There’s a thing happening in Bellevue. A big swath of land, once home to a Coca-Cola bottling and distribution facility (and more), is undergoing a massive transformation. The 36-acre Spring District is a mixed-use development project creating new office space as well as an urban village: office and residential towers, retail stores, parks and a light-rail stop. And at its hub, a new brewery and restaurant.
Wright Runstad & Co., the company developing the property, says that a brewery, with a planned opening in the summer of 2016, is at the core of the project.
According to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal, the project will be called the BrewHub and the developers have already talked to a number of breweries about potential partnerships but have yet to pick an operator. Developers recognize that it is an important decision since the brewery will set the tone for the entire project.
The BrewHub will be an office building—with a brewery and restaurant—designed to attract startups and other creative-minded businesses. The brewery and restaurant will feature a patio overlooking a park and the surrounding neighborhood.
(Credit where it is due: John Robertson, owner of Bellevue Brewing Company, mentioned this to me a long time ago, though the plan was not yet official.)
The developers are banking on the fact that Bellevue is still an untapped market for breweries. Bellevue Brewing, Geaux Brewing, and Rock Bottom Brewery are the only breweries in Washington’s fifth largest city.
- Three breweries in Bellevue (population 130,000)
- Five breweries in neighboring Redmond (pop 57,000)
- Over 50 breweries in Seattle (pop 650,00).
Wright Runstad says that The Spring District will be green, sustainable, and pedestrian-friendly, but for whom, exactly, are they designing The Spring District? According to Mindy Levine-Archer, designer, “There’s a generation now that is very much less about materialistic things but more about having great experiences. And I think The Spring District is really about providing those experiences.”
With that philosophy in mind, it’s easy to understand why they want a brewery at the hub. Breweries create a sense of community. And they make beer, which helps initiate social interaction.
Speaking in broad terms, the Spring District is located between Bel-Red Road and Hwy 520, south of Geaux Brewing and west of Bellevue Brewing.