Everywhere you look on the Eastside, it’s booming. Cranes dot the skyline. New office buildings and housing projects proliferate, with streetside sandwich boards advertising the latest apartment homes and housing developments. New restaurants and retail are opening to meet the growing population.

Technology companies, of course — led by the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google — seem to get most of the attention when it comes to growth and expansion. The Washington Technology Industry Association reports that about 200 tech companies open each year on the Eastside.

Some of the data that follow track what’s happening in local Eastside economies. Bellevue, the largest Eastside economy, has seen significant activity in its downtown, where residential population grew by about 487 percent since 2000 and employment grew by about 65 percent, according to the Bellevue Downtown Association.

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Bellevue

Bellevue Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 86,641

Retail: 14,620

Finance, insurance, and resources: 12,803

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 8,064

Construction and resources: 5,740

Manufacturing: 4,862

Education: 4,739

Government and public sector: 3,943


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $2.34 billion

Q1 (2019): $1.92 billion

Q2 (2019): $2.18 billion

Q3 (2019): $2.16 billion


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $113,698


Notable Projects

Bellevue’s Spring District welcomes REI’s corporate headquarters this year, and Facebook, which begins moving into the first of its office towers there. Amazon announced it’s developing a 43-story office tower, Bellevue 600, downtown as it prepares to create 15,000 new jobs in the city in the next few years. East Link light rail construction continues ahead of a projected 2023 opening, with five stations planned in Bellevue’s growth corridor.

 

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Kirkland

Kirkland Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 25,900

Retail: 4,685

Finance, insurance, and resources: 2,308

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 2,507

Construction and resources: 3,839

Manufacturing: 1,927

Education: 2,037

Government and public sector: 5,369


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $742.1 million

Q1 (2019): $676.8 million

Q2 (2019): $752.2 million

Q3 (2019): $790.1 million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $109,715


Notable Projects

Kirkland Urban, the 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development in downtown Kirkland, continues to add retail and commercial tenants, plus housing units; 185 units of Uptown are available for lease, and the development will have a total of 360 when finished by 2021. QFC opened over the summer and Shake Shack in September, adding to a growing commercial lineup.

The Village at Totem Lake mixed-use lifestyle center is bringing new restaurants, retailers, and grocers. Cinemark Theatre is expected to open second quarter this year, joining other restaurants and stores. Fairfield Residential plans to begin leasing 650 new apartments this year.

Planning continues around the planned Sound Transit Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station at the I-405/Northeast 85th Street interchange. The purpose of the Station Area Plan is to create a livable, workable, equitable, and sustainable Transit Oriented Community (TOC) in the city that supports high-capacity transit investment at the new BRT station and throughout the region.

 

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Renton

Renton Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 22,163

Retail: 5,713

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 5,689

Construction and resources: 2,767

Education: 2,374

Government and public sector: 7,452


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $779.5 million

Q1 (2019): $701.1 million

Q2 (2019): $818.3 million

Q3 (2019): $797.5 million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $74,756


Notable Projects

The first phase of Southport, a 2.4 million-square-foot mixed-use development with Class A office, retail, luxury residential, and the Hyatt Regency, was recently completed on Lake Washington. Southport is now 30 acres. In addition, Topgolf is planning its first range facility in Washington on 15 acres near The Landing, across from Southport. Also, a developer is purchasing Renton’s former City Hall site and plans two market-rate apartment buildings, underground parking, and a 150-room hotel along a new riverfront plaza.

 

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Sammamish

Sammamish Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 25,900

Retail: 4,685

Finance, insurance, and resources: 2,308

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 2,507

Construction and resources: 3,839

Manufacturing: 1,927

Education: 2,037

Government and public sector: 5,369


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $192.1 million

Q1 (2019): $156.2 million

Q2 (2019): $183.7 million

Q3 (2019): $181.8million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $165,318


Notable Projects

Planning continues on Phase 1 of the Sammamish Town Center, which is located off Southeast 4th Street, west of Metropolitan Market. The first phase calls for 10 single-family homes, 113 townhouses, 300 apartment units, and 82,000 square feet of retail and service space. Phase 1, a joint venture between STCA LLC and R.D. Merrill Co., is estimated to break ground in 2021. Meanwhile, the city continues road improvements on Southeast 4th Street along the Town Center project area to 228th Avenue SE.

 

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Bothell

Bothell Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 8,135

Retail: 1,175

Finance, insurance, and resources: 1,669

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 941

Construction and resources: 868

Manufacturing: 1,048

Education: 1,907

Government and public sector: 592


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $197.7 million

Q1 (2019): $184.2 million

Q2 (2019): $202.8 million

Q3 (2019): $182.6 million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $94,986


Notable Projects

Bothell City Council committed to an update of the Canyon Park Regional Growth Area and Subarea Plan. Visioning has been completed, and staff is completing Phase 2. Growth targets for the Canyon Park Subarea are 11,000 new jobs, housing, and amenities. Meanwhile, on the city’s downtown subarea plan, public investment of $150 million has resulted in more than $800 million of private investment, and growth continues. The city owns five surplus properties in the downtown subarea in various stages of marketing and development.

 

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Redmond

Redmond Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 70,627

Retail: 4,171

Finance, insurance, and resources: 1,947

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 3,805

Construction and resources: 3,144

Manufacturing: 7,725

Education: 1,317

Government and public sector: 1,031


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $1.07 billion

Q1 (2019): $802.5 million

Q2 (2019): $1.09 billion

Q3 (2019): $1.03 billion


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $123,449


Notable Projects

There’s a lot going on in Redmond, notably the Microsoft campus modernization (3 million square feet of new construction among 16 new buildings scheduled for completion in 2023) to light rail construction, but there’s other stuff happening, too. One current project is LMC Marymoor, a 450-unit mixed-use development, which includes about 37,000 square feet of commercial space, at the northeast corner of the new Marymoor Village neighborhood and within walking distance of Marymoor Park. Another is the planned Seritage (also known as Heritage Place), which is designed as a mixed-use project with a market, parks, plazas, residential units, restaurants, and stores. A master planned development in Overlake (2200 148th Ave. N.E.) approved in 2018, Seritage’s Phase 1, a 500-unit mixed-use development, was under review in mid-February.

 

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Issaquah

Issaquah Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 17,838

Retail: 3,264

Finance, insurance, and resources: 1,221

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 1,337

Construction and resources: 609

Manufacturing: 900

Education: 860

Government and public sector: 837


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $448.3 million

Q1 (2019): $364.2 million

Q2 (2019): $430.1 million

Q3 (2019): $434.7 million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $101,508


Notable Projects

Costco is expanding its headquarters in Issaquah with a 635,000-square-foot, nine-story office building and a 10-level parking garage with conference center space under construction. Costco also purchased three parcels adjacent to its campus for future expansion.

Also, Rowley Properties is starting construction on a 70,000-square-foot office/retail building, 2005 Poplar, located across I-90 from Lake Sammamish State Park. In addition, Sea Con LLC is near completion on a roughly 50,000-square-foot mixed-use building, Issaquah Work Lofts on Northwest Gilman Boulevard, with ground-floor retail and smaller-scale office space for individuals and businesses.

 

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Mercer Island

Mercer Island Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 4,063

Retail: 526

Finance, insurance, and resources: 977

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 144

Construction and resources: 315

Manufacturing: 42

Education: 689

Government and public sector: 324


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $137.8 million

Q1 (2019): $111.5 million

Q2 (2019): $129.6 million

Q3 (2019): $135.3 million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $142,413


Notable Projects

Work continues on expansion of Sound Transit’s light rail system over Mercer Island with a stop on Mercer Island to open in 2023. Some of the newer businesses on the island are L’Experience Paris, a French restaurant, café, bakery and wine restaurant; Eat Local, a local chain offering a global menu of locally sourced cook-at-home meals; and Aegis Living of Mercer Island, an assisted-living community.

 

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Kenmore

Kenmore Employment Growth

Major Employment Sectors

Services: 1,857

Retail: 405

Finance, insurance, and resources: 131

Wholesale trade, transportation, and utilities: 348

Construction and resources: 504

Manufacturing: 74

Education: 541

Government and public sector: 126


Taxable Retail Sales

Q4 (2018): $81 million

Q1 (2019): $84.8 million

Q2 (2019): $70.3 million

Q3 (2019): $79.6 million


Median Household Income

2014-2018 (2018 dollars): $105,007


Notable Projects

MainStreet Property Group is finishing its final building, the Flyway, a mixed-use project that’s part of Kenmore’s $130 million downtown creation effort.

Daniels Real Estate is progressing on the Lodge at St. Edward Park by renovating the 1930s-era seminary building into an 80-room national park-style lodge with restaurants and a spa. Opening is projected in early 2021.

Kenmore is about to start replacing its 80-year-old bridge, southbound, across the Sammamish River on 68th Avenue, which turns into Juanita Drive heading south. Total project cost is about $40 million.

It’s also planning to go out to bid to construct new sidewalks and bike lanes on its main north-south arterial, Juanita Drive/68th Avenue.

 

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Eastside Data

Most Populous Eastside Cities as of July 1, 2018

Bellevue: 147,599

Renton: 102,153

Kirkland: 89,557

Redmond: 67,678

Sammamish: 65,733

Bothell: 46,657

Issaquah: 39,378

Mercer Island: 25,976

Kenmore: 23,093

Snoqualmie: 13,752

Woodinville: 12,815

Newcastle: 11,823


Notable Eastside Employers

Employers listed in alphabetical order.

Bellevue

Kirkland

Renton

Sammamish

Bothell

Redmond

Issaquah

Mercer Island

Kenmore

 

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Population data, as of July 1, 2018: U.S. Census Bureau; Taxable retail sales: Washington State Department of Revenue; Median household income: U.S. Census Bureau; Major employment sector employment and employment growth: Puget Sound Regional Council. Bellevue notable projects: 425 Business research, Bellevue Downtown Association. Kirkland notable projects: City of Kirkland, project websites. Renton notable projects: City of Renton, Southport Twitter site. Sammamish notable projects: 425 Business research, Innovation Realty Partners. Bothell notable projects: City of Bothell. Redmond notable projects: City of Redmond. Issaquah notable projects: City of Issaquah. Mercer Island notable projects: Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce. Kenmore notable projects: City of Kenmore.
Thumbnail photo courtesy Sammamish Town Center