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February 6, 2023

Alexandria's plans near Spring District gain detail

  • The developer is now working with Howard S. Wright and Gensler.
    Real Estate Editor

    Rendering by Gensler [enlarge]
    The entire development, as if looking west from the Spring District.

    Alexandria Real Estate Equities has big plans, with many names attached, for a large expanse immediately west of the Spring District and its light-rail station in East Bellevue. Most of the land sold in late 2021 from Pine Forest Properties, which also has another north parcel to sell. That's also included in Alexandria's existing master development permit, at 1445 120th Ave. N.E.

    The city of Bellevue is now evaluating a new revised MDP, also termed an amendment. Gensler is now leading the Alexandria effort, having replaced NBBJ at some point last year. Howard S. Wright (a Balfour Beatty company) is now listed as the builder. Design review for the various components is also now underway.

    The two-part outline emerged last April for three life-science buildings with about 701,687 square feet of lab and office space. That's dubbed the Alexandria Center for Science and Technology – Bellevue. (Alexandria uses the same ACST rubric in other cities.)

    The second residential component is to include a 274-unit midrise apartment building designed by Runberg Architecture Group, to the west; and a south apartment building from Pine Forest with 123 units (more on that below).

    Alexandria intends to build in phases, with Phase I possibly to start next year. That would be demolition, grading, utilities, new driveways, etc. Phase I would continue with the initial west apartment building, which might begin in the fall of 2024 — and possibly wrap in mid 2027.

    Apartment rendering by Runberg Architecture Group [enlarge]
    Looking northeast, the Runberg-designed west apartments would face 12th.

    Phase II would be Pine Forest's apartments on the south tip of the triangle, which it has retained. Weber Thompson is the architect there. That's also covered by the MDP that Pine Forest and CollinsWoerman originated and had approved by the city in 2018. The MDP covers the whole 10-acre triangle for both owners.

    Then, with no set schedule, and depending whom Alexandria's unnamed brokers land as tenants, its three life-science buildings would sprout from south to north. Gensler will also design those.

    Alexandria's team also now includes Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, landscape architect; Coughlin Porter Lundeen, civil engineer; KPFF, structural; Glumac, MEP; GGN, landscape architect; VDA, elevators; Geoengineers, geotechnical; Axis Survey & Mapping; Transportation Engineering, traffic consultant; Aspect Consulting, environmental consultant; and ALD Lighting.

    On a gently sloping site, all buildings would rise from six to nine levels above grade. Floor plates for the life-science buildings look to range from around 23,000 to 25,000 square feet.

    Alexandria's revised MDP is about 18% larger than Pine Forest's original plan. It now totals nearly 1.9 million square feet, including the parking, amenities, etc. And it generally shifts the old residential-commercial balance in the latter direction.

    The entire 10-acre project would have about 1,652 underground parking stalls, with some 14,400 square feet of retail, restaurant and commercial space. (Some of that could take the form of small kiosks and amenity buildings scattered around the campus.) There would also be ample green space, with new pedestrian connectors. LEED Gold certification will be sought for the entire development.

    For the west Phase I apartments, Clarion Partners is Alexandria's development partner, and Gables Residential will operate the apartments. Berger Partnership is the landscape architect there.

    Now that Sound Transit is done using the 3.4-acre north Pine Forest parcel for construction staging, Alexandria says it expects to acquire that dirt patch during the coming months. It previously paid over $77 million for the over 5-acre south portion. That sale was worth about $342 per square foot, but it came with a doomed old business park — eventually to be demolished. So the pending north lot deal is harder to value.


    Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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