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Avenue Bellevue

Luxurious living and dining

2021: the year developer Andy Lakha, Fortress Development, and his team of partners bring to life his vision of a "city within a city." Urban luxury that will draw Eastsiders and Seattle-ites, a walkable area with the finest retail shops, restaurants, plazas, water features, and an InterContinental Hotel.

Three-and-a-half acres in downtown Bellevue at 8th Avenue and Bellevue Way is definitely an investment, one in which Andy believes in fervently. He has lived in Bellevue for 20 years and wants to offer something unique and exceptional that hasn't been done before. "I was waiting for the right location for this project. Once I found it, I spent two years building my dream team to make it a reality. We want to elevate the level of buildings, amenities, facilities to the quality of a world class city, which both Bellevue and Seattle are. Currently there are no 5-star living opportunities in Bellevue and no truly fine dining," says Andy. "Avenue Bellevue will complement what is happening on the other three corners of that intersection. It's not just about Bellevue, it's about the whole Eastside, and we hope to draw from Seattle as well. We're creating a European-feel with pleasant strolling and open areas to enjoy."

Andy Lakha, photo by Scott Matsuda

There will be two towers, south and west; ground will be broken in June. Construction will take 35 months and all pieces will be completed at the same time. Avenue Bellevue is a very personal project for Andy, and he has been "relentless about making it happen" and bringing in the best of class.

This is the first InterContinental Hotel in the Pacific Northwest. When Andy was growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, his model of ultimate luxury was the InterContinental Karachi 5-star hotel. InterContinental has been very selective, looking for a project that's right for them in this area for 22 years. This fit their requirements. InterContinental was started by Pan American Airlines. They wanted to offer accommodations after every flight. Their first opening was in 1949 in Belém, Brazil. Bellevue's hotel will have 252 rooms, a spa, fitness center, lounge, meeting spaces, and a Grand Ballroom. The top of the hotel is the 11th floor where shared amenities will be found.

Photo by Scott Matsuda

Residences will include 98 estate homes in the south tower and 234 residences in the west tower. The two towers will have separate amenities (and presentation centers if you're interested in buying). In the south A, there are 17 one-bedroom homes starting at $1 million, two-bedroom homes starting at $2 million, and three-bedrooms starting at $3.9 million, averaging 1,500 square feet. West tower residences will be smaller, about 800 square feet. These will be "smart" homes with technology throughout, Gaggenau and Miele appliances, Gessi faucets. Cabinets and stone counters with waterfall edges are Italian. What looks like a wall of cabinets may indeed be cupboards or refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers. The Gaggenau freezers have years of German engineering behind them and they have figured out the best shape of ice to cool drinks without watering them down. Your home ice cubes will be pyramid-shaped. Ovens have five-burner-control, and the combination microwave/convection oven allows you to set the percentage of microwave or convection you want. Kitchen island/bar has pop-up outlets (who wants to look at an outlet if you're not using it?). Bathroom showers include light therapy and misters to get your day started right, soaking tubs with views through the bedroom that are made to maintain water temperature, and basins that can be repaired to original state no matter how you damage them. Each residence will have a "lifestyle manager to make life easy." Rolls Royce of Bellevue has signed on to provide a house car for Avenue Bellevue for use by both residents and guests.

Kitchen photo by Scott Matsuda

With 85,000 square feet of unique retail space, high-street fashion, an urban fresh market, bars, and restaurants, there will be plenty of entertainment right outside your door. In 2018, there were 14 3-Star Michelin restaurants in the US, seven in San Francisco (New York and Chicago had the rest, Seattle = 0), and maybe 100 3-Star Michelin chefs in the world. One of the San Francisco 3-star restaurants is Saison by Chef Joshua Skenes. He is bringing his other concept, Angler, to Avenue Bellevue. "Proximity to sea life and Northwest products which are second to none are what brought me to Bellevue," Joshua says. "I've been searching for a luxury resort project and connected with Andy." He uses live tanks to keep seafood fresh and cooks in a 32-foot fireplace in Angler San Francisco. Angler LA is scheduled to open spring of 2019. "Having grown up fishing, hunting, gathering and cooking over a campfire in the woods, I was exposed at an early age to that irreplaceable taste of nature at its source," says Joshua. "We work very hard to bring that sensory experience to Angler by working with only the best and most pristine product available locally and preparing it in a way that brings out the purest flavors. With the abundance of some of the best natural food resources in the country, the Pacific Northwest offers the ideal environment for a restaurant menu dictated by the best of what nature provides on any given day."

Chef Joshua Skenes

Bellevue is changing. All the land around Avenue Bellevue has been purchased and projects will be in the works. We can look forward to a city of wealth, beauty, and fine dining, or wring our hands over the potential lack of diversity and lack of affordable housing in the once sleepy suburb. Wring or rejoice, it's coming. Live vicariously and enjoy the ride!

Joshua Skenes
Saison San Francisco
Angler restaurants

InterContinental Hotels

Avenue Bellevue residences

Gaggenau

Gessi

Miele

Antonio Lupi

Fortress Development

Connie Adams/March 2019


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