Carpenters are breaking out the hammers east of Interstate 405 in Bellevue to start building hundreds of homes in and around the 36-acre Spring District development.

Construction started this week on a 279-unit apartment project in the district. Nearby work began last week on 12 townhouses, and the developer says he has received purchase offers on a quarter of them. The builders are hoping to capitalize on the thousands of jobs and students coming to both the 36-acre Spring District and downtown Bellevue, where reportedly is opening an office.


A Redmond company, GIS International Group, is building the townhouse project at 13601 Bel-Red Road, about a dozen blocks east of the Spring District. Seattle-based Security Properties is building the previously announced apartments, which is the second phase of its development with a total of 588 apartments. The development cost of both phases is $200 million, according to Security officials.

Outdoor gear cooperative Recreational Equipment Inc., has finalized a deal to move its 1,400-employee headquarters from Kent to the Spring District, where the University of Washington and China’s Tsinghua University are developing the Global Innovation Exchange, a Microsoft-backed graduate program that is expected to have 3,000 students before 2025. Construction of GIX started this fall.

GIS’ townhouse project is called Park 12. The company has released four units for sale, ranging from $835,000 to $875,000. GIS said it is self-financing the project whose overall cost the company declined to provide. The company bought the 1.7-acre site in 2014 for $1.25 million. GIS is the general contractor of the project, which SkB Architects of Seattle designed.

At $2.3 billion, the Spring District is the Puget Sound region’s largest construction project, and will have office and retail space, parks and a light rail stop, which will be a five- to 10-minute walk from the apartments that Security Properties is developing.

HAL Real Estate of Seattle is the equity partner on the second phase of Security’s project, and Pacific Life Insurance Co., is providing the financing. Mithun of Seattle designed the apartments, which Walsh Construction is building.

Marc Stiles covers real estate for the Puget Sound Business Journal.