BelRed Transformation

The BelRed Corridor is a 900-acre area that stretches between State Route 520 to the north and Bel-Red Road to the south, and aerial image of BelRed area looking south. Photo by John Tiscorniafrom Interstate 405 east 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 BelRed in the city’s overall plan for growth and economic development. 

Sound Transit's East Link light rail line will pass through through BelRed into Redmond. To begin operation in 2023, East Link will connect downtown Seattle to Bellevue and Redmond/Overlake. Two stations will be in BelRed, offering opportunities for the city to plan for transit-oriented communities around them. 

BelRed 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 BelRed 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 
  • 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 BelRed 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, BelRed is now becoming 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 BelRed Vision: “To develop a sustainable urban development pattern that dramatically reshapes the future of BelRed while allowing the area to transition gracefully from its past.”


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