Downtown Bellevue's skyline
A shot of Downtown Bellevue from its southern border. (Photo by Shaun Kuo)

Since 2018, a deluge of construction projects in Downtown Bellevue has been completed and begun to form Bellevue’s adolescent skyline. This spree has been in part due to the highly constricted zoning that the city has imposed elsewhere in its jurisdiction. Aside from small pockets in BelRed and Factoria, Downtown is the only neighborhood in Bellevue that allows for highrise development. Combined with a severe regional housing shortage, tech sector boom, and incoming light rail infrastructure, it is easy to see why Bellevue’s planned skyline is rising so quickly.

Most prominent in the skyline is the center of Downtown Bellevue with DT-O-1 zoning, which allows building heights up to 600 feet. This height limit quickly tapers off to just above 100 or 200 feet a few blocks away at the edges of Bellevue’s sub-square mile Downtown. From there, it immediately plummets to 35, 40, and 45 feet in the R-4 to R-30 zones and OLB zones. Laid out, a heavily pixelated pyramid appears to be Bellevue’s plan for its skyline with very square zoning designations.

Bellevue's zoning map, focused in on Downtown
Bellevue’s zoning in Downtown and surround areas. (Courtesy of the City of Bellevue)

Since there isn’t quite enough space to establish actual districts in Downtown Bellevue, I’ll be roughly combing through Bellevue’s larger projects from west to east and north to south and moving through the neighborhood’s roughly nine two-by-two block construction. This roundup will include projects that reach 42 stories into the sky — along with just two stories on the outside of Downtown to demonstrate the density containment that Bellevue has enacted.

Completed projects

Much of what has been built since 2018 began their permitting before the 2017 upzoning of Downtown Bellevue, weighing the count more in the direction of midrises. Nevertheless, this construction brings much needed density to the suburban city center. Somewhat surprisingly, housing dominates these new developments. I had expected a strong focus on office space/job centers, but a closer look at the code does reveal some advantages for residential development over commercial.

  • Lux Apartments
  • Bellevue 10 Apartments
  • Mira Flats
  • Binary Towers
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • 888 Bellevue
  • Brio Apartments
  • 1000 100th Avenue NE – Lux Apartments
    • A 5-story, 137-unit apartment building with two levels of below-grade garage with 186 parking spaces.*
    • The project completed in 2018.**
  • 10050 NE 10th Street – Bellevue 10 Apartments
    • A 7-story, 102-unit apartment building with 111 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2021.
  • 1085 103rd Avenue NE – Mira Flats
    • A 6-story, 162-unit condominium midrise with 3 levels of below-grade garage with 180 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2018.
  • 1001 106th Avenue NE – Binary Towers
    • West Tower
      • A 15-story office building with roughly 286,678 square feet of office space, 5,107 square feet of active uses, and 707 parking spaces.
    • East Tower
      • A 15-story office building with roughly 278,615 square feet of office space, 7,299 square feet of active uses, and 726 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2022.
  • 10777 NE 10th Street – Hilton Garden Inn
    • A 5-story, 254-key hotel with two levels of below-grade garage with 150 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2020.
  • 888 108th Avenue NE – 888 Bellevue
    • An 18-story, 160-unit apartment building with 211 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2020.
  • 1021 112th Avenue NE – Brio Apartments
    • A 23-story, 258-unit apartment building with a retail podium and parking garage in which an older permit called out roughly 400 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2020.
  • BLU Apartments (Parkside)
  • One88 Condos
  • Main Street Flats
  • Summit III
  • Cerasa Apartments
  • Metro 112 Apartments
  • Holden of Bellevue
  • 99 102nd Avenue NE – BLU Apartments (Parkside)
    • A 6-story, 135-unit apartment building with 5,175 square feet of ground floor retail and 3 levels of below grade garage with 183 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2020.
  • 188 Bellevue Way NE – One88 Condos
    • A 21-story, 140-unit condominium tower with ground floor retail and 3 stories of below grade garage with 292 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2020.
  • 10665 Main Street – Main Street Flats (Alamo Manhattan B2)
    • A 6-story, 162-unit apartment building with a below grade garage with 173 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2018.
  • 320 108th Avenue NE – Summit III
    • A 17-story office tower with roughly 370,000 square feet of office space, ground floor retail, and 889 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2021.
  • 10961 NE 2nd Place – Cerasa Apartments
    • An 8-story, 154-unit apartment building with 1,300 square feet of retail. Parking figures aren’t available but an estimate falling at around 1 per unit and the 5 retail spaces, it can be safe to assume that there are at least 160 parking stalls.
    • The project completed in 2018.
  • 288 111th Avenue NE – Metro 112 Apartments
    • A 6-story, 57-unit apartment building with 1 level of below-grade garage with 21 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2018.
  • 121 112th Avenue NE – Holden of Bellevue
    • A 7-story, 136-unit senior living complex with 2,111 square feet of ground floor active use and 43 parking spaces.
    • The project completed in 2021

Under construction

The batch of projects currently under construction has certainly taken advantage of the 2017 zoning changes. Partially boosted by being located in more liberally zoned areas, these projects are much larger and taller than their completed counterparts. Based on square footage, office use has overtaken residential use in this latest bundle as well. This can be partly attributed to more commercial-friendly zones being developed, though a more Bellevue-curious tech sector may also be a culprit.

  • NE 8th's construction site
  • GIS Plaza Building near completion
  • The Artise's construction site
  • 555 Tower's construction site
  • 10666 NE 8th Street – NE 8th
    • A 25-story office tower with 523,000 square feet of office space, 12,650 square feet of active space, and 883 parking spaces.
  • 930 109th Avenue NE – GIS Plaza Building
    • A 6-story, 16-unit midrise with 1,785 square feet of office, 535 square feet of ground floor retail, and 19 parking spaces.
  • 788 106th Avenue NE – The Artise
    • A 25-story, roughly 652,759 square feet office tower with 509,400 square feet of office space, 7,500 square feet of retail space, and 5.5 levels of below grade parking for 927 parking spaces.
  • 555 108th Avenue NE – 555 Tower
    • A 42-story office tower with around 695,610 square feet of office space, a 2-story pavilion with 24,675 square feet of active space, and 967 parking spaces.
  • Eight One Hundred Bellevue's construction site
  • Surrey on Main near completion
  • 10845 Main St near completion
  • Broadstone Gateway's construction site
  • 8 100th Avenue NE – Eight One Hundred Bellevue
    • A 6-story, 10-unit condominium midrise with ground floor retail and 24 parking spaces.
  • 10777 Main Street – Surrey on Main
    • A 6-story, 125-unit apartment building with 1,506 square feet of retail space and 146 parking stalls.
    • This project appears to be nearly completed
  • 10845 Main Street
    • A 2-story office building with under building parking.
  • 11100 Main Street – Broadstone Gateway
    • A 22-story residential tower and 7-story residential midrise with 334 units, 7,500 square feet of active space, and 236 parking spaces between the two of them.
  • BOSA II's approved site
  • Bosa II early rendering
  • Filament West's existing condition
  • Filament East's existing condition
  • Filament East and West rendering

Design review permits finalized

  • 205 105th Avenue NE – BOSA II
    • A 21-story, 77-unit residential tower with 2,900 square feet of active space and 137 parking spaces.
    • The project’s Design Review permit was finaled on 2/11/2021
  • 200 105th Avenue NE – Filament West
    • An 8-story, 180-unit residential midrise with 3,276 square feet of ground floor retail and 150 below-grade parking spaces.
    • The project’s Design Review permit was finaled on 6/22/2022
  • 201 106th Avenue NE – Filament East
    • An 8-story, 151-unit residential midrise with 1,100 square feet of office space, 1,800 square feet of retail space, and 151 parking spaces.
    • The project’s Design Review permit was finaled on 4/6/2022

Blue pins indicate completed projects. Dark green pins indicate projects under construction. Light green pins indicate construction-ready projects. The pins with special icons represent unmentioned “mega projects.”

Including a mix of projects that have emerged from Bellevue’s Design Review process, a total of 27 projects have been completed since 2018 or are in various stages of construction. Roughly, this adds up to more than 1,600 housing units, 950,000 square feet of commercial space, 254 hotel rooms, and 4,432 parking spaces have been constructed since 2018. Under construction or soon under construction are roughly over 890 housing units, 1,750,000 square feet of commercial space, and 3,640 parking spaces. Together, roughly more than 2,500 housing units, 2.7 million square feet of commercial space, 254 hotel rooms, and 8,000 parking spaces have been constructed since 2018 or are under/near construction.

Some projects under construction were a little too big for this article, so they’ll be saved for another day. Also omitted is the massive amount of projects currently in the permitting process, which easily outnumbers the combined number of projects that have been built since 2018 and are under construction. These potential projects mirror the changes that were seen between the constructed and under construction projects, with a shift toward office towers. However, a surprising number of midrise housing still appears to be on the horizon as well.

*Many of these figures are taken from permit descriptions, actual figures will warp throughout the permitting and design process but generally stay close to those original figures.

** Project completion dates are roughly taken when the permit most relevant to the opening of a project has been finaled. This includes permanent sign, electrical, and fire alarm permits.

Support Us

Article Author
Junior Editor

Shaun Kuo is a junior editor at The Urbanist and a recent graduate from the UW's Jackson School. He is a Seattle native that has lived in Wallingford, Northgate, and Lake Forest Park. He enjoys exploring the city by bus and foot.