had, together with Shorenstein Properties, bought a 36-acre (15 ha) lot in the Bel-Red area in May 2007 for $68 million; the land was formerly owned by Safeway, who had a distribution center for its supermarkets at the site.[11] The first phase of the project was to be completed in 2010, pending zoning changes approved by the city, and replace existing warehouses and light industry with 1,000 residences and 3 million square feet (280,000 m2) of offices along with 16 acres (6.5 ha) of open space.[11][12]

A master plan for the Spring District was unveiled by NBBJ in 2008,[13] taking inspiration from the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon, and was approved by the City of Bellevue in 2012.[14]

In March 2013, it was announced that Security Properties would develop the first phase of the Spring District, beginning with a five apartment buildings with 316 units.[15] A second developer, AMLI Residential, announced its intention to purchase a 1.47-acre (0.59 ha) parcel in the Spring District for $13.3 million; AMLI plans to build a 220-unit apartment building on its site to open by 2019.[16][17]

Opposition and controversy[edit]

The development of the Spring District, and its use of public funding to build roads and a light rail station to serve it, was opposed by Downtown Bellevue real estate developer Kemper Freeman. Freeman funded the campaigns of a set of Bellevue City Council candidates in the 2011 elections, while Spring District developer Wright Runstad funded a set of opposing candidates.[18] Freeman had filed an appeal with the city prior to the election, arguing that the environmental impact of additional automobile traffic generated by the Spring District would require further study than the current master plan.[19] It was settled in 2012, with the city requiring a future study of traffic impacts in exchange for the withdrawal of the appeal.[20]

Sound Transit's decision to build a light rail operations and maintenance facility adjacent to the Spring District was opposed by Wright Runstad, who argued that the facility would be damaging to the developer's vision and plans for the area.[21][22]

Bellevue's abandonment of plans for low-income housing in the district, allowing Wright Runstad to pay into a development fund instead, was criticized in a piece on Crosscut.com as part of trend with private developers shying away from building affordable housing around transit.[23]

Construction[edit]

Phase I construction in August 2016

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 16, 2013, to celebrate the start of site demolition at the future Spring District.[1][24] Demolition of the Safeway distribution center was completed in January 2014,[25] and construction of the first phase, a 79-unit apartment building, began in June 2015.[26] Construction of all five buildings in the first phase will be finished in 2017. The second phase began construction in November 2016.[27]

Construction of the Spring District is expected to last 15 years, ending by 2028, and be divided into three phases.[28] The first phase will open from 2017 to 2022 and primarily consist of residential buildings and office spaces on the southernmost and easternmost blocks; the second phase will open from 2019 to 2022 and primarily consist of commercial space in the centrally-located blocks; the third phase will open from 2022 to 2026 and include residential and commercial buildings as well as a hotel adjacent to the light rail station on the north end of the site.[29]

Design and features[edit]

The future Spring District/120th light rail station, seen under construction in 2018

The Spring District is centered around the Spring District/120th light rail station, located in the northern part of the planned neighborhood. Architecture firm NBBJ, inspired by the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon, designed the neighborhood with small blocks and a grid of interconnected streets integrated with the station and amenities, including parks, open space and mid-block pedestrian passages. The buildings will be staggered and oriented for views of Downtown Bellevue to the southwest and the Cascade Range to the east.[13] NE 16th Street will be renamed to Spring Boulevard, which begins in the new district and continues east towards Overlake Village station.[30]:6[31]

Part of the development will cross Kelsey Creek tributaries in the area, as well as three other creeks. The city has termed the creeks and wetlands "unhealthy"[32] and has planned mitigation measures.[30]:5,16

Buildings and tenants[edit]

The Spring District is planned to consist of 24 buildings on 36 acres (15 ha) of land, totaling 5.3 million square feet (490,000 m2) of leasable space. As a mixed-use development, the buildings are split between residential, commercial, and retail uses. The Spring District is expected to include over 3 million square feet (280,000 m2) of office space and 1,500 residential units.[33][34] City of Bellevue zoning allows for buildings as tall as 150 feet (46 m), though buildings range from 3 to 12 stories.[35][36] At full build out, the development will support an estimated 2,000 residents and 13,000 office workers.[37]

The first residential building opened in May 2017.[38] The Global Innovation Exchange, a high-tech academic institute supported by the University of Washington, Microsoft, and Tsinghua University, was announced as the first major tenant for the Spring District in 2015.[39] It opened in September 2017, with 43 students from China and the United States taking master's degree courses. By 2027, the facility is expected to have 3,000 students in various programs.[40][41][42]

Outdoor supplier REI announced in March 2016 that it intends to relocate its Kent headquarters to the Spring District by 2020.[43][44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stiles, Marc (September 13, 2013). "Construction of $2.3 billion Bellevue project starting Monday". Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  2. ^ "Spring District Master Plan: Seeding Growth". NBBJ. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "REI eyes Spring District for a new HQ campus". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. March 30, 2016. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "Spring District Master Development Plan" (PDF). City of Bellevue. 2012. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Crowe, Melissa (May 6, 2016). "These are the 25-largest construction projects in the Puget Sound region". Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Clark, Kurt (May 12, 2010). "Bel-Red Road and 124th – Back in The Day". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Bach, Ashley (December 17, 2005). "Bel-Red Corridor plan draws heavy interest". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Sound Transit Board adopts East Link route and stations" (Press release). Sound Transit. July 29, 2011. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  9. ^ "Council adopts new Bel-Red zoning" (Press release). City of Bellevue, Washington. May 21, 2009. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  10. ^ "City of Bellevue, Washington Ordinance No. 5874" (PDF). City of Bellevue, Washington. May 18, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Bach, Ashley (December 13, 2007). "Bellevue's 36-acre "urban village" proposal unveiled". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  12. ^ Cohen, Aubrey (November 1, 2007). "Springing up". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Regge, Martin; Cannon, Michael (May 29, 2008). "A new urban neighborhood to spring forth in Bellevue". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Levy, Nat (May 11, 2012). "Spring District development gets important approval from city". Bellevue Reporter. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
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  16. ^ Stiles, Marc (February 25, 2016). "Luxury apartment developer buys site in Bellevue's Spring District". Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  17. ^ "Wright Runstad & Company Announces 1.5 Acre Purchase within The Spring District by AMLI Residential" (Press release). Wright Runstad & Company. February 29, 2016. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016 – via Business Wire.
  18. ^ Ervin, Keith (October 27, 2011). "Bellevue council elections divide developers". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  19. ^ Ervin, Keith (August 26, 2012). "Bellevue developers spar again over Spring District project's impact". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  20. ^ Ervin, Keith (September 7, 2012). "Deal settles developers' dispute over Bellevue project". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  21. ^ "Sound Transit identifies Bellevue site as preferred alternative for new light rail operations base" (Press release). Sound Transit. July 24, 2014. Archived from the original on January 26, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  22. ^ Vaughn, Alexa (June 29, 2014). "Potential rail-yard sites threaten Bellevue's businesses, vision". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  23. ^ Spelman, Geoff (July 17, 2014). "Bellevue abandons affordable housing in shiny Spring District". Crosscut.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  24. ^ Kareiva, Celina (September 12, 2013). "$2.3 billion Spring District project to break ground Monday". Bellevue Reporter. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  25. ^ Macz, Brandon (January 2, 2014). "Spring District works through winter". Bellevue Reporter. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  26. ^ "Spring District apartments starting". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. June 10, 2015. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  27. ^ Robertson, Kipp (November 28, 2016). "Huge Bellevue neighborhood continues to grow". MyNorthwest.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  28. ^ Forshee, Stephanie (May 29, 2015). "Welcome to Crane City, USA: These 25 Puget Sound-area construction projects are worth $12.5B". Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  29. ^ "The Spring District". Wright Runstad & Company. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  30. ^ a b East Link Bel Red Segment Design and Mitigation Permit (PDF) (Report). City of Bellevue Development Services Department Land Use Division. April 23, 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 24, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  31. ^ "NE Spring Boulevard". City of Bellevue. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  32. ^ "Bel-Red Area Transformation". City of Bellevue. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  33. ^ "Spring District/120th Station Area Planning". City of Bellevue. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  34. ^ Takeo, Ryan (May 17, 2017). "New Bellevue neighborhood changing from industrial to residential". KING 5 News. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  35. ^ "The Spring District". Wright Runstad & Company. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  36. ^ "Station Area Planning: 120th Ave NE Station" (PDF). City of Bellevue. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  37. ^ Garnick, Coral (November 11, 2013). "For Spring District neighbors, front-row seats to big changes". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  38. ^ Murray, Ryan (May 22, 2017). "Sparc Apartments open, ushering in Bellevue's Spring District". Bellevue Reporter. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  39. ^ Long, Katherine (June 18, 2015). "UW, China's 'MIT' to run tech program in Bellevue". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  40. ^ Long, Katherine (September 14, 2017). "UW, China hope innovation will soar at Bellevue's GIX". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  41. ^ Stiles, Marc; Demmitt, Jacob (June 18, 2015). "Bellevue's mega Spring District lands Microsoft/UW venture GIX as first major tenant". Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  42. ^ Stiles, Marc (December 4, 2015). "First look: UW's Global Innovation Exchange building in Bellevue". Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  43. ^ Tu, Janet I. (March 29, 2016). "REI plans to move headquarters to Bellevue's Spring District". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  44. ^ Murray, Ryan (September 29, 2016). "REI confirms headquarters move to Bellevue's Spring District". Bellevue Reporter. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.

External links[edit]