While many phases of Downtown Park's construction are complete, the northeast gateway is finally being improved, with additions including an entry plaza, water feature and public art. The northeast corner is the primary connection between the park and downtown, located at one of the busiest intersections in Bellevue — Northeast Fourth Street and Bellevue Way. The entrance provides high visibility to the park for large numbers of people.
Construction began in June 2020, and the project is expected to be ready for use by late May 2021. The public art feature will be installed in August.
Planning for the northeast corner was based on the 1997 park master plan, which included the plaza, from which one can enter either the area of the canal/promenade to the west or the formal garden to the south, and provides pedestrian and visual access to Northeast Fourth Street and Bellevue Way.
The water feature, different from the canal and waterfall at the park, will create a strong visual identity from the busy intersection. Since many people may not venture into the park any farther than this area, it will be developed with ample seating opportunities and as a destination point for those most treasured park activities, relaxing and people-watching.
While the Northeast Gateway is an important connection for the park to downtown, it will also function as a focal point for the Grand Connection, a pedestrian-oriented corridor to traverse downtown, from Meydenbauer Bay Park to the Wilburton neighborhood.