Seattle-based developer Wright Runstad & Co. has started demolition work on the first phase of The Spring District, a transit-oriented development in the Bel-Red corridor of Bellevue, WA.
Demolition of a former Safeway warehouse at the corner of NE 12th Street and 120th Avenue NE on the south side of the site began Monday. Construction of roads and utilities will begin immediately after the site is cleared.
A joint venture of Wright Runstad and San Francisco-based Shorenstein is developing residential and office buildings at the 36-acre site, which is centered on a light-rail station that will connect Microsoft to the east with downtown Seattle to the west.
The 16 city blocks in the estimated $2.3 billion project will feature commercial, residential and retail tenants -- including hotels, restaurants and shops. Initial occupancy is slated for late 2015.
Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad, aims for the project to become a hub for technology companies within an already tech-heavy region.
"In the war for talent, the built environment is a competitive advantage for companies looking to grow," Johnson said. "It turns out that software developers want walkable neighborhoods, transit, easy commutes, interesting amenities and sustainable designs." He called the new project "a big switch from the typical Eastside pattern of superblocks, national chains and car-based urban designs."
Johnson noted that earlier this year, one of the region’s most successful residential developers, Security Properties, committed to develop the first 316-unit multifamily apartment project in The Spring District.
Residential construction will begin next year, with a new urban park scheduled for completion soon afterward. The first 491,000-square-foot office project in the district is fully designed and entitled and is attracting strong interest from potential tenants.
Shorenstein and Wright Runstad have previously partnered on Amazon’s original Seattle headquarters, the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco and Microsoft’s initial Redmond campus in 1986.
Bellevue-based brokerage Broderick Group is handling leasing the first two office buildings.