Monday, March 2, 2009

A Square, A Place and Another Square: Downtown Safeway Falls to the Wrecking Ball

The reason preservation groups are wringing their hands over the loss of this downtown Bellevue Safeway is its distinctive "bowstring" or marina-style roof (so named for a Safeway in the Marina District of San Francisco.)

Bowstring roof construction spotted in Edmonds

Bowstring roofed Safeway in Burquitlam BC.

(From The Seattle Times)
"We thought we could do it all at once," Freeman said. "We finally said, 'That's nuts.' "

Kemper Development has pushed back the timetable for its proposed Lincoln Square expansion in downtown Bellevue by at least 15 months. Construction won't start until summer 2010 at the earliest. Plans for Lincoln Square call for two towers atop a three-story base containing more than 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. One tower would house 200 condos and a 120-room luxury hotel. The other tower would have about 545,000 square feet of office space.

The Lincoln Square expansion site was home for 45 years to the downtown Bellevue Safeway. The grocer moved into larger space in the new Avalon Meydenbauer mixed-use project across Northeast Fourth.

When the existing garage is taken out of commission, the Lincoln Square expansion site will become a temporary parking lot with about 400 stalls (It should take about 15 months to finish The Bellevue's (Freeman's current high-end hotel project to replace a Belle Square parking lot) seven-level underground garage, he said.

When that garage is available, work on the Lincoln Square expansion will begin.

"This thing is like a juggling act," Freeman said.
By pushing back the Lincoln Square expansion, "I think we'll be on the front end of the next wave," Freeman said.

As if this weren't enough:

In addition to The Bellevue and the Lincoln Square expansion, Kemper is building a 351-room addition to the Hyatt Regency at its Bellevue Place development.

That project is scheduled to open in about a year.

Eric Pryne
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

1 comment:

Julie said...

I used to frequent the Marina Safeway in San Fran. Don't worry, that one is never going to be demolished, it is so busy all the time! It is a great building!