1st Bellevue Condo in Almost 10 Years

A rendering of One88 building’s exterior.  Photo: Bosa

One88, the first Bellevue condominium tower construction in almost a decade, has opened their sales gallery and a model unit vignette for preview. To be built at 188 Bellevue Way NE, One88’s 143 residences will strive for high-end, luxury living within easy walking distance of work, businesses, and urban life. There is definitely interest in this building: 1,300 prospective buyers and brokers attended the open house on January 20th.

Photo: Bosa

Bosa, the project’s developer, brought to fruition the high-amenity, 698-unit Insignia mixed-use building, which was also the first condo development for downtown Seattle in 5 years. Bosa is working with Amanat Architect, an international firm also located out of Canada, on One88. The building exterior was created to simulate the multi-facets of a quartz crystal, which is mined in our region. At the moment, the building’s view is unhampered in all directions, including overlooking Lake Washington and Downtown Park to the west. Some units also feature balconies, in which the building’s architectural shape acts as a wind break and makes it possible to use the balcony year-round, through a retractable window.

Left: Rendering of One88 residence. Right: One of the outside terraces.  Photo: Bosa

The interior design firm of Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) from California has won awards for hotel design and was selected for this building. Interiors will be mostly muted brown, tan, and gray throughout, with an ultra modern feel, and slate-like surfaces.

Some of the amenities at One88:

  • 24-hour concierge that will hold your delivered packages and arrange a wide array of personal services for tenants
  • revolving artwork displays in lobby
  • wi-fi throughout the amenities areas
  • saline swimming pool/spa, plus sauna and steam room
  • full workout center with virtual fitness/yoga area and locker room
  • two lounges and work areas
  • private dining room with chef-level appliances
  • two outdoor terraces with grass, grilling islands, and seating
  • a cheerful children’s play area
  • pets allowed

Currently, a 1-bedroom (752-810 sf) starts in the low $800,000s + HOA dues. Three-bedrooms (1,688-2,948 sf) range from $2.2 million to $2.4 million and above (for a penthouse), plus dues. Private sales are going on right now, and public sales begin March 10th.





Photo:  Nina Strehl

Has someone ever done something kind and unexpected for you? Have you ever wanted to return the favor? Saturday, February 10th is designated as Neighbor Day, a day set aside for random, or planned, acts of kindness.

So what does Neighbor Day entail? Seattle.gov posted a helpful list (see above link) of ideas and ways to extend kindness in your community and beyond. It’s a way to reach out (often neglected in our busy, digital world) to an individual or group of people. It’s initiating conversation or good works with a neighbor or even a stranger, and to pay it forward. Unlike commercialized holidays with often added stress and expectations, people don’t expect anything on Neighbor Day, so are often pleasantly surprised when someone reaches out to do something nice for them.

We live in a world where events are currently accelerating at a rapid pace, and not always in a good way. But even in the midst of war (physical and digital), shady political agendas (usually not in our favor), and weather intensified by global warming (fires, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis), there are always individuals striving, and making, a positive difference in someone else’s life. We don’t need to wait for a catastrophic event to take action: it can be found in the brownies we bake, the laundry we carry/wash for someone, the dog we walk, or a smile or words to lighten your neighbor’s day.

Let’s strive, in some small way, to make every day a Neighbor Day.

Photo: Jony Ariadi

Passport to Romance

Photo: Arunas Naujokas

So you just finished reading your most recent romance novel, or maybe even considering writing one yourself. Wouldn’t be great to chat with published romance authors, pick up free books, a ton of swag, enter a raffle, effuse with fellow readers, and buy a swill drink at a cash bar? Passport to Romance at the Westin Hotel Bellevue this weekend just might be your ticket to bliss.

The Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America (GSRWA) are hosting this free reader appreciation event/celebration from 6-8 pm on this coming Saturday, October 14th . This is part of the larger Emerald City Writers’ Conference taking place October 13-15th, which offers informative classes for aspiring or established romance authors. Although it was closed, conference registration has now been slightly extended, and is on a case-by-case basis. So if interested in improving your writing chops, it might be worth asking.

The first 100 attendees to the Passport to Romance (Facebook pagereceive free swag bags, and authors will be at the event with their own swag, including books. Arriving early also has another advantage: a cash bar will be set up outside the room around 5 pm. Fun, romantic gift baskets will be raffled off, with tickets starting at $1. A Writers’ Lounge will be set up where you can chat with other romance readers/writers and exchange items, if so inclined. A book cover contest was previously held by GSRWA in which readers could vote, and the winner will be announced Saturday night. And, if all this isn’t enough to entice you, at least three male models who have posed for book covers will be there to meet & greet you. Potentially wearing a Highland kilt.

It’s been suggested to park in Lincoln Square (the Westin’s parking lot) or Bellevue Square during those 2 hours, and should be free. Bring a bag or backpack to carry all those goodies in. As Carmen Cook, 2016 GSRWA President, mentioned about past Passports to Romance: “Aside from meeting your favorite authors, the camraderie of being with a hundred+ like-minded readers…it’s a huge, fun party.”

Photo: Clem Onojeghuo

Westin Hotel Bellevue
600 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, Washington
(425) 638-1000

One Open, One to Go!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe seasonal Bellevue Farmers Market opened recently on May 18th, and Crossroads Farmers Market will open on June 6th!  Because of our unusually long rainy season this year in WA State (the longest on record in modern history), some of the farm vendors understandably had a delay with their crops. But our warm season is firmly underway now, as are abundant produce, herbs, and artisanal goods!

Recently, Seattle was rated 4th in the nation for being the most fit city. One of the reasons cited for this improvement was the increase in the number of farmers markets in our area: a positive indication that unprocessed, natural food can make a difference in one’s health.

If you would like to visit other farmers markets in other neighborhoods as well, here is a complete list of places and hours from The Seattle Times. The Bellevue Farmers Market is on Thursdays, from 3-7 pm through October 12th. The Crossroads Farmers Market is on Tuesdays, from 12 noon- 6 pm (except July 4th) until September 26thBon appetit!

REI moving to Bellevue

REI's Bellevue headquarters design proposal

REI’s Bellevue proposed headquarters design.  Photo: NBBJ

REI will be moving their headquarters from Kent, where they’ve been for 29 years, to a new site in Bellevue in the year 2020. They have submitted a design proposal for an 8-acre campus to the City of Bellevue, which would occupy 20% of the new Spring Hill district development. 36-acre Spring Hill, which will be located between the Bel-Red Road corridor and 520, east of downtown Bellevue, will have an alternative tech college (The Global Innovation Exchange), 300 apartments (which are already under construction), a brewpub, and a blend of street retail and other businesses in the process of being decided.

Springhill District proposed orientation.  Photo: www.thespringdistrict.com

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) sells specialized outdoor gear, is the nation’s largest consumer co-op, sponsors land & nature conservation causes, and also leads adventure classes and tours in the great outdoors. In keeping with this, REI works to meet green initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint in the world with their stores, distribution centers, and in this case, their actual headquarters. So the three new buildings (400,000 square feet total) will incorporate sustainable elements according to LEED energy and environmental guidelines set up for highly-effective green buildings. Salmon Safe criteria will also be considered to protect local watersheds. Some features will include outdoor meeting and community spaces, edible plants and native vegetation on the grounds, planning for optimal sunlight through windows, and other energy efficiency details.

REI's flagship store in downtown Seattle. Photo: Joe Mabel/WikiCommons

REI’s downtown Seattle flagship store, including indoor climbing rock on left.  Photo: Joe Mabel/WikiCommons

In a September 2016 memo, REI stated they had outgrown their current Kent headquarters and satellite offices, with over 1,400 employees. Some of the advantages cited for moving to Bellevue included access to a new Sound Transit light rail system that will be built right at Spring Hill in 2023. Also access to nearby nature and bikeways was an attractive idea, especially the multi-use, non-motorized Eastside Rail Corridor that will connect Renton to Woodinville, and other options being considered. Some pedestrian pathways will cut through the REI campus, which people in the surrounding community can use. It’s hoped that these considerations will be attractive to an increasingly mobile workforce.

REI"s Blue Oak Net Zero facility in Arizona. Photo: Business Wire

REI”s Net Zero Blue Oak Energy facility in Arizona.  Photo: Business Wire

Constructing highly efficient buildings is nothing new to REI. According to Business Wire, they recently achieved “Net Zero” status for their new distribution center in Arizona. This means that the solar panels installed produce 100% of their electricity per year, conserving energy. Which indicates good things to come for their future Bellevue headquarters.