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About the BDA

We're the people behind the place, the business and civic leaders who champion a healthy Downtown community.

Established in 1974, the Bellevue Downtown Association supports its members with best-in-class advocacy, major community events, and strategic programs to help the Downtown area thrive. The BDA works to spotlight member successes and sustain the leadership and collaboration needed to shape Downtown's Bellevue's growth and progress.


Our Mission

To strengthen the economic and cultural vitality of Downtown Bellevue

Our Vision

Downtown Bellevue is the economic and cultural heart of the Eastside in an interconnected region.

Downtown Bellevue is a:

  • Viable, livable, memorable and accessible city core.
  • Center for creative global talent and innovative businesses.
  • Thriving retail, dining and entertainment destination.
  • Healthy and engaged residential community.
  • Vibrant partner with surrounding cities and neighborhoods.

Our Guiding Values

Inclusive Leadership, Collaboration and Advocacy: Invite and unite a broad range of constituents and partners in developing and implementing strategies for Downtown’s future.

Economic Vitality – Cultivate and promote Downtown as the preferred place to live, work, play, visit, and invest.

Collaboration – Convene diverse interests and promote an open and informed dialogue among Downtown stakeholders and constituents.

Celebration – Foster and activate a dynamic, creative and di­verse civic and cultural community.

Five-Year Strategic Plan

Goal 1: Activate Safe and Attractive Downtown Spaces

The BDA will take an active role in activating and beautifying public spaces that focuses on driving foot traffic to benefit our economy, add value and enjoyment to the Downtown experience, influence greater connectivity between key attractions, and bring continued attention to public safety and attractiveness of our dynamic environment.

  • Advance the Grand Connection vision and implementation with stakeholder engagement and long-term planning for activation, programming, and maintenance of public spaces in the corridor.
  • Expand frequent activation of public spaces throughout Downtown, with desired program elements
  • Engage on the City's code and standard to develop and communicate recommendations for increased flexibility for owners/tenants to improve design and activation of publicly accessible spaces.
  • Partner with the City to develop and implement a Downtown wayfinding plan and program with directional signage to key Downtown attractions.
  • Work with the BDA members, City of Bellevue, Bellevue Police and Fire to understand, document and address public safety concerns to help create and implement crime prevention solutions.

Goal 2: Bring the Community Downtown to Celebrate 

The BDA will embed principles that foster participation, diversity, equity, and inclusion in its programs, leadership, and events.

  • Enhance the BDA’s existing major community events that provide the strongest financial return, partner value, and community benefit.
  • Create new partnerships with community organizations, employers, local businesses, and residents to support and promote Downtown as host for a growing number of live cultural events and attractions.
  • Build the brand of the BDA and Downtown Bellevue.
  • Partner with the City of Bellevue to evaluate and potentially expand management of programs and activations in the Bellevue Downtown Park.

Goal 3: Champion Improvements to Transportation Access, Connectivity, and Choices

The BDA will advocate for improving access to and, through and within Downtown, including a range of multimodal mobility strategies and initatives.

  • BDA will be a central voice and forum for strategies and priorities that enhance Downtown's walkability, safety and multi-modal connections.
  • Update and support the BDA’s Downtown Access Strategy, complementing the annual advocacy agenda for mobility priorities.
  • Implement tools, such as a dashboard, to measure and communicate Downtown transportation projects and outcomes.
  • Relaunch the TDM Partnership (transportation demand management, TransManage) with the City of Bellevue, King County, and major employers.
  • Influence long-term positive outcomes of the Downtown Curb Management plan through coordination with the City, property owners, tenants, and private transit operators.

Goal 4: Advocate for Downtown’s Economy with Data and Research

The BDA establishes itself as the primary source of Downtown economic performance data by expanding its capacity to collect, analyze, and report data about key economic sectors and market trends.

  • Partner with the City of Bellevue, PSRC, and other data resources to create and manage an economic dashboard on the BDA website and social media channels.
  • Create and report results of a biennial Downtown perception survey.
  • Issue an annual State of Downtown economic and livability report.

Goal 5: Support Downtown’s Storefront and Retail Economy

The BDA will support street-level businesses with storytelling, new marketing opportunities, and advocacy to reduce regulatory burdens.

  • Highlight local brick-and-mortar street-level businesses in media campaigns and the BDA’s ongoing communications channels.
  • Partner with the City of Bellevue, Visit Bellevue, and the Bellevue Chamber to promote business assistance programs and support recruitment and retention of Downtown businesses.
  • Advocate for code changes that eliminate barriers to new businesses and street-level tenants locating Downtown, including those providing services for residents and businesses.
  • Partner with distinct Downtown neighborhoods and the City of Bellevue to co-fund a part-time district coordinator or event manager.
  • Collaborate with building owners/managers and/or major tenants to fill vacant ground floor retail units with temporary retail popups or other desired attractions.

Goal 6: Strengthen the BDA to Take on New Initiatives

The BDA develops new funding sources to allow the organization to scale with Downtown's growth, take advantage of emerging opportunities for community investment, address new challenges, and respond effectively to member and stakeholder priorities.

  • Reinforce the BDA as the convening leadership organization for Downtown promotion, programming and major initiatives, as well as an action-oriented forum for members, stakeholders, businesses, and resident interests.
  • Establish a new multi-year year renewable funding mechanism for the BDA’s placemaking, public realm management, marketing, TDM and research initiatives.
  • Establish annual advocacy agendas with the Bellevue Chamber, Visit Bellevue, and other organizations as appropriate to clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • Develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) framework for the BDA that addresses hiring, leadership, board representation, programming, and advocacy.
  • Continue to serve member needs and provide information, programs, and services that aid in their success Downtown.