Economic development director highlights Q2 successes

Bellevue Economic Development Director James Henderson says the city is on track to meet its 2015 action plan, a strategy largely dependent on providing enhanced service within a growing business sector.

Bellevue Economic Development Director James Henderson says the city is on track to meet its 2015 action plan, a strategy largely dependent on providing enhanced service within a growing business sector.

Henderson, borrowing from a program he employed in San Antonio, Texas, is using a development action team to assess and address the needs of local companies and those looking to relocate to Bellevue.

The economic development director highlighted three recent successes during a Q2 report to the city council on Monday, the most notable being the Global Innovation Exchange coming to the Spring District.

Henderson called the University of Washington/Tsinghua University partnership for a graduate institute “a longterm game changer for Bellevue” and the region.

Inspire, a Chinese-based tech company, also moved into Bellevue in Q2, is leasing a facility in Crossroads and looking to hire an additional 50 staffers. Henderson credited Councilmember Conrad Lee as playing a key role in attracting the company here.

The city also played a part in drawing Japanese apparel company Uniqlo to Bellevue, Henderson said, making it the first Washington store.

On the expansion side of Bellevue’s Business Retention and Expansion program, Bellevue assisted iSpot.tv in growing its presence in Crossroads, the company adding 6,000 square feet of office space, with plans to hire an additional 40 employees.

Henderson said the city assisted virtual reality company Envelop VR with its expansion into downtown Bellevue and provided export assistance to Bellevue Brewing so the local brewer could enter the Canadian market.

Based on feedback from companies city staff has been meeting with, Henderson said more affordable office space and workforce housing is desired, the tech sector also concerned about a lack of parking as employee density increases within smaller spaces.

“They’re really looking to us for some recommendations on parking options,” he said.

On top of taking a lot of ideas from his last position in San Antonio, Henderson also stole away its economic development specialist, Jesse Canedo, who is now Bellevue’s economic development manager.

Canedo told the council Next Generation Bellevue — a city initiative geared toward entrepreneurs and startups — is making great strides through its partnership with ImpactHub.

The startup incubator opened in March and surpassed a goal of incorporating 30 new businesses into its space at the Lincoln Center by an additional 13 companies.

“Those are 43 businesses we hope will grow very quickly and very well here in Bellevue,” Canedo said.

ImpactHub has added space every month since opening, Canedo said, with a public event space slated to open in late August.

 


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Pan-fried wontons with chili and spicy garlic sauces (photo credit: Dough Zone Dumpling House)
New Chinese dumpling house to open in downtown Bellevue

Dough Zone menu to feature soup dumplings and pan-fried wontons.

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

An Island Park Elementary teacher and her students hit the books on Feb. 8 in the Mercer Island School District. The single largest amount of Gov. Jay Inslee’s newly announce relief package, $668 million, will go to public elementary and secondary schools to prepare for reopening for some in-person learning and to address students’ learning loss. Courtesy photo
Inslee signs $2.2 billion COVID relief package

The federal funds will go to fight COVID, aid renters and reopen shuttered schools and businesses.

File photo
How the pandemic and coronavirus variants can show us evolution in real time

Scientists say viruses reproduce and mutate at higher rates, creating viral variants.

Dining room at Belle Harbour (photo credit: Koelsch Communities)
New assisted living and memory care community to be opened by Koelsch Communities

$93 million facility planned to open next Spring after construction.

Jay and Beck Enoch celebrating vaccination (photo credit: Aegis Living Bellevue)
Bellevue assisted living community celebrates after receiving final vaccinations

Aegis Living Bellevue threw a “Saturday Night ‘No’ Fever” party to celebrate COVID-19 immunity.

Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an ob-gyn with the University of Washington School of Medicine and senior author of the report (Photo Credit: University of Washington School of Medicine)
UW study shows high COVID infection rates among pregnant women

Study shows infection rates to be two to four times higher than expected among minority groups.

Most Read