Occupancy is still two years out, but Lincoln Square is the talk of Bellevue.

Construction has barely begun on the $345 million mixed-use project in downtown Bellevue, but one office tenant has already committed to nearly a third of the space, and retail space deals are being finalized with a large theater operator and a health club company.

All told, the 1.4 msf development will have 500,000 sf of office space in 27 stories, a 305-room Westin Hotel topped by 134 very high-end residential units, approximately 220,000 sf of specialty retail and restaurants, a 2,600-seat movie theater, and five levels of underground parking with 2,700 stalls. Canada-based PCL is the general contractor for the project. The retail is scheduled to open in May 2002, with the whole project complete in the third or fourth quarter of that year.

“This project is very urban; it has the highest density in the city,” said Maria Royer of Blatteis Realty, the company handling retail leasing for project developer Westbank Investments of Vancouver, B.C. “It will change the whole landscape of downtown Bellevue.”

Royer, who started marketing the property 45 days ago, wouldn’t get into specifics, but says she plans on it upgrading the class of eating establishments in the area as well. “There’s been a real void in the marketplace given the discretionary income in bellevue,” she said. “There’s more billionaires per capita here than anywhere in the world, and right now they are driving to Seattle to hang out because there’s a real lack of Eastside entertainment that appeals to the higher-end consumer out there.”

Construction began in the first days of July. It was originally set to begin in the spring but was delayed as Westbank arranged construction financing. As well, drugstore.com originally committed to leasing 180,000 sf with an option to expand further. Now, the Internet company has toned down its lease to 143,000, but still hold a similar option for future expansion. The Bellevue office of Colliers Macaulay Nichols International is marketing the office space.

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