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BELLEVUE, WA-A subsidiary of Seattle-based Su Development is seeking the necessary approvals for 850,000-sf mixed-use complex on a 2.4-acre site in the Ashwood neighborhood, at the corner of 112th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 10th Street.

At first glance, the so-called Ashwood Commons may seem like an overly ambitious undertaking in a market struggling with two million-plus sf of office subleases and a number of high-end Downtown residential buildings suffering through an extra slow lease up. Others say this is the perfect time to plan a significant new project.

Ashwood Commons will center around two major buildings surrounding an inner automobile and public plaza/market. The southernmost structure, adjacent to the Quadrant East office building, will consist of a 207,890-sf nine-story office tower. The second is a 249,780-sf residential tower containing approximately 278 rental units.

Also drawn into the early-stage plans is a 38,485-sf commercial wing with an outdoor plaza, retail space, a restaurant and health club facilities. Parking for the complex will be handled by 1,100 spaces in five underground levels.

A spokesperson for Ashwood LLC tells GlobeSt.com that the development’s first phase, the residential tower, is slated to begin sometime between spring and summer next year, although, “The project schedule is still in the planning stages, and no construction end dates are scheduled yet.”

A researcher with Colliers International tells GlobeSt.com that the project’s timing may be right on the mark. “While I don’t think right now would be an ideal time to be building, a year from now everything could have changed,” he says. “The big gamble with new construction is always the timing of the market. But, when it changes, there are a lot of advantages to being the first project out of the ground–and the way you get there is to have all your planning done, so when the market turns all you have to do is start building.”

A prime example is Bellevue’s Key Center, he says. It had been in the planning stages for 10 years before its construction in the most recent up market. “It was the first one (office project) up and has been more successful than a lot of the others that came after.”

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