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Bellevue - 450 ft. tall Lincoln Sq. set to open


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Here is a pic of Lincoln Square under construction in August:


For educational & discussion purposes only

Lincoln Square doors to open


by Clayton Park

King County Journal Business Editor


When the ribbon is cut for Lincoln Square, only the Westin Bellevue hotel and two of the complex's 18 planned stores will actually be open for business.

More stores and restaurants will added, one or two at a time, over the next few months, including a 16-screen movie theater that is set to open Nov. 18 in time for the premiere of the new ``Harry Potter'' movie.


The 1.4-million-square-foot complex will feature 310,000 square feet of retail space, including home furnishings stores, upscale restaurants and a billiards parlor, plus a 16-screen movie theater that can double on weekday mornings as a conference center.

In mid-2007, the complex will be complete when a 28-story office tower opens that will become the new headquarters for apparel retailer Eddie Bauer.

The 450-foot-high hotel/condo tower became the tallest building on the Eastside when it was ``topped out'' in July.


The addition of Lincoln Square gives Freeman a key new piece to a growing real estate empire that already includes two neighboring properties: Bellevue Square, a 1.3-million-square-foot shopping mall located across the street to the west, and Bellevue Place, a hotel/office/retail complex across the street to the north.

Add them together and the three properties, which will be linked by skybridges, offer about 250 shops, more than 40 restaurants, two four-star hotels offering more than 700 rooms, a 16-screen movie theater and 10,000 free parking spaces.


The retail portions for the three properties total nearly 1.7 million square feet, which if combined would constitute one of the largest shopping centers in the Pacific Northwest.


Bellevue Square already draws shoppers from a six-state region, Freeman said, because the mall has some stores that are the only Northwest locations for a number of prominent upscale national retail and restaurant chains.

Lincoln Square will add more first-in-the-Northwest stores and restaurants -- including The Container Store and Maggiano's Little Italy -- that Freeman believes will become big regional draws as well.


`Miracle Mile' dream

Building Lincoln Square brings Freeman one step closer to achieving his dream of creating a Pacific Northwest version of Chicago's ``Miracle Mile'' -- the legendary boulevard of upscale retail shops and restaurants that line North Michigan Avenue.

With that goal in mind, Freeman has embarked on a project to renovate the sidewalks surrounding his properties along Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, to include street trees and shrubs, and overhead coverings to shield pedestrians from rain.


Planning for next projects

Freeman isn't done empire-building. The developer, who has a large scale model of downtown Bellevue as well as a model of Lincoln Square at his office in Bellevue Square, is already making plans for his next big projects:

* Construction of a second hotel tower for the Hyatt Regency Bellevue that is expected to cost $80 million and which will add more than 300 more rooms to the Bellevue Place hotel, and a major overhaul of the Wintergarden restaurant-and retail shop-area at Bellevue Place.

* And further off in the future, construction of a new mixed-use project on the current site of the Bellevue Safeway store. The project would be linked via skybridge to Bellevue Square, where Freeman plans to someday build a fourth, and presumably final, wing on the mall's southeast corner.

Click here for full article. (lot's of info!)

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I am hearing Containier Store & Westin Bellevue radio commercials already. They are certainly gearing up. This is huge for Bellevue. Seattle better watch out, it has future competition, or a nice complementing 2nd urban core. I hope someone smartly develops the pedestrian corridor in Bellevue. I would like to see Restaurants & more upscale bars/clubs mixed in giving the area a more 24 hour feel. I am afraid retial will dominate too much. At least with the mega growth in downtown residential units, the demand for a more 24 scene will increase. Dont get me wrong, the scene is fine now, no Seattle or Kirkland but it is getting there. I just hope everything can complement Bellevue's dual a role as a suburban hub & urban center.

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Another article:

Grand plans: Lincoln Square opens

Highlights -


To further boost interest in The Bellevue Collection through the holidays, Freeman plans a nightly seasonal extravaganza along Bellevue Way. Snowflake Lane will feature a precision drum performance by 60 costumed actors dressed as drummer boys and an outdoor light show. Freeman hopes it will become a family tradition and an annual holiday draw for his retail operations.

He's spending about $1 million on Snowflake Lane over the next three years and about 1 percent to 2 percent of his annual revenue, or between $3 million to $6 million, on the marketing campaign, Freeman said.

All of the marketing dollars are aimed at hiking revenue from out-of-town shoppers from the current 10 percent to 15 percent of overall revenue at Bellevue Square and Bellevue Place to between one-fourth and one-half of the total till at all three properties by 2008.

That's serious money. With revenue exceeding $600 per retail square foot, Bellevue Square is already among the 20 highest grossing of the nation's 53,000 shopping centers, Freeman said.

Through his marketing blitz, Freeman is unveiling a grander plan that has been in the works for some years now: putting his shopping empire in the same league as Chicago's Magnificent Mile and South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California.

"When I started talking about it, everybody looked at me like I'd been drinking my lunch," Freeman said. But it's possible, he says, noting that South Coast Plaza, the most successful shopping center in America, derives 70 percent of its revenue from out-of-town shoppers.

With the addition of Lincoln Square, Freeman has a lot to promote: 250 stores, 41 restaurants, 700 hotel rooms and 10,000 free parking spaces -- which is equivalent to about a quarter of all the parking available throughout downtown Seattle.


t's been a long time coming. Freeman said it took him 14 years to convince upscale women's clothier Ann Taylor to open a store at Bellevue Square. During one call, he said an Ann Taylor executive even snapped, "Hell, I'm not even interested in Seattle!" and hung up on him. Now Bellevue Square offers both an Ann Taylor and an Ann Taylor Loft. And these days Freeman is talking to both Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus about opening stores in his Bellevue properties.


"The interesting thing about the Magnificent Mile is that it has the grittiness of an urban environment and the draw of a major metropolitan city, which is enhanced by the convention business," Rubenfeld said.

Certainly, Bellevue is not there yet but, said Rubenfeld, "if there is enough mass of high-end retailing that is combined with a sense of place in its architecture, there is a strong possibility that people visiting Seattle proper will want to shop in Bellevue."

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