Downtown Bellevue Park ExpansionLocal developer Carl Vander Hoek is gathering support for a proposal to add parking to Bellevue’s Downtown Park, or in close proximity to it.

The City of Bellevue, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Bellevue, plans to upgrade the Downtown Park to include a new water feature and an Inspiration Playground for all ages and abilities. The park upgrade is currently slated to begin on July 5th, 2015 and complete by Spring 2016.

Vander Hoek, project manager for Vander Hoek Corporation, which owns real estate in Old Bellevue, said that although more people will be using the park after the upgrade, the parking availability won’t increase. The parking hasn’t increased several decades (and isn’t currently planned to). More drivers would then park their vehicles in Old Bellevue and the surrounding neighborhoods. Originally Vander Hoek had suggested that the parking take place underground, but with the high expense of an underground lot he is also open to alternative solutions that provide nearby parking.

Readers, do you think Bellevue should create additional parking at the Downtown Park tha? Why or why not? Share your opinion in the comments section below.


  1. No. We’re already traffic choked enough, and the massive amount of parking being added to Lincoln Square 2 isn’t going to help that. The last thing that we need is to add even more.

  2. Definitely not. Just because high density has become the obsession with commercial & residential developments throughout the region, due to the inflated prices of real estate, should not equate to allowing developers to make intrusive and detrimental recommendations for use of open space. If that is the trend, then further erosion, of, what is a limited bastion of open space, will simply facilitate the further slide into what’s becoming a downtown concrete jungle.

  3. Wow MC did you read my mind? 🙂 You hit the nail right on the head.

  4. I think that is a really very bad idea. That park is a landmark and the heart of downtown Bellevue. Following the developer’s reasoning, why don’t we get rid of the park altogether and replace it with a parking deck? Unfortunately it is likely that at the end the City Council will cede to the pressure of this developer and the project will go ahead.

  5. What MC said…

  6. Is parking important enough to downtown property owners for them to agree to an LID (Local Improvement District) to pay for it?

    Didn’t think so…

  7. I visit the park almost daily and notice that the majority of the folks parking there are heading to restaurants and bars in the Old Bellevue area. And there is sufficient parking between the three lots for park patrons. Mr. Hoek is definitely more concerned about losing customers to his businesses when the main parking lot is removed than about the park users.

  8. Why is it that the City must constantly “solve” problems for private developers – If I recall right, the City made significant land use changes to allow for maximum development with minimal parking in the Old Main area. Now a “perceived” PRIVATE parking issue should not be the City’s responsibility to solve. As a matter of fact, if there is going to be additional use in the Park, why doesn’t Mr. Vander Hoek build a parking garage on his property and allow park users and other merchants to use HIS garage –

  9. One Way Street! Making Main Street from 100th Ave NE to Bellevue Way one way only, would be a great improvement. Left hand turns would be eliminated coming off of Bellevue Way onto Main Street. Yes, this would funnel traffic up Bellevue Way a few blocks but it would improve the flow of traffic and keep the intersection of Bellevue Way and Main Street much safer. Parking could be improved and actually provide double what it does currently with parallel parking as it is in numerous communities with a designated street of small business destinations. It would also create a great, and more friendly environment to be closed off and utilized for Bellevue’s weekly Farmer’s Market. Ultimately, this would bring more visibility to the uniqueness and special niche Old Main Street offers.

  10. I, along with several other regulars, have been walking at the Bellevue Downtown Park for years after work. Because the Park’s parking lots are now allowed to be used for non-park users after 6:00 pm, those of us who are loyal park users can’t find parking after 5:00 pm! The lots are filled with restaurant-goers. And the lot at the Southeast end of the Park is designed so badly that it is necessary to drive all the way in to the lot to see if spaces are available. This creates a line of cars driving in simply to find out that there are no available spots, requiring an awkward turn-around to exit the lot. What a mess!