According to John Su, the owner of 989 Elements apartment tower, what Bellevue is missing are artists.

Su is engaging in a project called Open Satellite. It will allow artists to use a large open (what would’ve been retail space) space to create large-scale art in all mediums. The idea is it will allow for emerging and mid-career artists to have a place within the city to be inspired and create all types of art. Exhibitions will be staged quarterly.

The opening event will take place next week Wednesday August 29th from 5 – 8pm. The location’s address is 989 112th ave NE Suite, 102.

The 23-story apartment tower opened last September, but has been slow to roll out retail in the bottom floors of the building. Recently it has been springing to life. Zen Asian Cuisine & Vertigo Lounge are two retail tenants which will be moving in within the coming weeks.


  1. Keep the artists in Seattle and Fremont! We don’t want Bellevue turning into fugly Fremont!

  2. Can’t wait to check out that new lounge. Any idea what kind of music they’ll be playing?

  3. I like the blue accents!

  4. anonymous @ 2:57pm, you are whacked…

  5. Congratulations to the Open Satellite team at 989 Elements…Welcome to Bellevue!

    Bellevue may appear to be missing artists…but make no mistake, they’re here (painters, musicians, photographers, digital media artists, dancers,…the list goes on).

    What Bellevue is really missing are places for artists to live/work and venues to share their ideas with their community.

    Open Satellite is a project that is making this kind of room for artists. Visionary cultural development projects such as this one will create an indelible and sustaining mark on downtown Bellevue and begin to set the tone for the promising Ashwood Cultural district.

    It is an idea that is worth investing in and will bring inspiration, along with a return of investment that this community has yet to imagine.

  6. Sounds like a nice start, but I don’t think Bellevue will be likely to find inexpensive and large spaces that many artists need. Think Georgetown – that is becoming the new epicenter for art in the region.

    Bellevue might be a good place for some new galleries to show the finished product, but it wouldn’t appear to be a place to attract artists.

  7. Yes, it may be that Bellevue has few historic architectural gems to breathe new life into. We have even fewer low rent, industrial neighborhoods with a patina like Georgetown, that draw the artists who reinvent them. Still, opportunities abound.

    Creating opportunities for artists to live and work in Bellevue is a challenging proposition. We are a young city and have very different hurdles than Seattle. The organic model of artists gravitating to blighted urban areas and transforming them into cultural meccas (Belltown, Georgetown, Pearl District) does not quite apply here. But what does apply is a more a synthetic process of developing sustainable live/work space for artists and venues for contemporary arts and cultural programming… from the ground up.

    Some resourceful Bellevue artists, painters, musicians, clothing designers have found functional spaces to work in the nooks and crannies of Bellevue’s industrial sections (along the Bel-Red corridor). Those spaces may be lacking in the urban ambiance of neighborhoods like Georgetown, but there are reasonably affordable work spaces with great potential.

    What we can learn from Georgetown is the amazing way in which a community of artists, activists, business owners and developers came together around a shared vision to make such a place. In doing so, they changed the complexion of an entire neighborhood and created one of the most vibrant creative communities in the NW.

    Visionary private developments that foster the arts will seed the cultural transformation of Bellevue. The City’s role in creating incentives for developers with a cultural vision, like John Su, is key. An ongoing dialog between residents, businesses, artists, developers and city planners has begun with the Bel-Red Corridor Project. Cross disciplinary dialogs such as this one are gaining momentum through the efforts of Emerging Arts Leaders: Creative Conversations and 4Culture’s support of Arts and Heritage cultural facilities projects. These conversations will be instrumental in articulating a cultural vision for the City of Bellevue and creating sustainable solutions.