BELLEVUE, WA-The existing downtown core here contains 4.6 million sf of office space, but another 784,000 sf is nearing completion and the area is riddled with craters and cranes that will produce much, much more. One of those projects is Lincoln Square, a 27-story tower that will open at the corner of Bellevue Way and NE 8th in the summer of 2002, adding another 530,000 sf to the burgeoning office market. The project also includes a 40-story tower with a 305-room Westin hotel, 134 condominium units, 360,000sf of retail space, a movie theater and parking garage.

Chris Reid of Colliers International, Lincoln’s leasing agent for the projects office space, expects that finding tenants will pose no problems, despite a recent report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. warning of overbuilding on the Eastside. “I don’t quite understand the concern,” says Reid. “The FDIC saw all the new construction without looking at our historical absorption rates. They need to look at all the statistics.”

Reid believes new construction in the sub-market of downtown Bellevue is finding – and will continue to find – plenty of tenants. He cites as an example Key Center (at 601 108th Avenue), which “just opened with its 472,000 sf fully leased.” While Reid says leasing prices have been a little flatter the past several weeks, its to be expected in light of prices jumping from $30-$33/sf gross to $38-$42/sf over the past 12 months.

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