Skip to Main Content

Another Year of Challenges, Successes and Resiliency...A Message From the BDA President

January 14, 2022 - by Patrick Bannon


The Downtown is adapting, again, to new challenges. We see how much stronger we are when we work together. Last year, in partnership with our members and the City of Bellevue, the BDA expanded the Heart of Bellevue campaign, promoting local businesses and storytelling about the community. We’ve had the privilege of getting to know and highlighting more than 300 businesses. In every "Person Behind The Place" spotlight and in each blog, we found words of wisdom, anecdotes of struggles and successes and encouraging messages of unity and hope.

Almost 50 years ago, the BDA was created in the spirit of cooperative action to fulfill a new vision for what a thriving downtown can be, one inspired by the shared ideas and wisdom of its constituents. The value proposition has always been something like: Bellevue’s Downtown and the people who choose to be here will mutually benefit and grow in a connected economy. And it usually comes down to the basic qualities and ample opportunities offered by the downtown experience.

We recognize the crazy times we’re in, but we also accept that we can deal with the present challenges – a pandemic, tough issues, big changes – by helping and accepting the help of others, even when we don’t agree. The cooperative strength and passion of our people will continue to not only inspire the BDA as a body but will also push us to be an even better organization for the community.

Like most ambitious projects, the future of Downtown Bellevue is both known and unknown. By one definition, it’s fulfilling the vision for 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

Downtown remains a work in progress on many counts. My prediction for the most important thing in our future will not be the scale of the skyline, square footage or big infrastructure. All key outcomes. The crux will be the connections we’re willing to make, both physical and human, paired with the reasonable risks we – all of us – take to show up, stay curious, and choose to work together.

We thank our community and every BDA member, the people who continue to shape and energize our Downtown and wish you an even happier and healthier New Year. We are grateful for your resiliency and support for our marvelous city.

Patrick Bannon
President  |  Bellevue Downtown Association