Last night I was a guest at the Hyatt Regency presentation of Discover Tateuchi Center--an Insider's Look, where the Executive Director John Haynes touched on the highlights and history of the long awaited Performing Arts Center for the Eastside. I must say that they have put together a very compelling and exciting benefit statement for Tateuchi Center, with a striking contemporary design. Mr. Haynes has built, opened and operated several of these projects in his illustrative career, notably in Minneapolis, San Diego, and the University of Notre Dame. His experience and flair will be an important element in the successful achievement of this ambitious project.
The economic benefit to King County over a ten year period will be $470 million. The center would create 970 jobs going forward and about 2,000 construction jobs over the period of its construction. When finished it would be the crown jewel of the Eastside, finally offering a cultural venue to Eastside residents that would compare to Seattle's Benaroya Hall.
Currently they have raised $60 million of the approximately $160 million Tateuchi Center would cost to build and open. The name Tateuchi Center came about last summer when the Tateuchi Foundation awarded $25 million gift for the naming rights to the Center. This gift honors Atsuhiko Tateuchi, a Japanese American whose wife felt this project was the best choice for her late husband, who made his fortune developing real estate.
This name Tateuchi Center supercedes the name Performing Arts Center Eastside (PACE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that was established in 2002 for the purpose of building a first-class performing arts center in Bellevue to serve the growing population of the Eastside. That year Kemper Freeman donated the land on which the center will be built, valued then at $8 million. The center will front on the corner of NE 10th Street and 106th Avenue NE, just across the street from Washington Square. When finished Tateuchi Center will contain a 2,000 seat Concert Hall and a 250 seat Cabaret, and large circulation and common areas.
I think the location for this couldn't be better with all the underground parking that exists at Bellevue Place and Lincoln Center, with all the supporting services of restaurants, banking, and hotels in immediate proximity. Once again, Kemper Freeman has put in place a winning combination, with the full backing of many of our areas major donors and success stories.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had seeded PACE with a $6 million donation at a time when they needed funding for the architecture and all the documentation necessary to obtain building permits for the project. The project approvals are secured--they are ready to build it, Sellen Construction is the contractor. All that is needed now is to flush out the remaining portion of the captial campaign and the long term vision will materialize right here in Downtown Bellevue!