Bellevue Poised To Be International, 18-Hour City
Bellevue's come a long way in a short time, according to the speakers at Bisnow's Future of Bellevue event recently. Now it has the potential to emerge from the shadow of Seattle and be a distinct place known the world over—but will Bellevue grab that brass ring? The signs are that it will, but there will be challenges. Snapped: Continental Properties president Claudio Guincher.
Bellevue has the attention of the international community, especially Asia, but also Europe—meaning there will be a net influx of investors, businesses and people who want to live here in the coming decades, our speakers said. Only 10 years ago, Bellevue was lumped in with the rest of the Puget Sound area, and not very distinct in the minds of the world, but that's changed radically in recent years. Here's HKS principal Scott Hunter.
The city's edging toward becoming an 18-hour city, the speakers noted. Bellevue's more than a 12-hour city, but not quite at the threshold of 18 hours, as are places like Atlanta, Charlotte, DFW, Denver and Seattle. It's a little intangible, but investors know an 18-hour city when they see one, and Bellevue's on the way, though much depends on continued job growth. Essex Property Trust first VP Bryan Meyer.
One thing developers who are active in Bellevue are beginning to realize is they need to create more distinctive properties going forward, our speakers posited. The city's still young, and there haven't been a lot of building cycles to add diversity to its skyline yet. But as Bellevue grows, the opportunity will be there to create unique aspects to the design of the city. West77 Partners CEO Michael Nelson.
There are other challenges ahead for Bellevue, the speakers warned. One is right across the lake: Bellevue competes with Seattle for talent and business relocations and expansions, and it isn't always easy. On the office side, for instance, office space needs to be backfilled to keep the urban core healthy, and it isn't always clear where new tenants are coming from. SU Developments president John Su.
Still, Bellevue's doing all the right things to have an interesting, walkable urban core, the speakers said, which is good news for attracting and retaining businesses and Millennials and even empty nesters. John L. Scott Inc managing broker Michael Orbino, who moderated.