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New Lake Bellevue Units

Zoning Tweak Could Clear Path to New Lake Bellevue Units

Zoning tweak could clear path to new Lake Bellevue units

Real Estate Editor

Looking southwest, if approved, a new apartment building would rise behind the ACG building. The light rail line will run just west (right) of the lake.

Two years ago, American Capital Group paid about $16.3 million for a small waterfront office building 15 Lake Bellevue Drive, which it then made its headquarters. The price seemed high at the time. That two-story structure, on pilings above the lake, isn't likely to change. However, ACG recently filed plans to upzone its 2.8-acre property, most of it now parking, and hopes to build a new 15-story apartment building.

The number of units and architect aren't yet indicated. Some amount of retail and public space is mentioned. Structured parking is indicated.

The city of Bellevue officially terms the potential upzone a site-specific amendment to its annual comprehensive plan. Building heights in that Bel-Red subarea are now capped at 45 feet. The area around Lake Bellevue, just east of Interstate 405 is mostly car dealerships and old, low-rise retail strip malls.

Other areas in Bel-Red, most notably the Spring District, have previously been upzoned. And the Spring District's future light rail station is about a 12-minute walk northwest from Lake Bellevue. Even closer, the Wilburton light rail station will be less than five minutes south — once the Eastrail connector is reestablished. (That bike-pedestrian path is presently closed for light rail construction, but will reopen with its own dedicated new bridge across Northeast Eighth Street.)

ACG writes in its application, “Our property is located in a unique location of Bel-Red, and within walking distance to both downtown and the light rail.” There's also a Whole Foods just steps away on Eighth. (And a Porsche dealer, for that matter.)

ACG's neighbor is I Love Sushi, and The Crab Pot is also a few steps away. The developer doesn't occupy all its headquarters building, which dates to 1999 and has 34,703 square feet. Of that, about 20,000 square feet is now listed for lease or sublease.

Meanwhile, ACG recently partnered with Artemis Real Estate Partners of Los Angeles to buy three nearly completed projects from Katerra for about $93.6 million. One apartment project is in Hillsboro, Oregon. The 409-unit Lifebridge Kirkland Apartments and its 153-unit senior housing companion building are closer to home. It owns or manages about 19 other multifamily properties on the West Coast.

Ryan Smith
Martin Smith Inc
(206) 521-0506

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