Downtown Bellevue. Photo by Rachel Coward.

Downtown Bellevue. Photo by Rachel Coward.

The future of downtown Bellevue looks bright, according to a recent report released by Colliers International. With 20 commercial real estate projects slated to deliver between now and 2020, downtown Bellevue will see a slew of office, hotel, multifamily, and retail properties opening over the next few years.

Colliers International senior research associate Bobby Shanahan said this is the most development downtown has seen in a few years. And it’s not just office and retail space that’s in high demand. More and more people are looking to live downtown.

“Things have really changed in the last six months,” he said. “There’s a lot of tenant demand in downtown Bellevue, and there’s a lot of leasing going on at new construction.”

As the median age of downtown Bellevue residents becomes younger, Shanahan said it will be interesting to see how this changing demographic influences the city. “The median age is trending downward,” Shanahan said. “I think that’s definitely going to continue, especially as (downtown) becomes more livable.” With younger people flocking to the city’s core, Shanahan said it’s likely we’ll see a growing presence of bars, restaurants, and nightlife in the years to come.

Colliers International

Multifamily units in downtown Bellevue are in high demand. Photo courtesy Colliers International.

Between now and 2020, Colliers International predicts to see office properties stabilize at 90 percent leased, with one employee occupying an average of 200 square feet; multifamily projects are expected to lease up to 95 percent occupancy within two quarters after completion, adding 1.65 residents per household; hotels will be fully staffed with one employee for every five rooms; and all retail spaces along Bellevue Way and Main street will be leased, while 95 percent are leased in other areas with one employee taking up an average of 400 square feet.

With a surge in new construction, the overall forecast calls for a spike in office jobs and increase in residency.

“The future of downtown Bellevue is bright,” Shanahan said, “and there’s a lot of momentum going forward.”