| United States|
36.47 sq mi
| Meydenbauer Center, KidsQuest Childrens Museum, Bellevue Downtown Park, Bellevue Square, Bellevue Botanical Garden|
Bellevue College, City University of Seattle, Evergreen Beauty & Barber College
Bellevue ( bel?·vyu) is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. As Seattles largest suburb, Bellevue has variously been characterized as an edge city, a boomburb, or satellite city. The city had a population of 122,363 at the 2010 census.
Prior to 2008, downtown Bellevue underwent rapid change, with many high rise projects under construction, and was relatively unaffected by the economic downturn. It is currently the second largest city center in Washington state with over 35,000 employees and 5,000 residents. Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 6th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington. In 2008, Bellevue was named number 1 in CNNMoneys list of the best places to live and launch a business, and in 2010 was again ranked as the 4th best place to live in America. The name "Bellevue" is French for "beautiful view". In 2014, Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live by USA Today.
Bellevue was founded in 1869 by William Meydenbauer and was officially incorporated on March 21, 1953. Prior to the opening of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge in 1940, Bellevue was a rural area with little development. Although it was small, developers were pushing to change that; in the 1920s, James S. Ditty predicted that it would become a city with a population of 200,000. He envisioned plans that included the bridging of Lake Washington and an area filled with golf courses and airports. His map with these visions was published in 1928.
Once the Murrow Memorial Bridge opened, access from Seattle improved, and the area gradually grew into a bedroom community.
Following the 1963 opening of a second bridge across the lake, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, the city began to grow more rapidly. It has since become one of the largest cities in the state, with several high-rise structures in its core and a burgeoning business community.
Reflective of Bellevues growth over the years is Bellevue Square, now one of the largest shopping centers in the region. Opened in 1946, the mall underwent a significant expansion in the 1980s. More recently, an expansion along Bellevue Way called "The Lodge" and the new One Lincoln Tower promise to strengthen downtown Bellevues role as the largest Seattle Eastside shopping and dining destination.
The citys long-term plans include the Bel-Red Corridor Project, a large-scale planning effort to encourage the redevelopment of a large northern section of the city bordering the adjacent town of Redmond. Patterned after what many civic leaders consider the successful redevelopment of the downtown core, early plans include "superblock" mixed use projects similar to Lincoln Square. Premised on the 2008 approval of the extension of Link Light Rail to the Eastside, the city hopes to mitigate transportation problems impeding earlier efforts in redeveloping the downtown core; viewed as an economic development opportunity by many in the business and building development community, the process has focused on infrastructure and the encouragement of private construction in a large-scale urban renewal effort.
Bellevue is located at 47°36?N 122°12?W (47.5976, -122.1592).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.47 square miles (94.46 km2), of which, 31.97 square miles (82.80 km2) is land and 4.50 square miles (11.65 km2) is water.
The citys name is derived from a French term for "beautiful view". Under favorable weather conditions, scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Mountains can be viewed from hilltops (and strategically positioned high-rise buildings) within the incorporated city.
The city lies between Lake Washington to the west and the smaller Lake Sammamish to the east. Much of Bellevue is drained by the Kelsey Creek watershed, whose source is located in the Larsen and Phantom Lake green belt and whose outlet is near where Interstate 90 meets Lake Washingtons eastern shore. The city is bisected by Interstate 405 running north-south, and the southern portion is crossed from west to east by Interstate 90. The State Route 520 freeway roughly delineates the upper reaches of Bellevue.
South of I-90, the city continues up Cougar Mountain, at the top of which lies is an unincorporated King County location called Hilltop. To the west of Cougar Mountain, Bellevue includes the Coal Creek, Factoria and Factoria neighborhoods.
Bellevue is bordered by the cities of Kirkland to the north and Redmond to the northeast along the Overlake and Crossroads neighborhoods. Across the short East Channel Bridge, I-90 connects Bellevue to Mercer Island to the southwest. Issaquah is to the east, down I-90 at the south end of Lake Sammamish. The city is also bordered to the west by the suburbs of Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point and Yarrow Point. The south end of Bellevue is bordered by the city of Renton, and to the southeast, the relatively recently incorporated city of Newcastle.
With its immediate proximity to Redmond, home of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Valve Corp, and direct highway access to Seattle via Interstate 90 and State Route 520, Bellevue is now home to the headquarters of many small and large businesses, many of which are technology companies that started in the 1990s. The city has numerous thriving commercial districts, including three major shopping centers aside from Bellevue Square: Factoria Mall to the South, Crossroads Mall to the East, and the Overlake Shopping District in the North.
Bellevue is the site of the popular annual Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair (originally Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts Fair), held since 1947 at the end of July. The biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition draws thousands of visitors to the Downtown Park to view up to 46 three-dimensional artworks from artists around the country. In celebration of its strawberry farming history, Bellevue holds an annual Strawberry Festival. The Bellevue 24-Hour Relay has also been hosted every July in Bellevue Downtown Park.