Bellevue's rapidly expanding medical district received a major boost Monday when City Council members unanimously approved the sale of 6.6 acres to Children's Hospital for a new ambulatory care facility. The sale is expected to close in April.
"We are pleased to be part of the Bellevue medical district and are looking forward to finalizing the purchase so we can bring these much needed services to Eastside residents -- all in an effort to treat children closer to where they live," said Lisa Brandenburg, chief administrative officer at Children's.
Deputy Mayor John Chelminiak hailed the Council's decision as one of the most important of the year.
"We have literally saved the best for the last," Chelminiak said, referring to the fact that Monday was the last Council meeting of the year.
"In a year of significant accomplishments for the city, this may be the greatest. With Children's Hospital, we now have three major facilities present in our medical district, and that fulfills a long-term vision for the city."
The land is located just southwest of the existing Overlake Hospital Medical Center and Group Health Cooperative. Overlake presently is expanding its facility, while Group Health is constructing a new medical center across the street.
Bellevue City Manager Steve Sarkozy said the sale accomplishes two important goals for Bellevue and the Eastside.
"It will expand world-class medical services for children living on the Eastside," Sarkozy said, "and it will also provide much needed funds to provide future jail services."
The property at 116th Avenue Northeast, just north of Northeast 12th Street -- just outside the city's central business district -- was originally purchased by King County for a future jail and justice center. It was deeded to Bellevue and 37 other cities by King County when the county announced several years ago it would stop contracting with the municipalities in 2012 to provide misdemeanant jail services.
Proceeds from the sale of the property, which will range from $10.5 million up to $13 million depending on future zoning of the site, will be used by the cities to either build a jail at a different location or contract with a provider for services, Sarkozy said.
A Children's spokesperson said the hospital plans to build a 50,000-square-foot ambulatory care facility to add outpatient specialty services, urgent care and pediatric specialty offices to treat Eastside children closer to where they live.
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