City’s tightly compact, pedestrian-friendly core is filled with sleek high-rises and loads of shopping and dining options.
Population: More than 10,500
Location: Downtown Bellevue is bordered by 100th Avenue Northeast to the west, Northeast 12th Street to the north, I-405 to the east and Main Street to the south.
Why people move to this neighborhood: It’s a tightly compact, pedestrian-friendly core filled with sleek glass high-rises and streets lined with shops and restaurants. Downtown Bellevue is a shopping destination for many and is home to large shopping malls and outdoor complexes, including The Bellevue Collection, with 200 retailers, and the luxurious The Shops at The Bravern. A green and grassy Downtown Park provides plenty of lawn space to spread out on, as well as rose gardens, a playground and a few dirt walking paths and water features. Downtown Bellevue is the largest commercial and residential hub of all the Eastside cities, home to some of the largest employers in the area, and its proximity to I-90 and Highway 520 means it’s a quick commute to downtown Seattle as well.
Distance from downtown Seattle: About 11 miles, 20 minutes by car without traffic
School district: Bellevue School District
Major employers: Microsoft, Boeing, Expedia, Zillow, T-Mobile USA, Drugstore.com, Eddie Bauer, many others
Housing: Luxury apartments and condominiums in high-rises and modern buildings
Walk score (out of 100): 90
Transit score (out of 100): 56
Bike score (out of 100): 50
Historical facts: In the 1880s, settlers who had forged a new community around Meydenbauer Bay named their village Bellevue, meaning “beautiful view” in French. Around the turn of the 20th century, the town’s focus shifted from logging and mining to agriculture. Bellevue’s many Japanese immigrants, who initially were brought to the area to clear land, used their own small plots to produce a bounty of vegetables and strawberries. The strawberries were especially successful and were ferried to Seattle (and shipped elsewhere by train), and in 1925, Bellevue held its first Strawberry Festival.
Recreation: The largest green space is the 21-acre circular, central Downtown Park, with plenty of open lawn to spread out across, a few dirt paths along the perimeter for dog walking and strolling, rose gardens, a man-made waterfall and views of the city and Mount Rainier on clear days. Shopping is plentiful at the many stores and businesses around The Bellevue Collection shopping center (dining options are plentiful in the surrounding area as well), and many luxury designer stores can be found at The Shops at The Bravern to the east. Bellevue Arts Museum holds exhibitions of contemporary art.
Zillow Home Value Index: $638,600 (as of Feb. 2016)
Zillow Rent Index: $2,488 (as of Feb. 2016)