Seattle Area Developers Target Areas Around Light Rail Extension

The East Link line, which will connect Redmond and Bellevue to Seattle in 2025, is spurring transit-oriented development near future stations.

1 minute read

April 1, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Rendering of proposed East Link light rail station.

Proposed design for Judkins Park station on the East Link extension. | Sound Transit / Judkins Park - East Link

Areas around upcoming Sound Transit train stations in Seattle and Bellevue are seeing a boom in new development, reports Victor Whitman for The Seattle Times.

“The planned rollout of the East Link starter line, or the 2 Line, on April 27 will include eight stops, and it will cover a 6.6-mile initial stretch running from south Bellevue to the Redmond Technology Station, near Microsoft offices. Developers say the areas around the stations could become development hot spots, especially when the East Link is extended to Mercer Island and Seattle in 2025,” Whitman explains.

To promote transit-oriented development, Bellevue changed its zoning code to allow for more density and taller buildings in the newly created East Main Transit Oriented District. Since funding for the East Link Extension was approved by voters in 2008, multiple major projects were built near future transit stops.

Whitman notes that the initial rollout of the line may be underwhelming, with the starter route running only 17 minutes between Bellevue and Redmond. “Sometime in 2025, the line is planned to connect to Seattle over I-90 and Lake Washington with stops in Mercer Island and Judkins Park, and be extended from the Redmond Technology Station to downtown Redmond. At full build-out, East Link is expected to serve roughly 50,000 daily riders.”

Friday, March 29, 2024 in The Seattle Times

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