Aerial photo of the Spring District that sits on the old Safeway Distribution Center site in the Bel-Red Corridor. Courtesy photo.

Aerial photo of the Spring District that sits on the old Safeway Distribution Center site in the Bel-Red Corridor. Courtesy photo.

Bellevue’s Spring District achieves LEED award for neighborhood development

LEED looks at performance standards that create more sustainable and well-connected neighborhoods.

On Jan. 12, Wright Runstad & Company and Shorenstein Properties LLC announced that Bellevue’s Spring District has been awarded a LEED certificate for mixed-use development.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, looks at a set of performance standards that are designed to create more sustainable and well-connected neighborhoods.

Wright Runstad and Shorenstein are two real estate firms that assisted with the development of the Spring District, whose central features have led to the LEED certificate.

According to Wright Runstad, easy access to transit was a major consideration for the original design process. The neighborhood is located near Sound Transit’s upcoming Eastlink station that will provide connections to downtown Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond by 2023.

To promote walking and biking, tree-lined roads were limited to two lanes. A protected multipurpose path connection to Eastrail — a 42-mile-long trail connecting Renton, Bellevue, Redmond and Woodinville — was also installed.

“Our goal since the beginning was to create a vibrant, connected community where sustainability is a central pillar, and where residents can work, live and play in the heart of the Eastside, while enjoying walkable streets, open spaces and independent shops. Achieving LEED certification is a significant milestone in delivering on this vision,” said Greg Johnson, CEO of Wright Runstad.

Minimizing the environmental impact caused by parking lots, such as carbon emissions and material consumption, was also taken into consideration when building the Spring District. According to Wright Runstad, the Spring District received city and occupant support to construct parking areas at a lower ratio than the city requires in its standard code.

Another area of focus was to control water flow and increase the native habitat. According to Wright Runstad, the previous use of land had little native vegetation and public space. The firm stated that over four acres of open spaces consisting of native plants and trees have been incorporated into the neighborhood. Rainwater run-off is treated using bioretention cells to preserve the nearby wetlands and waterways, according to Wright Runstad.

“From initial design to completion, the Spring District is an incredible example of how sustainable mixed-use communities can attract residents, shoppers and businesses alike,” said Johnson. “A vibrant, thriving community with over 800 residential units, millions of square feet of office and tens of thousands of square feet of retail now flourishes where there used to be only an industrial site.”

Currently, the Spring District is made up of more than 800,000 square feet of LEED certified buildings. According to Wright Runstad, an additional 650,000 square feet of LEED Silver-targeted projects are under construction, in addition to another 530,000 square feet undergoing design and permitting review.

To learn more about the Spring District, visit www.thespringdistrict.com


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