Andy’s passion and enthusiasm for real estate development has taken the Fortress’ Principal and CEO around the globe, along the way finding inspiration and ideas. He brings those to Bellevue—his home, backyard and the city he loves.
With Avenue I want to create something that’s artistic and beautiful and thought-provoking. Something worthy of this great city that I call home.
Set on the eastern shores of Lake Washington, surrounded by stunning natural beauty and gorgeous parks, Bellevue is a gateway to the entire Puget Sound region and a Pacific Northwest destination in its own right. With its proximity to the headquarters of Amazon, Microsoft and a variety of start-ups in nearby Seattle, Bellevue has grown in popularity as a safe and welcoming place to live. For the last 20 years, Andy Lakha has watched the city rise and grow, all the while waiting for the right moment to make his mark.
“Bellevue is a world class city but architecturally it is not on par with other great cities around the globe,” says Lakha. “With Avenue I want to create something that’s artistic and beautiful and thought-provoking. Something worthy of this great city that I call home.”
During a career that spans more than two decades, Lakha has bought, sold and developed 70 different properties; most recently multi-face, large-scale commercial plazas, shopping centers and office buildings predominantly along the West Coast. Lakha started out by finding really good dirt to develop gas stations and fast food restaurants, which then led to developing built-to-suit projects for some of the country’s biggest retailers. He is bringing that focus to a new vernacular, that of residential and mixed-use developments.
For years Lakha waited patiently, searching across Bellevue to find exactly the right location to develop what would become his legacy project. Fortuitously, the piece of land became available on NE 8th Street and Bellevue Way in the heart of Bellevue. “This is an extremely personal project for me,” says Lakha, who lives a five-minute drive from the site. “When I say this project is practically in my backyard, I mean it.”
Lakha spent almost two years assembling his “dream team”—extraordinary talents and experts in their fields to realize his artistic vision. “Finding the right people to work on Avenue was very important to me and I’m confident that I’ve found them,” says Lakha.
“Avenue is one of the most sophisticated, dynamic and complex projects that Weber Thompson has had the pleasure to design,” says architect Blaine Weber. “Andy is a wonderful visionary and he inspired us to create something really special for this site.” Yulia Bekar, senior project designer at HBA, agrees. “Driven by Andy’s vision and high standards, an all-star team of architects, designers, real estate agents, and multiple consultants are giving their best expertise to every aspect of design,” she says. “This also applies to interiors. We have an amazing array of some of the best brand names in the world, a stunning palette of luxury materials and refined details that together make this project one of a kind.”
With Avenue, Lakha is redefining the residential experience to create a multisensory urban resort with luxury features and offerings for residents and the public. “Avenue is a game changer for Bellevue. And it’s exactly what the city needs right now.”