The Bellevue Boom Continues With WeWork

It seems Bellevue is rapidly becoming the place to be!

Just last week we reported Amazon’s rumored plan to head across the lake to our fair city, but now, word has it another business giant is on the way, and this time it’s confirmed.

WeWork is a New York based company that provides shared work spaces for people all across the country, and boasts an impressive 70,000+ members. They came to Seattle initially in 2014 and already have 3 locations in town, with sights set to open a fourth. Now Bellevue is in the mix, making their Seattle area total a whopping 5 locations, in just 2 years.

WeWork has their sights set on 80,000 square feet of space at the Lincoln Square project for their new Bellevue home.

According to their website-

“In the newest premier tower downtown, you’ll find unparalleled Bellevue office space at WeWork Lincoln Square,” reads marketing material on WeWork’s Web site. “Enter through the contemporary, upscale lobby with fireplace, and discover our coworking space where high ceilings, natural finishes, outdoor terraces, and stunning mountain and lake views provide a refreshing work environment. With global gaming giant Valve in the building, Amazon right next door, and Microsoft in the neighborhood, your business is in good company.”

The news of WeWork’s coming to Bellevue along with the rumors of Amazon’s Eastward expansion and other fabulous companies like Salesforce.com and Valve having big presence’s in town means very good things for Bellevue, especially with Expedia planning on moving its Headquarters to Seattle a few years down the road.

If this trend continues, Bellevue is poised to become the next big hot spot in the PNW, but, we never really understood why it wasn’t in the first place.

 

 

 

Amazon (Possibly) Journeys Eastward

Bellevue Skyline and Lake Washington

Bellevue Skyline and Lake Washington

 

By now, everyone in Downtown Seattle has seen the construction of Amazons’ new headquarters in the South Lake Union neighborhood. With 11 buildings and interesting architecture to boot, it would be hard to miss. But the local tech powerhouse is thinking bigger and it seems, they’re thinking Bellevue may be in their future.

Rumor has it that Amazon has recently finalized negotiations and leased a whopping 354,000 square feet in the heart of Downtown Bellevue at the brand-spanking-new 425 Centre.

 

Amazon's new SLU HQ

Amazon’s new SLU HQ

Set at the corner of NE 4th St and 106th Ave NE, the 425 Centre makes a great location for a tech company that has broken from tech tradition by settling in heavily urban areas before. It seems Amazonia, as it is fondly referred to, and its inhabitants prefer being in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle than the more remote areas other tech giants tend to call home.

 

While Amazon has not officially announced anything regarding the potential journey Eastward, this is not the first bout of rumors surrounding Bellevue and tech giants. Just a few months ago there was much talk of Apple possibly moving into (would you believe it) the 425 Centre.

 

425 Centre

425 Centre

Projects like the 425 Centre have been great for boosting Bellevue and its reputation. While often viewed as a (albeit, very large) suburb of Seattle, over the course of the last several years, it has grown considerably and undergone a rather impressive face-lift. Additions like renovations to Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and The Bravern have added considerable appeal to the city. Appeal which has not gone unnoticed by businesses and residents alike.  Much like it’s sister city across the lake, Bellevue has become home to a laundry list of high end retailers, restaurants and even cooperate mammoths such as T-Mobile (HQ), Expedia (HQ) and Microsoft, giving her a run for her money.

All in all, Amazon would (and likely will) make a fabulous addition to the Eastside. Bringing with it the fun, friendly and environmentally conscious attitude that Amazon prides itself on, as well as plenty of opportunity, both for jobs and for the city to receive a wealth of vibrant new residents.

Not to mention, Bellevue was Amazons’ very first home, when it was merely the brain child of it’s founder, Jeff Bezos. So, perhaps this would be more homecoming than journey.

Mercer Island’s Inaugural Pumpkin Walk Coming in October

127231-glowing-pumpkinsPack up your lil’ pumpkins and join the community for a fun, festive and family friendly Pumpkin Walk! This event is new to the Island and tons of festive fall fun for families of all ages, with no scary monsters spooking your little ones.

Head down to Mercer Island’s Pioneer Park on October 22nd from 6-8 p.m. and you will find a gorgeous, glowing parade of carved pumpkins framing the northwest edge of the trail.

You’ll start your stroll on the trail across from Starbucks, near the South Fire Station, with legions of luminous pumpkins along the trail, adjacent to 84th Avenue Southeast.
This fabulous addition to the Island community’s Halloween festivities will join other Island favorites such as the Mercer Island Preschool Association Halloween party and the Monster Dash.

Pioneer Park makes the perfect setting for this event, with leaves changing color and strewn about the ground, not to mention that crisp autumnal chill in the air.jacktrail

Mercer Island’s first ever Pumpkin Walk is a unique event  and sure to become a local favorite, but they need your help! Organizers will be accepting carved pumpkins to add to the trail on the day of (Oct. 22nd) at the corner of 84th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 68th Street, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. No candles are needed as they will provide them.

We encourage you to round up your kiddies and their friends, or just your own grown-up friends (pumpkin-tinis, anyone?) for a super fun pumpkin carving party to make your own special contributions to the trail, then join the walk and see where yours are displayed, along with all the other creative ideas put forth by your neighbors!

Let’s come together this October and make this wonderful new event an annual East side tradition, and help it grow over time. The more pumpkins and people, the more fun we’ll all have!

Please remember to dress appropriately for the weather, as this event is outdoors. Halloween costumes are optional.  fallkitty

Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture

The Kimbell Art Museum, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974), is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era.

The Kimbell Art Museum, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974), is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era.

Regarded as one of the most pivotal designers, urban planners, and teachers of the twentieth century, Louis Khan remains a publicly obscure figure.  Unlike other twentieth century “starchitects”, like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rhoe, who successfully crossed over into public consciousness, Khan remains somewhat confined to academia.  A major retrospective titled “Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture”, now going into its final weeks, at the Bellevue Arts Museum shines light onto Khan’s influential career.

Known for his unique approach to design, Khan’s mature architectural compositions are renowned for their masterful use of light and their refined solidity.  Among his most important works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959 – 65), the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1966 – 72), and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962 – 83).  Each of Khan’s commissions exhibit his devotion to humanistic experience, presenting occupants with comprehensible geometry, tactile materiality, and unimposing scale.

“Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture” provides an unprecedented range of architectural models, original drawings, photographs and films, which give museum audiences an understanding of who Kahn was, what he did, and how he did it.  Interviews with architects such as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, and Sou Fujimoto underscore the current significance of Kahn’s work, which is being rediscovered and made accessible to a wide public audience with this exhibition.

“Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture” runs through May 1st, 2016.

http://www.bellevuearts.org/exhibitions/louis_kahn.html

520 Closure

520 Bride will be closed from Friday February 24th at 11pm through Monday February 27th at 5am.  When crews close 520 they close both directions of the SR 520 floating bridge and highway and all ramps between Montlake Boulevard and I-405.  Crews will also close the Bellevue Way Northeast overpass from 11 p.m. Friday night through 5 p.m. Saturday while crews set girders.  When crews close the highway, SR 520 remains open between Montlake Boulevard and I-5. In Bellevue, the 108th Avenue Northeast on-ramp to eastbound SR 520 remains open and in Seattle, the Montlake Boulevard ramps from eastbound SR 520 and to westbound SR 520 remain open.  All ramps and the mainline are required to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday following weekend closures.  Please use alternative routes or delay your trip to Seattle or Eastside if possible.

Paying for Parking in Kirkland??

The Kirkland Parking Board is proposing charging $1 per hour for parking in Kirkland from 9am-9pm at the two most popular lots and eliminating the 3 hour limit on daytime parking.  Right now the parking is free before 5pm and $1 per hour after 5pm.  Parking would remain free in the 339-stall garage located underneath the Kirkland Library.  The city manages 338-on street parking spaces and 586-parking lot spaces.  The is forecast to bring in around $100k per year.  The possible uses of this money would include maintenance of parking lots, rain shelters over pay stations, bright paint and security cameras at the Library garage and additional parking spaces in the future.  Kirkland employees are eligible for free all-day work passes at the Library Garage and others may park for free up to four hours.  If this proposal is passed this could start as early as this summer and Kirkland would have the most extensive paid-parking network on the Eastside.  In Bellevue and other cities on the Eastside have privately owned and operated parking lots and are free to retail customers.

Is the snow storm over yet?? Are you Prepared??

They say one storm down and two more to come?  A major snow storm is expected to hit Western Washington, piling 6 to 12 inches according to the National Weather System Monday.  The National Weather System of Seattle said a wave of cold air is moving through Western Washington and could drop several inches of snow in areas along the Washington coast, as well as areas north of Seattle by early Tuesday.  On Wednesday widespread snow fall and below-freezing tempuratures are likely throughout the state and the service issued a winter storm watch from Tuesday night through the day Wednesday.  They are comparing Wednesdays snowstorm to a Decembers 1996 snowstorm when over a foot fell over most of the region.  Snow could change to rain late Wednesday and in some areas early Thursday and although the snow on Wednesday is going to cause a tremendous amount of messy commutes in the morning and evening, it’s not supposed to stick around for very long. 

Is your car prepared for the snow fall??  Here are some tips:

1.  Make sure you have  full tank of gas

2.  Chains for your tires

3.  Bottles of water

4.  Snacks, like Power Bars or granola bars

5.  Blanket

6.  Comfy walking shoes

7.  Gloves

8.  Flashlight

9.  Car charger for your cell phone.

 

 

Got Your “Good to Go” Pass Yet? – 520 Toll Starts

Less than 48 hours until the tolling begins on 520 Bridge.  The tolling starts at 5am on Thursday, December 29th 2001 and those without the “Good to Go” pass will be charged an $1.50 per trip.  Cameras on the bridge will take photos of license plates and they will send the bill to the registered owner of the vehicle.  To get your “Good to Go” pass you can go to Fred Meyer, Safeway, QFC or Costco and then activate it online or call the customer service center.  There are 5 different passes you can choose from.  No tolls will be collected between the hours of 11pm and 5am daily.

Bellevue Botanical Gardens – Winter Wonderland

The Pond

From Now until December 31st go view the Bellevue Botanical Gardens where over a half million lights are used to transform the Bellevue Botanical Gardens into a truely magical place.  Hundreds of volunteers from all over the area have been busy making new creations for this year.  New this year is the theme “Snap d’ Dragon” who will join over 30 “critters” inlcuding Charlotte in her web and Willie the slug.  My favorite is the gorgeous pond and border display on the main lawn (picture above).  Over 150,000 people enjoy the amazing Bellevue Botanical Gardens in the month of December.

Hours are from 5:00pm – 10:00 and 9:30 is the lastest they will allow you to enter. 
Cost is $5 per person and children under the age of 10 are free and do not need a ticket. 
Please click here to buy your ticket in advance to assure entry.
This truely is magical place and it will really get you in the Holiday Spirit

520 Bridge Tolling To Begin December 29th

Get ready to pay, 520 bridge commuters, because tolling on Highway 520 between Bellevue and Seattle will begin on December 29th (for real this time.)  The tolling system has been delayed since Spring of this year due to technical issues, and the glitch(s) have finally been fixed.  On Wednesday, WSDOT announced the new start date so get your Good To Go passes as soon as possible.  The Good To Go pass provides drivers with a sticker that is electronically read and debits the user’s account.  Stickers are prepaid online, but drivers without a pass will still be billed with an extra $1.50 processing fee.  The new system technology reads chips inside Good To Go stickers, and photographs the license plates of cars without stickers.

Regular rates will vary between $2.20 and $3.50, the maximum charged for peak commute times.  The Good to Go pass works on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the carpool lanes of Highway 167 as well.

The Highway 520 tolling program is expected to generate $1 billion to go towards the Highway 520 replacement project.  For more information, please visit the official project page.