• $1.2 billion in additions for Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square announced

    By: John Knicely


    BELLEVUE, Wash. - KIRO 7 got sneak peak at a major development in Bellevue that will mean thousands of jobs.

    Kemper Development is starting on a $1.2 billion expansion of Bellevue and Lincoln Squares, also known as the Bellevue Collection.

    Kemper Freeman is continuing his family's tradition of adding to Bellevue Square, which started as 16 stores in 1940.

    On Friday, Kemper Development Company unveiled their new headquarters for the project in Lincoln Square.  

    The room has an intricate 3-D model that shows the two towers being added to Bellevue Square and two smaller towers to Lincoln Square.  A third tower was scrapped out of fear it would block Lake Washington views.

    The technology showing it off is state of the art.  A custom built room is what they will use to lease the space.

    You get three dimensional views and a 9-foot tall wall of monitors that can show what the view would look like out of any specific office.

    Kemper Freeman says growth of companies like Microsoft, Costco, and Paccar created the need for an additional 2 milliion square feet of space.

    "I think we're very lucky to be where we are," said Freeman.  "Because there is a real recession still alive in this country."

    The project is modeled after Battery Park in New York and includes two new hotels, 550 luxury apartments, and 755,000 square feet in office space.

    Freeman says most of the retail and restaurants will be brand-new to the region.

    But if Freeman sounds overly optimistic, know that he's also worried about another economic collapse. His biggest fear is governments spending more money than they have.

    "I don't know if any of us know what happens to all of us when the cities and counties and states and countries are broke," said Freeman. "And that's somehow going to play a hand."

    For now it's full speed ahead with the Lincoln Square project scheduled to be done in two-and-a-half years and Bellevue Square a year later.

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