This summer, construction projects will close the southern half of Bellevue’s Downtown Park to finish the last segment of the circular promenade and a play area for children.
The ‘Complete the Circle” project includes completion of the circular canal and tree-lined promenade, creation of a “grand entrance” and water feature at the south end of the park. More landscape plantings, terraced seating, an expansion of the 100th Avenue Northeast parking lot and removal of the former Ballet Arts building will round out the project.
“These projects will complete the community’s 30-year-old vision of beloved Downtown Park,” said Mayor John Stokes. “We look forward to inviting everyone back next summer to enjoy the completed circle and to play in the universally accessible playground.”
The Inspiration Playground is the ballyhooed play area for children of all abilities, able-bodied and otherwise. That is being completed through a partnership with the Bellevue Rotary. The playground and park projects are estimated to cost $12.6 million.
“After years of planning and fundraising, we are excited that Inspiration Playground is nearly shovel ready,” said Pat Naselow, co-chair of Inspiration Playground with Bellevue Rotary. “The playground will accommodate the needs of all children – those who are typically developing, and those with physical, cognitive or sensory disabilities.”
Bellevue bought most of what is now Downtown Park more than 30 years ago. In 2008, voters passed a levy which included project funding and for replacement of the park’s parking lot located off Northeast Second Street.
According to Christina Faine, Bellevue Parks public information officer, the construction is estimated to take about a year.
“We expect the park to be open by next year’s Fourth of July festivities,” she said.