Downtown Bellevue has become a city for families. A decade ago it was a rare sight to see children lined up at school bus stops downtown. Now you can see dozens of children waiting for school buses on several corners throughout the central business district. The increased “stroller count” confirms that couples who may have moved downtown several years ago are choosing to remain downtown and raise their families in the city.
While many new residents, singles and young families, are embracing urban living, working “seniors” are also moving downtown, transitioning from suburban homes where they raised their families to the city, drawn to the convenience and energy of an urban lifestyle vs. moving to age designated, sometimes isolated, suburban communities. The walk-ability to shopping, dining, arts and entertainment venues and medical services is appealing to any age. Nearly 40% of Bellevue’s population is made up of young-at-heart 45-70 year olds who are still working or are active retirees.
Bellevue is also a city of many nations. With over 39% of Bellevue’s population having been born in a foreign country, the city has expanded its cultural diversity. A stroll through Bellevue Square or along the canal at the Downtown Park will reveal a wide variety of languages being spoken by many generations of families who now call Bellevue home.
The city has experienced phenominal business and population growth over the last 10-15 years, and with that growth comes change. Not everyone may embrace change, but the city will never look like it did two decades ago. We are fortunate to live in an active, diverse, thriving city with a vibrant business district, some of the best shopping and dining north of San Francisco, excellent schools and access to world class health care. Its a great place to call home.
Robin Myers / Condo Market Specialist / Windermere Real Estate
Bosa Development officially broke ground last week for the One88 – a 21 story luxury condominium community. This will be the first new condo development in downtown Bellevue since the construction of Bellevue Towers and Washington Square nearly ten years ago. The One88 tower will be rise 21 stories with 143 homes offering one, two and three bedroom residences and penthouse floor plans as well as luxury owner amenities.
Located at the southwest corner of Bellevue Way NE and NE 2nd Street, One88 replaces a collection of low rise buildings where the former Robbins Brothers jewelry was located.
Bosa also developed the successful Insignia condominium towers in Seattle and will also develop the full block city property between Third and Fourth Avenues in Seattle. Plans include a 520 unit residential high-rise and public plaza. Last fall Bosa purchased a second development site in downtown Bellevue. Prices and floor plan details have not yet been released for the One88 community. Marketing and pre-sales are scheduled to begin in early 2018.
There continues to be high interest in urban living and high demand for condos in the downtown Bellevue marketplace. With continuing low inventory buyers have very little to choose from. No doubt One88 is going to be a welcome addition to the downtown skyline. I’m looking forward to the release of more information on this community.
Saturday, June 3rd is the fifth annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride. Two routes are available – both start and finish at the Lake Hills Community Park. The mostly flat 9 mile Greenbelt Loop takes riders through Bellevue’s award winning park system. A more challenging ride, the Lake Loop, follows a 22 mile route. Both routes are approximately 80% on-road and 20% off-road gravel surfaces.
Event pre-registration ($15) is available or $20 the day of the event. Participants receive a custom t-shirt. Registration opens at 8:00 AM and first riders depart at 9:00 AM. To register visit http://parksreg.bellevuewa.gov/ (activity code #117822) or call call 425-452-6885. For more information, or to volunteer for the event, visit the event website at http://bellevuewa.gov/lake-to-lake-bike-ride.htm, call 425-452-4882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The event benefits Bellevue Youth Camp Scholarship Fund.
Rain or shine . . . this is a great opportunity to for kids of any age to enjoy a non-competitive recreational ride to explore the city’s award winning park system and lake views. Te event is recommended for ages 9 and up. Riders under age 9 must be in a tag-a-long or trailer.
A sure sign of spring – this Thursday, May 18th, is opening day for the Bellevue Farmers Market. Back at its familiar location, vendors will be setting up in the parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church (1717 Bellevue Way NE just north of downtown) with ample parking available. The market will be open every Thursday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, rain or shine, from May 18th through October 12th. (Pets are not permitted except service animals.)
Windermere Real Estate
A proud sponsor of the Bellevue Farmers Market since 2004.
Three new eateries recently opened (or reopened) in downtown Bellevue, the first of many scheduled to open in coming months. Some are new to the area along with a local favorite.
Minamoto Japanese Cuisine opened in March at the Alley 111 Apartments. Minamoto’s menu focuses on Japanese cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner.
Peony Kitchen recently opened on Main Street adding a fresh interpretation of Chinese cuisine to the Old Main Street neighborhood. Peony is located at the Meyden Apartments where there is public garage and street parking available. Open for lunch and dinner.
Wild Ginger, after shuttering the Bravern location earlier this month, Wild Ginger has reopened at Lincoln Square. The new space is smaller and more intimate, but you can expect the same high quality Asian food and extensive wine list.
A long time downtown resident, I’m looking forward to sampling these and other new dining opportunities this summer.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum is scheduled to open its doors January 31st in its new location in downtown Bellevue at the corner of NE 12th Street and 108th Avenue NE (the former Rosalie Whyle Museum of Doll Art).
If you never had an opportunity to visit the museum’s former Factoria location, this is a “must do” activity for parents and children. The museum’s indoor and outdoor hands-on interactive exhibits are designed for exploration and experimentation with a focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math. If you’ve driven by lately the big rig truck cab is visible through the windows on the north side of the building. There are also three classrooms and an art studio with a kiln.
The museum isn’t just for kids – KidsQuest will continue to offer their popular “Recess on the Rocks” – after hours access for adults to enjoy the exhibits and activities accompanied by food and cocktails. You must be 21+ to play. The museum is also available to rent for evening events and dinners.
Downtown is Bellevue’s fastest growing neighborhood with new apartments and condos scheduled to break ground this year. What’s happening – and what’s about to happen – in downtown Bellevue’s real estate entertainment scene? I live and work in downtown Bellevue – contact me to find out what’s planned for 2017.
Due to the construction at the Downtown Park this winter, the Bellevue Magic Season ice skating facility will be temporarily located at Ashwood Park next to the Bellevue Library for the 2016-2017 season. Crews started setting up last week in preparation for the arena’s opening in less than three weeks.
The ice arena – the region’s largest open-air holiday ice skating area – will allow for skating rain or shine and offer food and beverage concessions. The arena will be open November 25th through January 8th – don’t miss special events which include free skate Mondays, free skating lessons, stroller skate Thursdays and family skate events. Parking will be available at the Bellevue Library parking garage, the new 929 Office Tower (on 108th Avenue between NE 10th and NE 8th Streets) and at the Griffin Parking Lot (at the corner of NE 8th Street and 110th Avenue NE).
It will be a nice change to have one of the popular Bellevue Magic Season venues located on the north end of downtown for this holiday season.