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BELLEVUE, WA-The Bellevue City Council has voted in favor of an ordinance that will change the zoning of a 40-acre site and set design guidelines for a new urban village that will include hundreds of apartment units as well as office and retail space.

A group of local developers is working to turn the 525,000-sf Factoria Mall in Bellevue into Factoria TowneSquare, a mixed-use development featuring retail and housing. Factoria Mall, built in 1979, currently houses 525,000-sf of retail.

The proposed redevelopment features 151,000-sf of retail, 80,000-sf of office space and 685 apartments. Anchor tenants for the project will include Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy and Target.

The urban village will be a mixed-use development that will be pedestrian-friendly and include urban details, including interior streetscapes, trees, planters and thorough landscaping.

City officials say that the urban village will serve as an important step toward transit-focused development and an increase in necessary housing. The zoning changes will place stricter restrictions on the amount of development that can occur on the site.

Opponents of the project fear that the expansion and rezoning will bring increased traffic and congestion to the neighborhood.The rezoning could also allow for new commercial and retail growth in the area. Currently, nearly 75% of the firms doing business in Bellevue are in construction and contracting, services and retail trade.

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