By Meghan Hall
Six months after snatching up a prime redevelopment site in Bellevue’s hot downtown core, Schnitzer West is moving forward with plans for The Artise, a brand-new office tower that intends to anchor Bellevue’s growing downtown and entertainment core. Schnitzer West submitted its initial Pre-Application package in March and has been since working to move forward with City review of the project and entitlements. The proposed structure would rise 26 stories in height and include 664,855 gross square feet of office space and 8,1000 square feet of retail upon completion.
“NE8 will enrich downtown Bellevue with a high-performance office tower and an inviting, activated ground level with enhanced streetscape and active uses connecting people traveling to and from downtown Bellevue,” states the project team, which includes NBBJ as architect, in its pre-application.
Located at 10635 NE 8th Street, Schnitzer West acquired the 1.5-acre development site in December of 2019 for $65 million. The seller of the properties was Bosa, a leading developer of residential and condominiums throughout the Puget Sound. Currently, the property includes three contiguous parcels that are developed with a 1950s multi-tenant retail center known as “Sterling on 8th.” The retail center totals close to 30,000 square feet.
In addition to the designated office and retail spaces, Schnitzer West plans to include a number of public plazas and programmed open spaces, as well as 891 below-grade parking spaces, in the project. An office amenity called the “Great Room,” intends to bring both public and private spaces together. The Great Room will be two-stories in height and total more than 5,100 square feet, according to planning documents.
Overall, the design of the project is informed by its location between Bellevue’s downtown core and beyond, as well as 106th Ave. NE, designated as an “entertainment street.” The development intends to connect transit, retail, Bellevue’s nearby cultural and art center and other active uses through its design.
“The design goal is to create a very elegant, timeless tower which is grounded in a vibrant pedestrian realm at the base,” explains project documents. “Transparency, texture, and scale are key precepts which will guide the look and feel of the most public aspects of the design. Architecturally, the 26-story tower will be designed to achieve a striking and memorable presence within the City from distance views entering the City west bound via 405.”
The building will be situated along the build-to-line on the north and west corner of the site in an effort to create a strong urban edge and optimize open space to the South. The proposed massing for the building includes a simple, elegant tower, and the overall massing will be broken down into three parts: base, middle and top. The previously mentioned Great Room will be made highly visible and will be a significant design feature within the project, while the retail plaza on the ground plane will activate the corner of the building with outdoor seating, art and sculptures.
Construction of the project is anticipated to take 26 months, according to public documents. Prior to approval, the project is subject to Bellevue’s design and environmental review processes.
Bellevue has seen an explosion of development over the past several years as demand for office product has strongly outpaced supply. Even as concerns over coronavirus have slowed the commercial real estate market, numerous projects are still moving forward. Hines’ Summit III, also in Bellevue’s CBD, is slated for completion this year. The 370,000 square foot project is 100 percent leased to Amazon. In 2022, Trammell Crow and Metlife expect to bring the 1001 Office Towers, totaling 715,000 square feet to market. The development is also entirely leased to Amazon. Skanska’s The Eight, totaling 552,000 square feet, is slated for completion in 2023, as is Vulcan’s 555 108th, which is more than 960,000 square feet.
According to Broderick Group, historically low vacancy rates, as well as a stout Eastside tenant base composed of major companies, will keep the Bellevue CBD office market strong in the coming years, despite the new inventory. Delivery for The Artise is expected as of 2024.
As of this writing, Schnitzer West has not yet returned The Registry’s request for comment.