A concept rendering of The Bellevue at Bellevue Square. Courtesy of Freeman Development Company

A concept rendering of The Bellevue at Bellevue Square. Courtesy of Freeman Development Company

Bellevue Square expansion planned for next year

Kemper Freeman hopes to break ground on a large expansion in downtown Bellevue in 2019.

Bellevue real estate mogul Kemper Freeman is planning another massive expansion in downtown Bellevue that will include a hotel, apartments and retail spaces.

The project is tentatively called The Bellevue at Bellevue Square and will feature two towers with a focus on bringing five-star retailers to the city’s downtown.

“It’s a special part of Bellevue Square,” Freeman said. “And it will be the newest part, and it will have the newest restaurants and the newest retailers.”

The inspiration for the project was to consolidate high-end services in a single location to complement the existing development, he said. The towers are currently planned to be 200 feet high, but recent changes to Bellevue city code allows towers to build up to 300 feet. Freeman said they are evaluating where to build up to the maximum height.

Both towers will have three ground levels of retail and six levels of parking beneath them, for a total of 2,000 parking spots. One tower will house a 180-room luxury hotel with apartments above it. the other tower above the third floor will be apartments as well. There are three unnamed hotel candidates for the Bellevue Square expansion. The project will have a total of 200,000 square feet of retail, eight restaurants and 225 apartments.

If the towers are built up to 300 feet, Kemper said they will be thinner running east to west so as not to block views for tenants in existing buildings.

Freeman hopes to finish this expansion while the region is going through a boom, before a possible downturn in the economy. However, this has also driven up the price-tag for the project, which he has declined to release.

“There’s nothing inexpensive anymore — the properties, everything. The cost when you’re this far into an economic boom like we are, every contractor has all the work that he can do,” Freeman said.

Freeman will be contracting with GLY for The Bellevue expansion.

Despite shopping centers shutting down across the country, Freeman said he doesn’t think five-star brick-and-mortar stores in Bellevue Square will follow suit during a recession.

“We are the opposite, and the better shopping centers in America are doing better today than ever,” he said.

Freeman hopes to break ground on The Bellevue in 2019.

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