Kemper Freeman Jr. is determined to inject some nightlife into downtown Bellevue. He added a jazz supper club to the Hyatt in November and plans to bring a billiards bar and restaurant...

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Kemper Freeman Jr. is determined to inject some nightlife into downtown Bellevue. He added a jazz supper club to the Hyatt in November and plans to bring a billiards bar and restaurant to Lincoln Square.



“We finally have some nightlife in Bellevue,” Freeman said at last week’s ceremony celebrating the completion of steel framing of Lincoln Square’s retail space.



The Parlor Billiards & Spirits will feature 44 pool tables, a bar with 24 kinds of martinis and a full restaurant. Owned by Lynnwood dentist Steve Olson and his fiancée, Corinna Quilliam, the bar will be on the third floor of Lincoln Square when it opens in November.



Bellevue’s biggest developer bought Lincoln Square, a two-tower condo, hotel, retail and office development in August 2003 for $40 million. He restarted construction on the stalled project last February and expects to open its three-story shopping mall and hotel in November.



Freeman, who also owns the Hyatt Regency Bellevue and Bellevue Square mall, is waiting to start the 27-story office tower when Bellevue’s vacancy rate, which was 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter, decreases.



Lincoln Square’s condos have sold quickly since Freeman’s sales office opened in April. Eight of the 148 condos are left. The units, on the top 23 floors of a 41-story tower, range in price from $540,000 to $3 million.



Check out the condos at www.onelincolntower.com.



No holiday for home sales


You would think Eastside homebuyers would take a break during the holidays. But the allure of low interest rates — and the fear they would rise — kept buyers coming back.




Closed sales rose 20.4 percent on the Eastside in December, compared with December 2003, reported the Northwest Multiple Listing Service last week. The Kirkland group, which has more than 17,000 real-estate agents and brokers as members, tracks home sales in 15 counties in Western Washington.



Decades-low interest rates have propped up the housing market for the past three years and attracted thousands of first-time homebuyers. During December, the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was around 5.81 percent, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Average rates in November were slightly lower at 5.71 percent.



There are not a lot of homes to choose from on the Eastside. New listings inched up 10.6 percent, but total listings fell 25.3 percent. Many would-be sellers have either refinanced and decided to stay in their homes or are waiting for home prices to rise even higher.



Last month, the median price on the Eastside was $379,950, a 10.3 percent rise over a year earlier. Median home prices increased across the Eastside, except east of Lake Sammamish.



It took an average of 56 days to sell a home in December, 10 days less than in 2003.



Eastside Business Notes appears every Wednesday in the Eastside edition of the Seattle Times. Kristina Shevory: 206-464-2039 or kshevory@seattletimes.com