Cosmos International is teaming up with the city of Bellevue to plan the modernization of its 1950s-era shopping center in the Lake Hills community, and some non-traditional options are being considered.

Cosmos, which acquired the center for $6.5 million in July, have reportedly talked to Bellevue Community College about leasing space for its continuing education classes, and to King County library officials about moving to the shopping center. Discussions with both agencies are said to be preliminary, at best.

Regardless, Bellevue-based Cosmos International definitely wants to upgrade the tenant mix by adding more “first-tier” tenants such as brand-name supermarkets, hardware stores, drug stores, and video stores. Space would be created by letting leases expire on underperforming “second-tier” tenants, or tenants that don’t want to renew leases at the current market rates of $17.50 to $19 a square foot.

Lake Hills is the first of six older neighborhood centers where the city wants to work with owners to avoid physical and financial deterioration. Bellevue and Cosmos each are putting $10,000 into planning the upgrade.

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