The Bel-Red Corridor is a 900-acre area that stretches between State Route 520 and Bel-Red Road, extending from Interstate 405 to 148th Avenue Northeast. Bel-Red is a major employment area for Bellevue, but some large employers have moved out or reduced operations, in part due to changing market pressures in the area.
Between 2005 and 2009, the city worked with businesses, residents and other stakeholders to determine a new role for Bel-Red in the city’s overall plan for growth and economic development. With the City Council's adoption of a Bel-Red zoning and code ordinance in 2009, the area is poised for transformation.
Sound Transit's East Link light rail line will pass through through Bel-Red into Redmond. To begin operation in 2023, East Link will connect downtown Seattle to Bellevue and Redmond/Overlake. Two stations will be in Bel-Red, offering opportunities for the city to plan for transit-oriented communities around them.
Bel-Red is characterized by significant areas of under-utilized land; large, flat expanses of concrete and asphalt; unhealthy streams and wetlands; limited transportation options; close proximity to SR-520 and I-405; and a strategic location between downtown Bellevue and Redmond/Overlake. One of the city's major employment areas, the Bel-Red Corridor features:
- 27 percent of all the commercial and industrially-zoned land in Bellevue;
- More than 50 percent of all land in the city zoned for light industrial use;
- Approximately 20 percent of the city's total employment; and
- More than 2,000 businesses.
In the 1990s and 2000s, some large employers moved out or reduced operations, in part due to changing market pressures in the area. By 2030, the Bel-Red area is expected to generate:
- 10,000 new jobs and 5,000 new housing units
- Transit-oriented developments around light rail stations
- Restored streams and ecological functions
- Better local and regional transportation connections
- New parks, trails, bike paths and other amenities
- Significant economic development
With a newly adopted vision, Bel-Red is now poised to become a model for planning that represents a tremendous opportunity for local, regional and state collaboration in achieving transportation, growth management and economic development goals. The Bel-Red Vision: “To develop a sustainable urban development pattern that dramatically reshapes the future of Bel-Red while allowing the area to transition gracefully from its past.”