Two of the Eastside’s big-name developers are locked in a battle over Bellevue that has far-reaching implications for how people will live in and move through the city in the 21st century. While Kemper Freeman Jr. and Greg Johnson have worked in tandem as members of the Bellevue Downtown Association, each one now views the other as being on the wrong side of the tracks…light rail tracks, that is. With a multigenerational development pedigree dating back to the early 1900s and now embodied in the tony Bellevue Collection, Freeman has long crusaded against light rail in any form (and saw his Supreme Court challenge to light rail on I-90 rejected this fall). Conversely, Johnson, as president of Wright Runstad & Company, makes the system a central component of the company’s more than 5.3 million-square-foot, 36-acre Spring District project in the Bel-Red Corridor. Light rail may deliver a competitive edge to Spring District, but Freeman is ready for the challenge. This spring he unveiled plans for his own outsized development: a $1.2 billion luxury development next to Bellevue Square—presumably with plenty of parking.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.