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Bellevue Downtown Association Honors 2012 Place Makers

The Bellevue Downtown Association announced the winners of the 2012 Place Making Awards at the organization’s 39th Annual Celebration. More than 400 business and community leaders attended the event at Meydenbauer Center in Downtown Bellevue.

“This year’s award winners have contributed to the making of a great place,” said Patrick Bannon, BDA president. “Their leadership, ideas and perseverance play a huge role in downtown’s successful evolution as a vibrant, thriving and livable center for the city and region.”

Following the awards program, keynote speaker Brad Segal, founder and president of Denver-based Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA), delivered his insights on global trends shaping cities today. Segal’s presentation covered key changes in demographics, lifestyles and global competition and their impacts locally. As one of the nation's leading authorities on downtown issues, he offered a proactive view of Downtown Bellevue’s future and tangible ideas for anticipating the changes ahead. Download the presentation here.

2012 Place Making Award Winners

Arts Champion: Mary Pat Byrne
Arts are an important piece of community building and vital for attracting people to our city. In her role of more than 25 years at the City of Bellevue, Mary Pat Byrne has been the driving force behind arts programs for downtown and citywide. As a persistent arts champion and advocate, Byrne deserves significant credit for the progress Bellevue has made in arts programming, such as the biennial sculpture exhibition, support for various arts organizations and overall quality of life.

Community Treasure: Bellevue Botanical Garden Society
Formed in 1986 to help establish and grow the Bellevue Botanical Garden, the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society is comprised of a dedicated group of volunteers who contribute countless hours of service to one of our city’s community treasures. The society nurtures and preserves a place of great beauty, and has supplied ample leadership in fundraising to offer visitors expanded educational opportunities and new features to explore. This group has also hosted musical events and celebrations at the garden, including the holiday tradition Garden d’Lights.

Opening of the Year: Bake’s Place
The May 2012 opening of Bake’s Place helped downtown take another step forward as a regional entertainment center. The bold vision and focused determination of owners Craig and Laura Baker to expand their business to Bellevue activated a ground floor space on the corner of NE 2nd Street and 108th Avenue NE. Bake’s Place boasts a richly-appointed dining room, outstanding menu and pristine acoustics, which combine to create a rich blend of live music, food and atmosphere. Bake’s now presents a variety of musical genres six nights a week. The Bellevue Downtown Association experienced the venue first hand, as the space came alive with packed houses during the 2012 Bellevue Jazz Festival.

Commute Champion: HNTB
As a company, HNTB sets a high standard when it comes to improving access and mobility for their employees. The firm’s Downtown Bellevue office offers a generous commute benefits program, providing employees with a subsidy for transit, vanpool and vanshare fares, a Guaranteed Ride Home program and amenities for bike commuters. In 2012, 80 percent of HNTB employees received an ORCA transit pass, and more than 70 percent of their employees chose a mode other than driving alone to work, including 6 percent who biked or walked.

Groundbreaking of the Year: Su Development
Su Development broke ground on downtown’s first major project coming out of the recession, a 21-story residential tower at NE 2nd Street and 106th Avenue NE called Soma Towers. It will house 142 apartments, 10,000 square feet for shops and restaurants, a 3,400-square-foot exhibition hall, 5,300 square feet of office space and 198 underground parking stalls. The forward-thinking firm has consistently pioneered livable spaces and amenities for residents, arts organizations and retail tenants. This groundbreaking showed continued confidence in the Downtown Bellevue market and kept the spotlight fixed on downtown’s future as a livable urban center.

Cultural Catalyst: The Bellevue Collection
The Bellevue Collection has made a significant commitment to animating its already bustling retail environment with arts exhibitions, cultural programming and demonstrations featuring local performance groups. Highlights include the Lunar New Year Celebration produced in partnership with The Taiwan Benevolent Association of America, a holiday tour of traditions and histories from around the world, and an active live music calendar in support of young musicians. These cultural and artistic events and celebrations share a common commitment to quality in their ability to attract, engage and delight downtown customers.

Leadership: Leslie Lloyd
Leslie Lloyd’s 11 years as president of the Bellevue Downtown Association have spanned a time of extraordinary growth and change in the downtown community. The BDA has found itself at the heart of many critical and evolving issues, from city planning to performing arts, and philanthropy to regional transportation. Leslie has been a champion of keeping people focused on a vision for a thriving, vibrant downtown. She has translated passion and energy into thoughtful goal-oriented dialogue and has provided a clear and steady voice as a creative thinker and catalyst for big ideas. The BDA recognizes her outstanding leadership in service of BDA and the downtown community.

The Bellevue Downtown Association 39th Annual Celebration was sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davis Wright Tremaine, The Spring District, Clark Nuber P.S., Baylis Architects, Republic Services, The Bravern, The Bellevue Reporter, GA Creative and Ryan Wenzel Events.

Bellevue Downtown Association Honors 2011 Place Makers
The Bellevue Downtown Association announced the winners of the 2011 Place Making Awards at the organization’s 38th Annual Celebration.

“We salute the legacy of hard work and shared vision fueling our city and its urban center,” said Leslie Lloyd, BDA president. “We’ve seen rapid growth over the past 10 years, and it will take continued focus and leadership from throughout our community to stay competitive and nurture a thriving and livable downtown.”

Following the awards program, keynote speaker Christopher B. Leinberger, author, developer, visiting senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of urban and regional planning, discussed about how the convergence of the two largest generations in American history, baby boomers and millenials, is creating a structural shift in demographics and real estate. Both are driving demand for walkable downtowns, which in turn help cities grow their economies and attract residents and jobs.

2011 Place Making Award Winners

Community Treasure: Bellevue LifeSpring and Bellevue Rotary Club
The Community Treasure recognizes the contributions and milestone anniversaries of two long-standing nonprofit organizations. Bellevue LifeSpring, formerly Overlake Service League, celebrated its 100th year of outreach to families and school-age children in Bellevue. The Bellevue Rotary Club marked its 50th year of service and leadership in downtown and the greater community.

Commute Champion: CH2M HILL
CH2M HILL is a major downtown Bellevue employer with a growing number of workers commuting by transit, bicycle, van/car pools, and on foot. The company has strong participation in its commute benefits program, and about 70 percent of CH2M Hill’s 300 employees in Bellevue use a non drive-alone travel mode at least once per week.

Deal of the Year: East Link Project Memorandum of Understanding, Sound Transit and City of Bellevue
The Deal of the Year recognizes the East Link Project Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a negotiated agreement between Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue on how voter-approved light rail will serve the city and connect downtown to the region. The MOU outlines a collaborative design process and cost saving measures to afford a downtown tunnel that offers excellent station access while preserving street capacity.

Leadership: Grant Degginger
The Place Making Award for Leadership recognizes former Bellevue City Councilmember Grant Degginger for his 20 years of combined public service to the city in appointed and elected roles, including four as mayor. Degginger has been a strong and consistent voice in support of downtown and its role as the economic and cultural heart of the Eastside.

Opening of the Year: Bellevue Braids Project, Washington State Department of Transportation
The Bellevue Braids Project opened is an high priority interchange improvement called for in downtown and regional plans. Funded by state fuel tax revenues and accelerated by the federal stimulus, the project opened nine months ahead of schedule, and promptly enhanced mobility on I-405 and downtown access with on ramps from the city’s new NE 10th Street overpass.

Place Maker of 2011: Visit Bellevue Washington
Launched in 2011, this initiative created the city’s official destination marketing organization and a major campaign platform to attract leisure travelers and convention visitors. Visit Bellevue Washington (VBW) is led by a stakeholder advisory committee and receives support from VBW affiliate members, the Bellevue Convention Center Authority and Meydenbauer Center.

The Bellevue Downtown Association 38th Annual Celebration was sponsored by: The Spring District, Davis Wright Tremaine, Clark Nuber P.S., CH2M HILL, Baylis Architects, KPFF Consulting Engineers, The Bellevue Reporter, GA Creative and Ryan Wenzel Events.


UPDATE: I-1125 was defeated.

BDA Board of Directors endorses a "No" on Initiative 1125

The Bellevue Downtown Association Board of Directors voted in late September to endorse a "No" vote on Initiative 1125. The decision came after careful consideration of the eight provisions in ballot measure, which primarily dictates how the state should set tolls and spend toll revenue.

The Board agreed that the initiative, if passed, would put at risk the funding and feasibility of several major regional transportation projects designed in part to benefit overall mobility and safe travel to and from downtown Bellevue.

I-1125 would also prohibit variable "time of day" toll rates as a tool to improve traffic flow and offer free-to-low rates at off-peak times. The initiative would also expand state law by disallowing the transfer or any portion of a gas-tax funded highway for a "non-transportation" purpose. The latter provision is intended to jeopardize the East Link Light Rail project approved by voters in 2008.


2011 Haute Picks

The Best of Downtown Bellevue Haute Picks Award Winners!

Best Boutique: Derek Andrew

Best Casual Business Meeting Spot: 520 Bar & Grill

Best Cocktail: “Manhattan” at LOT No. 3

Best Coffee House: Starbucks Coffee Company

Best Haircut: Salon Tewl

Best Happy Hour: Pearl Bar & Dining

Best Lunch Under $10: MOD Pizza

Best Massage: Massage Center of Bellevue

Best Place for a First Date: Parlor Collection

Best Place for a Mani/Pedi: Gene Juarez Salons & Spa

Best Place to See and Be Seen: Parlor Collection

Best Place for Sushi: FLO Japanese Restaurant

Best Power Lunch: El Gaucho

Best Romantic Dinner: Daniel's Broiler

Best Seafood Restaurant: Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar

Best Steakhouse: John Howie Steak

Best Sweet Tooth Fix: Trophy Cupcakes

Best Uniquely Bellevue Experience: "Snowflake Lane"

Best Wine List: Purple Café and Wine Bar

Best Workout Spot: Bellevue Club


2010 Place Makers

The Bellevue Downtown Association announced the winners of the 2010 Place Making Awards at the organization’s 37th Annual Celebration on January 27, 2011 at Meydenbauer Center.

The Place Making Awards recognize landmark events and extraordinary achievements from the past year. The winners have contributed in a significant way to our shared vision for a thriving urban center and our evolution as the Eastside’s economic and cultural heart.

Commute Champion: Tetra Tech INCA
Ensuring an accessible downtown is critical for the local and regional economy. Downtown employers play a major role in boosting non drive-alone rates and transit ridership by providing transportation benefits for their employees. Tetra Tech INCA has shown outstanding commitment and results through its commute benefits program. The program has reduced individual travel costs and helped with recruitment and retention.

Cultural Catalyst: Tateuchi Center Campaign
In June 2010, a major investment was made toward the arts in Downtown Bellevue. The $25 million grant from the Atsuhiko and Ina Tateuchi Foundation to the Tateuchi Center Campaign was one of the largest gifts to any cultural institution in the region’s history. Situated at the corner of NE 10th Street and 106th Avenue NE, the 2,000 seat concert hall and 250-seat cabaret-style theater at the Tateuchi Center is scheduled to open in 2014.

Move of the Year: Bungie to Bellevue
The Eastside and Downtown Bellevue are home several leading-edge game development companies. Bungie Studios, the creators of the renowned Halo series, moved its headquarters and nearly 200 employees in summer of 2010 to 80,000 square feet of completely customized space at the Bellevue Galleria.

Opening of the Year: Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center
Downtown’s nearby medical district keeps growing in quality and in quantity. Overlake Hospital & Medical Center completed an expansion in 2007 and Group Health opened its Bellevue Medical Center in 2008. In July 2010 the 75,000 square foot LEED gold certified Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center opened, helping our city take another important step as a premier center for the region’s best health care.

Residential Development: Avalon Towers Bellevue
Downtown Bellevue’s residential community continues to grow and thrive. In the past five years, significant projects have added more than 3,000 residential units. The downtown population has more than doubled in that time. Avalon Towers Bellevue opened in April on Bellevue Way with 13 and 23-story towers and 396 units. The project has enjoyed a very successful lease-up phase and has further demonstrated AvalonBay’s commitment to Downtown Bellevue.

John Boespflug City Builder Award: Matt Terry
John Boespflug served as Bellevue Downtown Association Chair in both 1988 and 1998. Following his untimely passing in 1999, the BDA named an award in his honor to recognize career contributions to advancing downtown as the economic and cultural heart of the Eastside. Matt Terry’s tenure with the City of Bellevue spanned 30 years, and he served most of it as Planning and Community Development Director. He was instrumental to the vision, planning and development of Bellevue’s vibrant downtown.


2010 Haute Picks

The Best of Downtown Bellevue Haute Picks Award Winners!

Best Boutique: Gotta Have Shoes!

Best Casual Business Meeting Spot: 520 Bar & Grill

Best Cocktail: Shiso Wild Drop at Pearl Bar & Dining

Best Coffee House: Starbucks Coffee Company

Best Haircut: Bach's Barbershop

Best Happy Hour: Palomino

Best Lunch Under $10: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Best Massage: Matheny Chiropractic Center

Best Place for a First Date: The Parlor Collection

Best Place for a Mani/Pedi: Gene Juarez Salons & Spa

Best Place to See and Be Seen: Lucky Strike Lanes

Best Place for Sushi: Blue C Sushi

Best Power Lunch: El Gaucho

Best Romantic Dinner: Daniel's Broiler

Best Seafood Restaurant: Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar

Best Steakhouse: John Howie Steak

Best Sweet Tooth Fix: Trophy Cupcakes

Best Uniquely Bellevue Experience: "Snowflake Lane"

Best Wine List: Purple Café and Wine Bar

Best Workout Spot: Elite Fitness


2009 Place Makers

The Bellevue Downtown Association announced the winners of the 2009 Place Making Awards at the organization’s 36th Annual Celebration on January 28, 2010 at Meydenbauer Center.

The Place Making Awards recognize achievements from the previous year, as well as extraordinary contributions toward creating a thriving downtown.

Commute Champion: Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Bellevue
Maintaining an accessible downtown is critical for the local and regional economy. Several downtown employers play a major role in boosting non-drive-alone rates and transit ridership by covering all or a portion of transportation costs for their employees. An effective commute benefits program can reduce individual travel expenses and help an employer with recruitment and retention. Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Bellevue’s commute benefits program has resulted in more than 50% of the hotel’s employees choosing to commute daily using transit.

Community Service: YWCA Angeline’s Eastside Women’s Center and The Sophia Way
These two programs provide essential services to homeless women in East King County. The YWCA’s daytime program provides hot meals, showers, laundry facilities and a variety of services, such as visits with a nurse, legal aid, and employment counseling. The Sophia Way, operated by the Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council, offers women an overnight shelter, a life skills program and access to social services. Both programs are housed at Bellevue First Congregational Church in Downtown Bellevue.

BDA Champion: Jill Ostrem
The BDA Champion Award recognizes Jill Ostrem for her two-year term (2008 and 2009) as Chair of the Bellevue Downtown Association Board of Directors. She is highly-respected for her successful leadership and management style, advocacy on behalf of downtown, and valuable service to the downtown community. Ostrem, a vice president for Group Health, began her term as Chair the same year Group Health opened its Bellevue medical center.

Skyline Award: Elements Too
Elements Too, with 23 and 13-story towers, brings 274 apartment homes and 48,000 square feet of retail space to downtown. A collaborative effort between developer John Su and architect Jim Cutler of Cutler/Anderson, the project design emphasizes clean modern lines and creates a cantilevered silhouette, evoking a uniquely Pacific Northwest look and feel. It creates an eye-catching gateway to downtown and complements the 989 Elements tower next door.

Residential Development: Ten20
At the heart of downtown’s Ashwood neighborhood, Ten20 has added 129 residences, 4,700 square feet of retail space, including the Grand Cru Wine Bar and Shop, a new outdoor public plaza and space for a 200 to 300 seat black box theater. Ten20 completes a prominent, central corner along the increasingly residential NE 10th Street. The project was developed by The Hanover Company and designed by CollinsWoerman.

Hotel Expansion: Hyatt Regency Bellevue
The $185 million Olympic Tower expansion at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue raised Bellevue’s “power rank” as a major conference and destination city. It added 351 guest rooms and more than 30,000 square feet of ballroom space, plus several conference suites and a 120-seat auditorium. The grand opening event in October coincided with the Bellevue Collection’s 2009 Fashion Week. Kemper Development Company developed the expansion. Sclater Partners Architects was the architect and GLY Construction was the general contractor.

Office Development: City Center Plaza
City Center Plaza brought over 580,000 square feet of rentable space and a two and a half acre urban landscaped plaza to the office core of Downtown Bellevue. Reaching 26 stories, the building’s curving facades ensure maximum views for tenants, and the color palette provides a visual counterpoint to Northwest’s winter-gray days. Microsoft has fully leased the office space, and El Gaucho chose a large portion of the the retail base for its Eastside expansion. City Center Plaza, built to LEED Gold standards, was designed by NBBJ and developed by Wright Runstad & Company for Beacon Capital

Downtown Employer: Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft has been a significant and stabilizing force for the Downtown Bellevue economy and office market as the company completed its move-in of nearly 6,000 employees in about 1.6 million square feet of space at The Bravern Office Commons, City Center Plaza and Lincoln Square.

Place Maker of the Year: The Bravern
The Bravern’s opening was among the biggest in the Pacific Northwest in the past 10 years. The Bravern Office Commons added 750,000 square-feet of space, fully leased by Microsoft. The Shops at The Bravern brought more than 300,000 square-feet of retail space and the Northwest’s first Neiman Marcus, along with other top luxury global and local retailers and five-star services.

Restaurants include John Howie Steak, Artisanal Brasserie and Artisanal Table, and the Eastside debut of Wild Ginger. Opening in 2010, the Residences will offer 455 condominium homes. The Bravern was developed by Schnitzer West and designed by Callison and NBBJ. Skanska and PCL Construction were general contractors. DCI Engineers performed the structural engineering.


2009 Haute Picks

The Best of Downtown Bellevue Haute Picks Award Winners!

Best Boutique: La Ree Boutique

Best Casual Business Meeting Spot: 520 Bar & Grill

Best Cocktail: The Parlor Collection – Apple Martini

Best Coffee House: Starbucks Coffee Company

Best Haircut: Salon Tewl

Best Happy Hour: Pearl Bar & Dining

Best Lunch Under $10: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Best Massage: Massage Center of Bellevue

Best Place for a First Date: The Parlor Collection

Best Place for a Mani/Pedi: Gene Juarez Salon & Spa

Best Place to See and Be Seen: Pearl Bar & Dining

Best Power Lunch: Daniel’s Broiler

Best Romantic Dinner: Bis on Main

Best Seafood Restaurant: Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar

Best Steakhouse: Daniel's Broiler

Best Sweet Tooth Fix: Oh! Chocolate

Best Uniquely Bellevue Experience: "Snowflake Lane"

Best Wine List: 0/8 Seafood Grill and Twisted Cork Wine Bar

Best Workout Spot: Elite Fitness



2008 Place Makers


The Bellevue Downtown Association announced the winners of the 2008 Place Making Awards at the organization’s 35th Annual Celebration - March 12, 2009.

The Place Making Awards were awarded in seven categories this year and honor major accomplishments, significant events and individual contributions in Downtown Bellevue from 2008.

Civic Partner: Bellevue Parks & Community Services Department
A new category for 2008, the Civic Partner of the Year Award recognizes the significant set of actions, spirit of support and consistent level of service demonstrated by the Bellevue Parks & Community Services Department. For the community and the BDA, the Downtown Park is home each year to the Symetra Bellevue Family 4th and the Group Health Ice Arena. These major events and experiences would not be possible without a strong, healthy partnership with the City and its staff.

Community Treasure: Bellevue Regional Library
The Community Treasure Award recognizes an institution or landmark that has delivered exceptional value and service to the community. Bellevue Regional Library has served the community in its present form for 15 years. It receives close to a million visits per year, and has over 1.4 million items in circulation. Bellevue Regional Library is a home for knowledge and inspiration, and it is a public facility that is even more popular, relevant and vital in its service today as it was on opening day in 1993.

Commute Champion: Symetra Financial
Maintaining an accessible downtown is essential for the continued success and growth of a community. It is anticipated that 63,000 employees will work in Downtown Bellevue by 2020; and to keep things moving, a City of Bellevue target calls for half commuting without driving alone in a motor vehicle. The Commute Champion Award recognizes the business that exemplifies a strong commitment to achieving this goal. Symetra Financial has made an outstanding “commute benefits program” an integral part of its corporate culture. In 2008, Symetra achieved a 58% non-drive alone commute rate, exceeding the City’s 2020 goal by 9%, meaning over half of their employees share a ride or use transit on a daily basis.

Lease of the Year: Microsoft Lease at City Center Plaza
The Lease of the Year Award honors the people and companies who have negotiated a landmark leasing transaction in Downtown Bellevue. The Microsoft lease at City Center Plaza further solidified Downtown as a desirable place to work and live. In May 2008 Microsoft announced that it would lease one of the largest office projects under construction in Downtown Bellevue, City Center Plaza. Throughout this next year, Microsoft will move about 2,000 employees to City Center Plaza, taking up 25 of the building’s 26 floors. This move builds on existing leases at Lincoln Square and The Bravern Office Commons, now making Microsoft recipient of the Lease of Year Award three years in a row.

Move of the Year: Expedia Inc.
Another new category for 2008, the Move of the Year Award was created to honor a company who places an emphasis on connecting people with place and community, and making long-term investments in both. Expedia, the world’s leading online travel company, moved its corporate headquarters, along with 1,700 employees, to Downtown Bellevue in November 2008. The Expedia move has extended beyond a one-time action given the company’s ongoing commitment to the downtown community and its future success.

Skyline Award: Bellevue Towers
Great skylines are symbols of progress, as well as markers of time, taste and a city’s trajectory. The 2008 Skyline Award recognizes Bellevue Towers – an ambitious 42 and 43 story luxury condominium project designed by architects at MulvannyG2 and GBD Architects. Bellevue Towers is the tallest residential high-rise development in the Pacific Northwest. The developers have also risen to new heights in sustainable practices that make the building healthier to live in, reduce operating costs and follow best practices in water reclamation and energy conservation. The steps are part of the project’s goal to achieve a LEED Gold certification – a first for a large-scale residential project in Bellevue.

John Boespflug City Builder Award: Suzanne Baugh
John Boespflug was an attorney and an exemplary Place Maker, and he served as Bellevue Downtown Association Chair in both 1988 and 1998. After Boespflug’s untimely passing in 1999, the BDA dedicated this award to honor significant individual contributions toward advancing Downtown Bellevue as the economic and cultural heart of the Eastside region. Suzanne Baugh, a Bellevue resident and BDA Board Chair in 2002 and 2003, is recognized for her ongoing leadership as a stalwart champion and advocate for Downtown Bellevue and the BDA.


2008 Haute Picks
The Best of Downtown Bellevue Haute Picks Award Winners!

Best Boutique: RAG mens style

Best Cocktail: Joeys "Super Nova"

Best Coffee Spot: Starbucks Coffee Company

Best Casual Business Meeting Spot: 520 Bar & Grill

Best Haircut: Salon Bellezza

Best Happy Hour: Daniel's Broiler

Best Lunch Under $10: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Best Massage: Massage Center of Bellevue

Best Place for a First Date: The Parlor Billiards & Spirits

Best Place for a Mani/Pedi: Jennifer's Nails

Best Place to See and Be Seen: Joeys

Best Power Lunch: Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar

Best Romantic Dinner: Bis on Main

Best Seafood Restaurant: Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar

Best Steakhouse: Daniel's Broiler

Best Sweet Tooth Fix: Oh! Chocolate

Best Uniquely Bellevue Experience: "Snowflake Lane"

Best Wine List: 0/8 Seafood Grill and Twisted Cork Wine Bar

Best Wine Retailer: Pete's Wines

Best Workout Spot: Elite Fitness

 



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