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Sound Transit selects developer for potential $500 million housing, retail, office space

Project will be near future East Link Spring District Station and train base

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As construction of the new Link light rail Operations and Maintenance Facility East (OMF East) in Bellevue nears completion, another exciting phase of the project is just getting started.

Sound Transit today announced it is entering into negotiations with BRIDGE Housing and its partners to develop almost seven acres of transit oriented development (TOD), adjacent to the facility. The BRIDGE team includes Touchstone and Essex Property Trust.

Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue have worked together for many years on a creative plan to integrate the OMF East into the city’s plans for the rapidly developing BelRed corridor.

Their collaborative vision included a vibrant mix of affordable and market-rate housing, office, retail and public space across from the Spring District-120th Station.

The City and Sound Transit each contributed approximately an acre of land at no cost, valued at around $12 million, while project partners King County and the organization called A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) offered a combined $14 million to support the development of affordable housing.

Last December Sound Transit issued a joint request for proposals with the project partners. The BRIDGE team proposed a project valued at over $500 million, which includes:

  • Approximately 500 units of housing, of which more than 280 are affordable units serving a range of incomes between 30% and 80% of area median income
  • Over 400,000 square feet of office space
  • Active ground floor uses including retail and resident amenities
  • A public park

The team also proposed a creative financing strategy that would allow ARCH and King County to reallocate their $14 million in funding to support additional affordable housing in the community.

BRIDGE Housing will serve as the qualified entity, master developer and affordable housing developer. BRIDGE has participated in the development of more than 18,000 homes on the west coast and is ranked among the top nonprofit affordable housing developers in the nation.

Touchstone, a URG Company, will develop the commercial office component. They are based in Seattle and have worked in the region for more than 35 years.

Essex Property Trust will develop the market-rate housing and is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (“REIT”) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected west coast markets.

GGLO is the project’s master planner and landscape architect, as well as the architect for the multifamily/mixed-use buildings. The team has demonstrated experience developing projects of the scale proposed and will jointly deliver shared infrastructure supporting the master development site.

Over the next several months, Sound Transit and BRIDGE will negotiate business terms, which the Sound Transit Board of Directors will consider for approval in early 2021.

Check here for more information about this project and Sound Transit’s TOD program