Small businesses get a place of their own

Creekside 1550 Office Condominiums

Andy Yeung

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Creekside 1550 Office Condominiums

1550 140th Ave. N.E.


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As Class A office space continues to increasingly dominate the Bellevue’s Central Business District, a real estate investment company is acting on a niche that needed to be filled.

Huy Phung, the managing member of Echelon Equities, and Andy Yeung, the company’s principal consultant, have developed a new and inventive way for small business owners to avoid the rising rental rates and hedge their long term occupancy costs by avoiding lease increases.

It’s called customized office condos and its hugely popular on the East Coast, the pair say.

Much like purchasing a new car and customizing it to your personalized taste and lifestyle by adding extra amenities, Echelon Equities carries that same concept and translates it to office space.

“It all depends on what the customer wants. It’s a lot like Burger King – we’ll make it your way,” Phung joked. To bring the trend to Bellevue, the company recently launched its office condominium project at the Creekside 1550 Office Park located in the heart of the Bel-Red Corridor. The six units of Class B office space range from 500 square feet to 2,000 square feet and are considered ideal for independent professionals such as small accountant firms, doctor and dental offices, insurance agencies and legal offices.

“There hasn’t been a lot of construction on Class B buildings because the focus is on high rise office space. Right now there are probably less than 10 total units available in Bellevue that are less then 2,000 square feet and more than half of them are ours,” Yeung explained, who is also the managing member of Okah Real-estate Partners, LLC. “Between the two companies, we own six buildings in Bellevue – 50,000 square feet total in Bellevue. We command the most Class B square footage subject to customization and doing the concept that we’re doing.”

The concept of changing rental to ownership is nothing knew. Over the past 10 years the trend of converting rental apartments into condos has soared, the two say.

“It’s hard for people to buy houses, but they may be able to afford purchasing a smaller apartment size space. Yet at the time no one really built condominiums so that became a new trend of apartments being converted into condos,” Phung explained. “What we’re doing is simply the next chapter and the beginning of a trend in commercial office space. You can either rent or own your own place.”

Phung considers this is the time to buy. Interest rates have come down in the last few months, which is propelling people to take advantage of it and lock it up.

To help potential owners visualize the end product, the pair constructed a mode, much like in the residential market where real estate agents stage model homes. Echelon is mirroring that idea, only with office space.

They brought in top-notch interior designers, Hank Lo of CLO Design and Sanny Chan from Vancouver, B.C., to add contemporary and modern design to the office units. To update the interior look and feel of the units, the designers added accent walls, mood lighting, seating structures and more modern carpet tile. The goal was to make the office space more contemporary and inviting.

“Doctors, lawyers and accountants spend more time in their offices then they do in their homes but hardly do people try to design the office space to make it a comfortable setting to enhance their work and productivity,” Phung said, “We’re about customization and making the office a home away from home.”

Lindsay Larin can be reached at or 425-453-4602.

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