The second phase of Security Properties’ residential developments in The Spring District received an approval on Thursday by Bellevue’s city council. The Spring District is located in the city’s Bel-Red Corridor, which was once an industrial neighborhood and is slowly becoming a transit-oriented area of Bellevue that will offer a mix of office, residential and retail space. Companies such as REI will be moving its headquarters into this district during the third quarter of 2017.
The approval was for the company’s second apartment project in the district, a proposed development of three residential buildings totaling 279 units with ground-floor use that includes retail, restaurant and office space, as well as a fitness center, bike club, and Wi-Fi café. The buildings will be between six to nine stories with a total of approximately 261,000 square feet. There will also be two levels of underground parking for 246 vehicles. Security Properties’ project site sits on 1.9 of the 36 acres in the Spring District, a lot that was purchased from Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company and San Francisco-based Shorenstein Realty Services, L.P. in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.
“When this happens, it’s going to be the first catalyst for other developers to come in and build in the Bel-Red Corridor.”
An arrangement with Wright Runstand, the master plan developer for the Spring District, provided Security Properties an opportunity to build in Bellevue for the first time, according to Security Properties Marketing Manager Kathi Williams. “We were asked to be the residential developer for the Spring District neighborhood for phase one, then we had the option of doing phase two,” said Williams.
Seattle-based Security Properties is an investor and developer with 47 years of property management experience. It manages 1,126 units in the Puget Sound region and has three projects under construction. Janus, a 105-unit apartment project, is underway at 101 NW 85th Street in Seattle and is anticipated to be complete in May of 2016. Kinects is a 357-unit project, located at 1823 Minor Avenue in Seattle, that is expected to be complete May 2017. Phase one of the resdidential development, Sparc, is underway in the Spring District, and once complete this development will deliver a total of 588 units into Bellevue’s suburban market.
The Spring District is a $2.3 billion mixed use project that was once home to the Safeway bottling plant and distribution facility, until developers Wright Runstad and Shorenstein joined together to redevelop the land into a sustainable neighborhood. The district will be built in three phases, with phase one underway. Once complete, the Spring District will offer 3.8 million square feet of both office and street-level retail space, 1,100 residential units and 209,000 square feet of hotel space, for a total of 5.3 million square feet.
Jason Wilcox, a managing director for Sperry Van Ness/Raven based in Bellevue, says that developers are trying to bridge the Bel-Red Corridor, and he believes that the Spring District will be the first stepping stone. “It’s also on the path where the light rail is going to come through,” added Wilcox. “When this happens, it’s going to be the first catalyst for other developers to come in and build in the Bel-Red Corridor. This is going to affect the demographics of the workforce in downtown Bellevue.”
According to a report by Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors, the current vacancy in East Bellevue, where the Spring District is located, is around 4.7 percent. This is relatively low, but not as low as the 3.4 percent vacancy rate for West Bellevue, which includes downtown. However, new development is up 74 percent on the east side, with 3,191 residential units delivered in 2015.