The fundamentals of Bellevue's Downtown are extraordinary. Here are a few highlights.
- Access: Downtown has an average Walk Score of 94 and a Transit Score of 60. Bus and carpool ridership continues to grow. Sound Transit's East Link Light Rail is under construction and will serve Downtown with two stations opening in 2023 (East Link: Seattle-Mercer Island-Bellevue-Redmond).
- Growth: Since 2010, the number of Downtown residents has doubled to nearly 14,000. Downtown increased its jobs base by 25% at the same time. More than 1.5 million square feet of new office development opened in the past two years. Almost all of it is occupied.
- Economy: Downtown represents less than 2% of the city's land area, but its economic activity contributes nearly one-third of the city's tax revenue.
- Retail: A premier shopping destination for the Pacific Northwest, Downtown attracts tens of millions of shoppers each year and generates more than $1 billion in annual taxable retail sales. The Bellevue Collection and The Shops at the Bravern are the major retail attractions with stores including Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus, Tesla, Gucci, Anthropologie, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Macy's, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon Books. Old Bellevue offers great food and interesting shops in a vibrant neighborhood setting. Downtown is served by five grocery stores.
- Dining: 200+ options, from unique cafes and international fast casual to chef-owned farm-to-table and the region's best steakhouses.
- Innovation: Downtown Bellevue is a hub for the region's tech, creative and interactive economy, home to SAP Concur, Expedia, Valve, Bungie, the Northwest HQ of Salesforce, U.S. offices for Chinese companies Huawei, Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, a regional office for Amazon, and more than 6,000 Microsoft employees in four office towers. The Global Innovation Exchange recently opened in Bellevue's Spring District (5 minutes from the Downtown core), which will also welcome REI's new HQ in 2020. Bellevue's Factoria neighborhood (5 minutes from the city core) is home to T-Mobile's North American HQ.
- Visitors: Downtown is served by approximately 4,000 hotel rooms. Properties include Hyatt Regency, Westin, W, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Courtyard Marriott, AC Marriott, Residence Inn Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Silver Cloud, and Hotel Bellevue
- Livability: Parks and open green space comprise five percent of Downtown's land area, including the new Inspiration Playground at the 20-acre Bellevue Downtown Park. Meydenbauer Bay Park recently celebrated its grand reopening, offering a vital, beautiful and beachy connection to the waterfront. Downtown is home to about 1,100 school-age kids, or about 8% of Downtown residents. According to the Census Bureau's latest 5-year ACS averages, women outnumber men among Downtown residents, and the median resident age is 34 years old. Bellevue is one of Washington state's most diverse and inclusive communities, home to residents from around the world attracted by the region's job base, Bellevue's school district, and the city's growing cultural amenities.
- Neighborhoods: Downtown is Bellevue's largest and fastest growing neighborhood. It's also bordered on three sides by vibrant single-family neighborhoods, each enjoying walkable proximity to Downtown amenities.
- Safety: Based on the City of Bellevue's annual Performance Measures survey, 99% of respondents report feeling safe walking around Downtown during the day, and 88% percent report feeling safe after dark.
Heart of the Eastside
Downtown Bellevue is the second largest city center in Washington. Located at the heart of the Puget Sound region, Downtown is the economic and cultural hub of what is called "the Eastside.”
In 2016, Downtown Bellevue was ranked #4 among the "Top 10 Downtown in the U.S." by Livability.com.
In 2017, Bellevue was ranked #6 among the "Top 100 Places to Live in the U.S." by Livability.com.
A Cultural Destination
The Downtown Bellevue community is also home to the Bellevue Arts Museum and the Meydenbauer Center, two of the Eastside's most outstanding arts and convention venues, the award-winning Bellevue Library, as well as two of the nation's premier destination retail centers, The Bellevue Collection and The Shops at The Bravern. Downtown Bellevue hosts the Pacific Northwest's largest arts and crafts fair weekend in late July, the Wintergrass Music Festival and late February, and Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival in late May. Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection and the Bellevue Downtown Ice Arena at Bellevue Downtown Park have made Downtown the region's most popular holiday event experience. Downtown Bellevue is also home to the recently-expanded KidsQuest Children's Museum.
Downtown Bellevue has evolved from a suburban business district and Seattle bedroom community to a thriving urban destination encompassing 410 acres, 4.5 million square feet of retail and entertainment uses, and 9.9 million square feet of office space with a low overall vacancy rate, currently between 5% and 7% depending on the source. There are more than 53,000 employees and 14,000 residents housed in downtown. Growth forecasts predict 71,000 Downtown employees and 19,000 residents by 2030. Since 1974, the Bellevue Downtown Association will continue to champion and provide leadership for a viable, livable, memorable and accessible downtown.
Regional Transportation Hub
Bellevue serves as the transportation center in the region where major east-west and north-south transportation corridors intersect; nestled between state route 520 to the north, I-405 (with Express Toll Lanes - free on the weekends and for 3+ HOVs at all times) to the east, and I-90 to the south and with 1,150 buses entering and leaving the Bellevue Transit Center each day. This proximity makes Bellevue an employment center for sectors such as technology, bio medical sciences, legal, banking, venture capital, trade, architecture, engineering, and real estate development. Just minutes (17 miles on I-405) from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and equidistant from both London and Beijing (with daily direct flights to both), the greater Seattle-Bellevue area is a center for international trade. It is closer to Japan, Korea and China than any other city on the West Coast. And, after Washington DC and NYC, it is 3rd in the USA in number of foreign embassies.
City of Bellevue Population Demographics