According to the City of Bellevue, the Sound Transit Board of Directors recently approved key transaction terms with developers to build an almost seven acres of transit-oriented development across from the Spring District. This will be adjacent to the Operations and Maintenance Facility: East, which was recently completed.
BRIDGE Housing and its partners were selected in 2020 to develop seven acres next door to the East Link light rail, which is valued at more than $500 million. BRIDGE Housing includes Seattle-based Touchstone and Essex Property Trust.
The City of Bellevue and Sound Transit have discussed creative plans for many years regarding a mix of affordable and market-rate housing, office, retail, and public space across from the Spring District – 120th Station. They had been wanting to figure out a way to integrate the OMF East into the developing BelRed corridor.
The vision of Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue will open in 2023.
“Together, through creative engineering and partnerships, this area will now have not only a maintenance base, but also affordable housing, office, retail and a park, all within a short walk to the Bel-Red light rail station,” Sound Transit Boardmember and King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci said. “Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue are working together to meet the needs of eastside transit riders, residents and employees and I’m excited to see this transit-oriented development project contribute to the kind of welcoming neighborhood we have always planned for the Bel-Red area around our new light rail service.”
According to Mayor Lynne Robinson, “From the beginning, the promise of light rail has been an opportunity for Bellevue to think big and create a new urban neighborhood. This important step represents the culmination of many years of hard work by the City of Bellevue and Sound Transit to create hundreds of new, affordable homes for Eastside families within walking distance of public transit and other quality-of-life amenities. I look forward to carrying forward this spirit of public-private collaboration across the entire Bel-Red corridor.”
BRIDGE Housing will serve as the qualified entity, lead developer, and affordable housing developer. Touchstone will develop the commercial office component.
The project is planned to include 500 units of housing, with 280 affordable units, more than 400,000 square feet of office space, active ground floor uses like retail and resident amenities, and a public park.
The transit-oriented development will be built out over the next decade. The development team has a creative financing strategy for affordable housing that uses the recently donated $100 million from Amazon Housing Equity Fund to support affordable housing on Sound Transit property.
The City of Bellevue and Sound Transit each contributed about an acre of land at no cost, valued at around $12 million to support the development of affordable housing.
Located adjacent to the future transit-oriented development, The Link Operations and Maintenance Facility will maintain and store light rail vehicles for regional expansions. OMF opened in mid-May 2021 and is a key component to the upcoming link extensions to Northgate, Lynwood, Federal Way, and Redmond. This location will have new cars continuing to arrive through 2024.