What’s happening in Bellevue? Let’s just say Bellevue is taking the “New year, new you” mantra to a whole different level this year. 2017 has some major projects coming to completion across the city that are already bringing new residents, workers, visitors and experiences to Bellevue’s bustling downtown and beyond. Here’s our roundup of the freshest, must-visit destinations coming to Bellevue this year.
Not one, but three major hotel brands are coming to Bellevue in 2017.
In south downtown Bellevue on NE 2nd Street and 106th Place NE, one of Marriott’s newest brand concepts will establish a presence, AC Hotels by Marriott. This clean, minimalist hotel brand has Spanish origins reflected in its European-style breakfasts, shared spaces for networking and/or tapas and cocktails, and efficient use of space and design to appeal to the global traveler. Visitors staying at the 235 guestroom AC Marriott Bellevue will be able to further their European inspired travels with easy city walks to Bellevue Downtown Park or the charming Old Bellevue Main Street District.
Just a short stroll away from Bellevue’s shopping and dining core, Hilton Hotels will open the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Bellevue Downtown on NE 10th Street and 108 Ave NE, an upscale yet affordable hotel providing travelers the conveniences of home while on the road. For example, as a guest at Hilton Garden Inn you can order fresh, cooked-to-order breakfasts delivered to your room, unwind at a state-of-the-art fitness center or stop by their 24/7 “Pavilion Pantry” for healthy snacks, sweets, beverages or ready-made meals. The new Hilton Garden Inn will have 254 guestrooms total and flexible meeting space to accommodate up to 100 guests.
In the heart of downtown on Bellevue Way, a new W Hotel will join the forces that are Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square as a part of the Lincoln Square Expansion. Alongside other new shopping and dining options, the W Bellevue will have 220 guestrooms, 25 suites, 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and will be just a sky bridge away from world class shopping at The Bellevue Collection. The hotel rooms will combine cutting-edge interior design with the Pacific Northwest’s rugged outdoor heritage and tech-forward sensibilities. Guests will be able to amplify their senses at Chef Jason Wilson’s new farm-to-fork restaurant, explore Bellevue’s coveted cocktail culture at the speakeasy bar Civility & Unrest and wind down in the lounge area called The Library, a pulp pleasure parade of old-style gaming and cheeky fun.
Mark your calendar and be sure to come visit these new retailers, restaurants and experiences coming to Bellevue in the months ahead.
Started in 2014, Lincoln Square Expansion is the all-encompassing name for a vast project adding 1.5 million square feet of space to Lincoln Square, Kemper Development Company’s mixed-use shopping center on Bellevue Way between NE 4th and 8th Street downtown. Over the coming months, companies like Valve Corp, Pokemon and WeWork will move into the new office tower named “400 Lincoln Square”, while new apartment owners move into “Two Lincoln Tower” next door. Below these new apartments and office spaces will be the W Bellevue hotel plus a host of new restaurants and retailers.
Spinners rejoice! The first SoulCycle in the greater Seattle area is opening this January at the Lincoln Square Expansion. The indoor cycling gym has been sweeping the nation with their community approach to fitness and upbeat 45-minute classes. Sign-up for a class via their website and enjoy the ride.
As the year warms up the Lincoln Square Expansion will welcome a host of new eateries. Henry’s Tavern, an American bar and grill with Portland roots bringing 100 beers on tap; Fogo de Chao, a well-known Brazilian steakhouse celebrating the art of ‘churrasco, fire-roasted meats delivered straight to your plate; and Japonessa Sushi, a sushi bar with Latin American flair are just naming a few. Other names slated to open in the spring include Taylor Shellfish, Wild Ginger, Baron’s Restaurant, Duke’s Chowder House, Parker’s Coffee and The Market. Chef Jason Wilson’s hotly anticipated new farm-to-fork restaurant and speakeasy cocktail bar concepts have yet to announce opening dates but are in the works for 2017 as well.
Shoppers looking for a steal will be able to visit Nordstrom Rack, opening at the Lincoln Square Expansion in the fall.
Calling all families! Bellevue’s interactive, non-profit children’s museum will be moving into a huge new and renovated space in downtown Bellevue this January. Conveniently located close to the Bellevue Library and local parks, kiddos ages 0-8 will be captivated here for hours on end. KidsQuest’s philosophy encourages early learning through play, especially when it comes to the sciences, technology, engineering, art and math. Come check out the new space complete with an outdoor gallery, water gallery, story tree area and stage for reading, a two-story climber, classroom spaces including an art studio, and more. Looking for the perfect space for a birthday party, or even a social for the grown-ups? KidsQuest is currently scheduling special events in their new space for March 2017 or later.
The Bellevue Downtown Park has been a distinctive 21-acre oasis in the middle of Bellevue for years. Many visitors know the wide waterfall, stepped canals populated by ducks, shade trees and spacious lawn often frequented by Pokemon Go players. But this year, a construction project will wrap up just in time for the 4th of July, revealing a Bellevue Downtown Park come “full circle”. The project will complete the walkway and canal around the circular park to form a connected loop and add the new “Inspiration Playground”, an expanded playground that engages all the senses to create a space more inclusive of children of all abilities.
Photo Credits – Top to Bottom: City Hall Photo via Brian D. Casey, Guest Room via AC Hotels by Marriott, Hotel Exterior via Hilton Garden Inn, Living Room Lounge via W Bellevue, Downtown City View via Brian D. Casey, KidsQuest in Progress via Merrill Images, Downtown Park via Michael Walmsley