Downtown Park - Complete the Circle
Downtown Park - Open House
Thursday, March 26, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Bellevue City Hall Concourse
450 110th Avenue NE
Open House Flyer
Changes Coming to Your Downtown Park -
The Downtown Park has become one of the most recognizable and well-loved places in Bellevue, and plays a pivotal role in making downtown Bellevue an appealing place to live, work and play.
The Bellevue City Council took a bold step in 1984 by adopting the Downtown Park Master Plan. Since then, the city has worked to fulfill the vision of that plan, completing two major construction phases. However, the distinctive circular promenade and entry at 102nd Avenue NE remain unfinished, currently functioning as a temporary vehiclular entrance and parking area. In 2008, Bellevue voters passed the Parks & Natural Areas Levy that included funding to complete the circular promenade and canal, a major entry at 102nd Avenue NE, and relocation of parking to an expanded parking lot off of 100th Avenue NE.
Additionally, the existing playground will be expanded through a partnership with the Bellevue Rotary. Known as the Inspiration Playground, it will retain the popularity of the existing playground with an added focus on inclusive, accessible play opportunities "dedicated to fun, imagination and leanring, where all ages and abilities play and explore at their own pace."
Attend the upcoming Open House to learn more about these exciting Downtown Park projects. For more information, contact Ken Kroeger - firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-452-4624.
The city has contracted with MacLeod Reckord Landscape Architects for design and engineering services for the project. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the summer 2015 and last approximately a year.
In the early 1980s, shortly after acquiring property from the school district, the city conducted an international design competition for Bellevue Downtown Park. A park committee judged 67 entries and selected a concept submitted by the firm of Beckley-Meyers. Elements of the Beckley-Meyers design included:
- circular promenade for walking;
- central open space;
- allée of trees bordering the promenade;
- continuous canal terminating in a waterfall, cascades and reflecting pool; and
- small park venues (between street and promenade) for activities - including a formal garden, outdoor performance space, picnicking area and children's play area.
In 1984 the City Council approved a Downtown Park master plan, which incorporated the Beckley-Meyers design and laid out several phases of construction for developing the park. Parts of the plan, including the circular promenade, were not completed. The unfinished portion of the circle functions as a vehicular entrance and parking area. Additionally, a portion of the area identified for expanded parking along the west edge of the park is occupied by the Ballet Arts building, which has been rented to a local dance troupe.
In 1997, confronted with a variety of competing interests for Downtown Park, the city was compelled to conduct a public process to determine if the master plan still met the city's needs. Although some details were modified, the 1997 Master Plan Graphic and Report retained and reaffirmed Downtown Park's design and purpose.
In 2008, Bellevue citizens passed the Parks & Natural Areas Levy that approved funding to complete additional phases of the Downtown Park master plan, including completion of the circular promenade, entry and water feature. The scope of work for this contract includes the design, public outreach, permit assistance and construction assistance for:
Southeast Entrance and Circle:
- Completion of the canal, promenade, water features and allée of trees.
- Formal connection between Downtown Park and "Old Bellevue" (termination of 102nd Avenue Northeast).
- Terraced seating and event space, including stairways and accessible paths.
Consolidation of Parking:
- Expand the parking lot.
- Accommodate parallel parking spaces along 100th Avenue Northeast.
- Provide views into the park from the street, while providing easy access for users.
- Explore the feasibility and cost of an underground parking garage.
Landscape and Infrastructure Enhancements:
- Provide planting along the edges which will guide people to the park's entrances.
- Organize the landscaping in a manner that will provide the park user a sense of safety and visibility.
- Demolition of existing structures, including the Ballet Arts building.
- Integration of the Bellevue Rotary Inspiration Playground and picnicking area.
The city has contracted with MacLeod Reckord Landscape Architects for the design and engineering services for the "complete the circle" project.
The city and design team are currently undergoing schematic design and preparing for all permitting services for the project. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the summer 2015 and last for approximately a year.
1997 Downtown Park Master Plan Graphic and Report (note that the Report is a very large file)