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July 2, 2021
One of the biggest but slowest development plans in downtown Bellevue is currently proceeding under the moniker of Cloudvue. The 4.6-acre property is most identified with the old First Congregational Church, at 10855 N.E. Eighth St. Most of the site is now parking. It's immediately north of Amazon's Bellevue 600 towers, and steps from Bellevue Downtown station, where light rail service will begin in 2023.
The city recently issued a SEPA determination of non-significance for Cloudvue's proposed trio of high-rise towers. The appeal period ends July 15. The planning and land assembly date back to 2014, under different ownership.
Stanford Hotels of San Francisco is the majority owner; Plus Investment still owns a stake after selling the land three years ago for $128 million.
ZGF Architects and Weber Thompson are designing the towers at Cloudvue, which could include about 1.8 million square feet of offices, 538 residential units, a 177-room hotel, 50,000 square feet of retail/commercial and restaurant space, with 2,487 underground parking stalls. All those numbers are likely to slide a little as the towers' design evolves.
The two office towers, by ZGF, would go on the northeast and northwest corners, facing Eighth. The hotel/residential tower, from Weber Thompson, would be pushed south. All three would be about 600 feet tall.
MZA Architecture and landscape architect Geyer Coburn Hutchins are preparing the master plan. The towers are going through separate design review. Navix is the civil engineer. DCI and Associated Earth Sciences are also working on the project. (Update: Magnusson Klemencic Associates says it’s the structural engineer.) Stanford's owner's rep is Ted Silence of MGAC. There are no clues yet about a general contractor.
Cloudvue's marketing website says the project will meet LEED and Fitwel certification. The offices are slated to have 41 stories each. The south tower would evidently have a rooftop bar. The offices are programmed to have a large gym, with the restaurants divided between fast casual and more upscale fare. Project renderings still appear to be placeholders, not advanced designs.
A central public plaza would have about 6,200 square feet, ringed by vehicular drop-off circle. Valets could park visitors' cars from there, too.
More public space would be created via an elevated public connector over Northeast Seventh Street (now a cross-block private alley), which would lead to Bellevue 600. Public spaces are variously dubbed Cloud Court, Cloudlink Plaza, the Mist Garden and Theater Park. All that space might total about 30,000 square feet. Most parking would be accessed from Seventh.
Phasing for the project now puts the northwest and south towers first, to be followed the northeast tower and, finally, the southeast corner performance venue and plaza. The latter, described as a playhouse, could have around 31,000 square feet. It'll replace the interim Theater Park. The venue could have 700 seats, and also be used for meetings and the like.
The ownership previously indicated a possible groundbreaking in 2023, with construction to last about three years. Stanford Hotels doesn't list the project on its website; Plus still lists the old proposal, aka Elev8. It's unclear if Stanford will take on partners in the project; its website lists HSBC and Wells Fargo as past lenders.
Stanford has previously developed hotels for brands including Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton. Whether the luxury residential units end up as condos or rentals remains to be seen.
Brian Miller can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.