Changes to the Bel-Red Corridor Could Soon Resemble South Lake Union


A recent Daily Journal of Commerce article proclaims that though we often think of density on the Eastside in the form of high-rise towers in downtown Bellevue or Corridor, that could soon change as The Bel-Red Corridor—the area between Bellevue, Redmond and the 520 bridge—is in the midst of sweeping change. As the article reads, “former strip malls and auto dealerships are giving way to large mixed-use and transit-oriented developments,” as developers and investment firms anticipate the impact of the highly anticipated LINK Light Rail stations.

Experts speculate that the rezoning of The Bel-Red Corridor is “set to explode with growth that could rival Seattle’s South Lake Union” adding thousands of new jobs with mixed-use residential offerings likely in the wake. There will be three LINK Light Rail stations in the area, which is already bolstered by the nearby Microsoft campus and the stellar schools situated within the Bellevue School District.

As the article outlines, “creating an attractive and desirable community can be challenging when building in markets such as the Bel-Red Corridor, which has a prevalence of big box retail, strip malls and other low-density commercial uses.” The key for developers of new projects will be to emulate the offerings popping up in the Spring District and Esterra Park, which will soon house cafes, brewpubs and more. Much of the Bel-Red Corridor, however, only allows for residential use, meaning that residents may find “former single-use amenities such as fitness centers, media rooms and clubrooms” activated into community-oriented amenity spaces.

According to DJC, shops and services will be replaced by “bike shops, cocktail lounges and cafes.” In new projects throughout the Eastside and downtown core, brokers are seeing “a wave of new on-site bike maintenance rooms, dog washes, DIY craft rooms, gaming lounges and co-working spaces” and beyond.