By Meghan Hall
The Eastside’s downtown markets have grown exponentially in recent years. Now, with the Puget Sound’s development boom underway, its suburban markets are taking off. A new development proposed by Holland Partner Group, a Vancouver-based real estate investment firm, will be one of the first to make its mark on the changing Bel-Red district Called the Northrup Way Mixed-Use Project, the development is expected to include more than 402 units to the neighborhood.
“It’s a pretty interesting project because it’s a stake in the ground in that Bel-Red area,” explained Baylis Architects’ Nonda Trimis. “The future of urban planning in Bel-Red and what the City of Bellevue has conceived of for that area, [will include] transit-oriented development. There’s going to be an arts community and central park. Right now, it’s a light industrial, car dealership environment there. So, this project…in that specific area, is going to be the first project that will define that new vision, that transit-oriented, mixed-use, denser environment.”
The nine-story project will be located at 12863 Northrup Way. Plans indicate the buildingt will provide a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, of which five units will be townhomes. According to project plans obtained by The Registry, the development will feature around 6,700 square feet of ground level retail space. Additionally, residents will be able to utilize an additional 14,000 square feet of amenity spaces, such as an interior courtyard and rooftop deck with views of Seattle and Belleview. A gym has been planned for the southwest corner of the property, as well as a children’s playground with equipment and green space.
The Northrup Way Mixed-Use Project is just three blocks from a future Light Rail station and just one block away from a planned central plaza that sits at the core of Bellevue’s urban planning vision. Currently, the neighborhood is home to a number of commercial businesses and industrial parks, and has largely been untouched by the rapid, dense development that has taken root in downtown Bellevue or other Eastside markets such as Bothell, Kirkland and downtown Redmond.
Nearby businesses and properties include the King County Metro East Base, Public Storage, Vetco Electronics and Cedar Grove Composting, among others. Bellevue’s website currently characterizes the neighborhood as an “underutilized, semi-industrial area,” as it works to establish a collection of urban villages in the district.
Trimis added, “[Large-scale development] is already happening closer to downtown and the Spring District, and also closer to Microsoft. This will fill the gap.”
Additionally, the project will include the creation of three new, city-dedicated streets to the West, East and South of the property to connect the project to the greater urban grid.
“The street grid wasn’t fully formulated,” said Trimis. “It is exciting to be part of that design piece where you’re creating a whole new neighborhood.”
Property owners throughout the region continue to pursue development, even as the end of 2020 placed downward pressure on multifamily fundamentals across the region. During the fourth quarter, occupancy in the region decreased one percent to 92.6 percent, and rents in King County declined 3.1 percent to $2.19 per square foot.
According to a recent report released by Colliers International, there are currently 223,342 apartment units in King County, and there are another 14,655 currently within the construction pipeline.The Northrup Mixed-Use Way Project is just one property currently in development, with its delivery anticipated for the third quarter of 2023. It is the only project listed by Colliers as under construction within the Bel-Red district, although a number of nearby projects, including the 360-unit Radiate Apartments in Redmond, are close to coming to market.
Colliers states that no submarket was entirely immune to the impacts of the coronavirus; however, with a vaccine and widespread return to office initiatives on the horizon, many experts expect fundamentals to pick back up soon. Those who are in the midst of developing projects are looking to take advantage of the Puget Sound’s growth in the coming years, bringing their developments online as the market stabilizes.