Developers tasked with turning a former warehouse district just east of downtown Bellevue into the 36-acre, $2.3 billion mixed-use urban center known as the Spring District marked a significant milestone last week when they broke ground on the project’s second phase of residential development.

Spring District

Photo courtesy Mithun.

This phase, which is expected to be completed in November of 2018, includes a three-building, 279-unit apartment complex with 3,700 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Construction of the project’s first phase, the five-building, 309-unit apartment complex known as Sparc Apartments, began in summer of 2015 and is expected to open in June of 2017. A branch of the Bright Horizons Child Care Center will occupy the 15,000-square-foot ground-floor commercial space.

The site will also include two office towers featuring everything from a brew pub and retail shops, to parks and open space.

The Spring District is located in the Bel-Red Corridor, between 120th Avenue N.E. and 124th Avenue N.E., and is being developed by a team that is led by Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company and includes San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties and Seattle-based Security Properties.

Developers have already netted several big wins for the Spring District neighborhood.

Spring District

Photo courtesy Mithun.

In March, REI announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Kent to an eight-acre campus that will be built in the Spring District and open to its 1,200 employees by 2020. In September, construction began on a three-story, 86,000-square-foot building in the Spring District that will house the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a graduate school focused on technology and innovation. The institution received a $40 million investment from Microsoft, is a partnership between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University in Beijing, and is expected to open its doors to students in fall of 2017 (approximately 3,000 students are expected to be enrolled at GIX by 2025). Finally, when the 14-mile, $3.7 billion East Link light rail project connecting to Seattle to Redmond is completed in 2023, it will include a station in the Spring District.

“For a number of years, the Spring District was merely a conceptual neighborhood fashioned after Portland’s renowned Pearl District,” said Security Properties chief development officer John Marasco. “With new residential, retail, and office projects on the way, we’re seeing the long-awaited Spring District take shape and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”