Downtown Bellevue: A Growth Snapshot
Safe to say, it’s been a transformative period of growth for Downtown Bellevue. The job market is still booming, residents continue to move in, and more world-class retail, restaurants and amenities are headed our way. At the 2020 Annual Celebration, we took a moment to reflect on this growth - and celebrate what’s coming down the pipeline - by highlighting the latest figures in a short video. Give the clip above a watch, then read on for highlights and a preview of what’s to come:
Construction is expanding, with projects wrapping up just as new developments break ground. With 1.6 million-square-feet of office space under construction, and another 6.2 million planned, Downtown Bellevue is about to be home to an ever-expanding list of innovative businesses. But it’s not all about work; 560,446-square-feet of retail and restaurant space and 1,447 hotel rooms are also in the pipeline, alongside 5,304 residential units. More and more, Downtown Bellevue is a place to live, work and play.
Speaking of living Downtown, the amount of people residing in the urban core has seen incredible growth. Downtown Bellevue was home to only 2,421 residents in 2000. By 2010, that number had risen to 7,147 and today stands at about 14,200 – a 487% increase! It’s easy to see why; Downtown Bellevue is increasingly walkable, features great places to eat and shop, and offers an increasingly-urban lifestyle on the eastside.
It’s not uncommon to hear reports of Bellevue’s growing job market, but more and more, this growth is concentrated in Downtown as companies choose to expand in the city center. In 2000, Downtown was home to 32,600 workers, jumping to 41,283 by 2011. This year, that number hit 55,000, equating a 65% increase. And with Amazon’s recent announcement of 15,000 jobs coming to Downtown Bellevue over the next few years, it’s likely just getting started.
All of this growth is undoubtedly also driven by the many great things the city offers today. Downtown is home to the 21 acre Downtown Park and now has public waterfront access with newly-opened Meydenbauer Bay Park. Downtown Bellevue is increasingly transit-oriented, with 1,150 buses currently serving the Downtown Transit Center daily and the East Link Light Rail opening in 2023. With a median residential age of 34.1 and 79% of residents holding a bachelors degree, Downtown’s dynamic neighbors are also prime for the city’s growing workforce.
The development pipeline shows an ever-growing interest in adding to the Downtown Skyline, but this growth also adds to the Downtown experience – and that means our city center will continue to become a more exciting and diverse place to live, work and play. That’s a positive prospect for any downtown and something we can all look forward to.
Data sources: City of Bellevue, CoStar, BDA, US Census, Visit Bellevue, Broderick Group, CBRE, Kidder Matthews, Jones Long LaSalle