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Leaders of a fundraising campaign to build a multi-million dollar performing arts center in Bellevue say the eight-year effort is gaining momentum.

The Tateuchi Center, if completed, will be a 2,000-seat theater targeted towards world-class acts.

Building the facility will cost upwards of $160 million, and so far less than half of that has been raised, according to Tateuchi Center Executive Director John Haynes.

“It’s the right place. It was the right time five years ago,” said Haynes. “It’s still the right time. It gets more the right time every day.”

City officials have included expansion of arts and culture in Bellevue’s long-term vision. Originally called Performance Arts Center Eastside, the coalition trying to raise money for the Tateuchi Center struggled to raise money for the project during the recession.

Meanwhile, the ability of Eastside residents to get to cultural events in Seattle became even harder, said Haynes.

“The people who live on the Eastside, and that’s about half of King County, is being estranged from the cultural life of the community,” he said. “It is simply too hard to get there from here.”

$88 million has been raised, including roughly $30 million in public money. Earlier this year, Bellevue’s city council approved a $20 million investment to go along with an earlier $2 million contribution. King County and the State of Washington have also put funding towards the center.

Haynes doubts anymore public money is needed and is confident private donations will make up the shortfall. He hopes to break ground in Spring 2017.