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Originally published October 3, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 3, 2007 at 2:04 AM

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Panel's big plans for a big space: Bel-Red Corridor

After two years of work, a Bellevue city steering committee has unveiled an ambitious plan for the Bel-Red Corridor that includes high-rise...

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

Information

Final report of Bel-Red Corridor Steering Committee:

www.ci.bellevue.wa.us

After two years of work, a Bellevue city steering committee has unveiled an ambitious plan for the Bel-Red Corridor that includes high-rise buildings around light-rail stations, an arts district and possibly a recreational sports complex.

City Council members, who discussed the plan Monday night, said a flurry of requests had come in from residents in and around Bellevue for ballfields in the corridor. Others have voiced concern that some of the planned buildings would be too tall.

The 900-acre corridor, just east of downtown, is full of aging warehouses, retail space and office parks — and is probably the city's last chance to make development changes over such a large area.

This has led city officials to dream about projects that wouldn't be conceivable anywhere else. The sports complex being discussed could include an aquatic center, several ballfields and a community facility for indoor sports, such as soccer or basketball.

"This is probably the only place where you can have that scale and scope," said Parks Director Patrick Foran.

The steering committee wants an additional 4.5 million square feet of commercial space and 5,000 housing units over the 25 years.

The council isn't expected to sign off on a final plan until next spring or summer.

Over the next four or five months, the city's boards and commissions will consider how to implement the plan, which offers only a blueprint for the corridor.

Some highlights of the committee's plan:

• Two large clusters of mixed-use development around light-rail stations at 122nd and 130th avenues northeast. At 122nd, development would include housing but would focus on office space; at 130th, construction would include housing and service-oriented businesses, with a pedestrian-oriented retail street.

Smaller clusters would also be built near stations at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue; and at 152nd Avenue Northeast, near the Overlake area of Redmond.

Buildings would be up to 150 feet tall, or about 12 stories, in the clusters at 122nd and 130th avenues and at Overlake Hospital. Building heights would probably be capped at about 60 feet elsewhere in the corridor.

• Extension or widening of several streets, including Northeast 16th and 10th streets; 116th, 120th, 124th avenues northeast; and 136th Place Northeast.

• An arts district, with studio and rehearsal space, built around 136th Place, near the Pacific Northwest Ballet school.

The plan assumes that voters will approve an Eastside light-rail line as part of a "Roads & Transit" measure on the Nov. 6 ballot. If the measure fails, Bellevue city officials may have to rework the plan, though many of the changes could work with another kind of transit, such as a rapid bus line, the committee said.

Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or abach@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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