“Amazon once again makes a big commitment to Bellevue, WA. Their profile continues to shrink in Seattle, and grow in Bellevue. Good news for all the new apartment and condo units going up and planned for Bellevue…‼”

The Artise is the 13th Bellevue office tower Amazon will occupy. The company on Tuesday said it has leased the 25-story building that’s set to rise at 788 106th Ave. NE. Currently on the property is a 1960s-era retail strip center. The baker’s dozen towers are spread across eight developments.

The glassy Artise tower will replace a 1960s-era retail strip center that’s home to Topolino’s Pizza. The pizzeria will operate through month’s end when demolition will begin, said a person who answered the phone Monday but didn’t give his name. The Sleep Store and Classic Pianos already have moved.

Schntizer West President and Chief Operating Officer Pam Hirsch said through a spokesperson that general contractor Sellen Construction will break ground on the NBBJ-designed tower in the second quarter. She did not say whether Schnitzer West has an equity partner or construction lender.

The Artise is among around a dozen Bellevue tower proposals developers have teed up to catch the eye of Amazon, which already has leased or plans to build a total of 13 towers across eight developments.

Artise’s 600,000 square feet brings Amazon to around 6 million square feet leased or planned for development in Bellevue. In Seattle the company has around 13 million square feet of office space.

The Artise lease is part of Amazon’s plan create 25,000 jobs in Bellevue over the next few years. The tower is scheduled to open in 2024.

In 2017 Schnitzer West developed Centre 425, the first downtown Bellevue tower that Amazon leased, and six months later sold the 16-story building for $313 million. NBBJ also designed Centre 425 as well as some of Amazon’s other Bellevue and Seattle towers.

Amazon launched 27 years ago in founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos’ rental home, 1.5 miles almost due north of the Artise site.

Today the company employs over 75,000 people across the region, including office buildings, the Project Kuiper research and development facility in Redmond, fulfillment centers, its Sea-Tac Airport hub, and Amazon and Whole Foods physical stores.

The Artise name is inspired by the site’s location on 106th, which the city has designated an “entertainment street.” Artise will have a “woonerf”-style car and pedestrian plaza lined with shops at the entry to the 890-stall underground parking garage.

Schnitzer West acquired the property for $65 million in December 2019 and a month later Hirsch projected the development would break ground in mid-2021. It’s extremely rare if not unheard of for a schedule on a project of this size to go as initially laid out.


By Marc Stiles  – Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal

March 9, 2021, 7:00 am PDT