On Friday, July 5, the Bellevue Development Services Department issued an official design review decision for the Islamic Center of Eastside’s (ICOE) rebuild on Main Street.
The design was approved on what land use director Elizabeth Stead characterized as standard conditions and entails a rebuild over the exact footprint of the old structure.
According to the city’s official notice of decision, the building has two stories, will be about 4,800 square feet and include 23 on-site parking spots. A determination of nonsignificance (DNS) — generally, a green light from the perspective of State Environmental Policy Act standards — was also granted to the planned structure. Stead said the rebuild project is now awaiting the approval of construction permits.
The ICOE building had been damaged by two arsons within two years. The first arson occurred in January 2017, after which the building remained vacant with utilities shut off. The second arson came in March the following year.
Farida Hakim, one of ICOE’s founding members who now serves as an elder in an advisory capacity, said that the interfaith community of Bellevue has played a supportive role in the rebuilding effort.
Hakim also serves on the Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council as a voice for the ICOE and its elders, updating the community on the status of building.
“Many people are heartened and uplifted to know the latest update,” Hakim said. “Our mosque is very much a place where everyone is welcome — it’s not just a place to go to offer your prayers, but it is our interaction with our neighbors that is very important.”
Hakim credited the Bellevue chief of police and assistant chief of police with helping educate the community and forming the Muslim Advisory Council, and also thanked the East Bellevue Community Council for taking stake in the rebuild.
“I’m reminded of a quote by the Prophet Muhammad,” Hakim said. “He said, ‘All believers are part of a building, each part supporting the other.’ That’s the sign we’re hoping to get approved to show a thank you to all of our community members.”