BELLEVUE, WA-The Bellevue City Council next month will make or break plans for an expanded Meydenbauer Convention Center and two new hotels planned for an adjacent parcel.

Schnitzer Northwest says it will reconsider the hotel component of its $500-million development next to Meydenbauer Convention Center if that facility isn’t expanded, and convention center officials say they won’t expand the convention center without assurance the hotels will be built.

The city council will solve the Catch-22 by deciding whether it will issue and back bonds for the convention center expansion. If the council still thinks it’s a good idea, the convention center will be expanded and the hotels will be built, say officials with both projects.

Planned for a superblock adjacent to the convention center, Schnitzer’s five-tower project includes two hotels totaling 625 rooms and three office buildings totaling about one million sf, all atop a 141,000-sf retail podium that in turn will sit on a 3,500-slip underground parking garage.

“Our (hotel plans) contemplate having an expanded convention center,” Schnitzer’s managing investment partner Dan Ivanoff tells “Without it–whether we would downsize or reconfigure the project without a hotel–we’ll have to see.”

Peering over the other side of the fence is Stacy Graven, executive director of the convention center. “It depends on what the private developer does,” she tells “We go forward if they go forward.”

Graven says the bond issue will be brought before the city council in October. “They have previously said yes to the idea,” she says. “Hopefully the council will remember the wisdom of why they wanted to do it last time.”

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