What I Love About Bellevue

Bellevue Downtown Park canal 8-2017I moved to Bellevue 30 years ago and have lived downtown for the past ten years. I love living here and one of the things I love most are the beautiful and diverse parks throughout the city. I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of ten parks which I visit frequently with my two pups. Did you know . . .

  • Bellevue has 2,700 acres of parks and open space with 80+ miles of multi-use trails
  • 45 parks have playgrounds
  • 6 waterfront parks have seasonal lifeguards
  • 17 parks have reservable picnic areas
  • 16 have tennis courts and six have pickleball courts (3 indoor and 3 outdoor)
  • Bellevue has an aquatic center, a tennis center and two golf courses (Bellevue Golf Course and the Crossroads Par 3 golf course)
  • Kelsey Creek Farm is home to ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and more

There are nearly 100 city maintained parks. The Dowtown Park, the city’s crown jewel, recently reopened after a one year closure for a major upgrade. The park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of downtown Bellevue offering views of Mt. Rainier and the downtown skyline. A 1/2 mile groomed promenade circles a canal which is bordered by trees and dozens of benches and a 240’waterfall. The expanded Inspiration Playground provides innovative play space for children of all ages and abilities plus a fun water play space which was very popular this summer.

Nearly every community throughout the city has walk-able access to at least one park and many of the downtown office buildings have intimate public courtyards that offer a quiet respite in the city. I appreciate the time, care and maintenance city employees put into keeping our parks groomed, clean and planted with seasonal landscaping. Parks are a huge asset and contribute to the livability of a city and our local parks are a big part of what makes Bellevue s special place to live.

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Downtown Park Celebration

Downtown Park fountain 6-2015Today is the grand opening celebration for Bellevue’s Downtown Park. Closed for the past year to complete a major renovation, the park will open just in time for the July 4th celebration and fireworks.

For nearly 30 years the popular park has existed with an incomplete circular promenade and canal. During the last year work has been completed to create a grand entryway, water feature and terraced seating at the south end of the park, enhanced lighting and landscaping throughout the park and a new Inspiration Playground designed for children of all ages and abilities which was made possible through a partnership with the Rotary Club of Bellevue.

Events include a ribbon-cutting with city officials, live music, including the Seahawks Blue Thunder band, food trucks and more. Free parking is available at Bellevue High School with shuttle service to and from the park.

Its going to be a beautiful afternoon. Get out and enjoy the park.

Bellevue Farmers Market

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.)

 

 

WRE color logo jpg
Windermere Real Estate
A proud sponsor of the Bellevue Farmers Market since 2004.

 

 

 

Selling in a Hot Market

cleaning

flickr/sgrace

Yes, its a seller’s market, but if you’re planning to sell your home, don’t think you can forego the typical prep work associated with getting your home ready to show to buyers. This is the time of year more homes are listed for sale, and more inventory brings more competition. With more to choose from buyers may not be willing to pay top dollar for a dirty, dated or poorly maintained home.

There are easy, inexpensive tasks a homeowner can complete in a weekend or two that make a big difference.

  • CLEAN (and clean again) – pay special attention to the kitchen and baths.
  • DE-CLUTTER – remove clutter in closets, cabinets, drawers and garages. “Martha Stewart” your house and show off the storage space.
  • PAINT – If a room or hallway is looking tired a fresh coat of paint is inexpensive and makes a big difference.
  • MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION – Curb appeal is huge. The saying “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” is true in any market. Paint the entry door (if the HOA permits), install a new kick plate, toss tired winter plants and put fresh flowers and mulch in entry pots or gardens.
  • LET THE SUN SHINE IN – open window treatments, remove or replace tired drapes or blinds. Clean the windows – maximize your home’s natural light.

Some work will require professional help but its worth the investment. Have the furnace and A/C serviced. If other systems, appliances or fixtures need repair get it scheduled.

Multiple offers are common and many homes are selling quickly and for more than list price, but that doesn’t mean a free pass for neglecting repairs or cleaning. A home should be delivered to the new owner in clean and good condition.

It takes considerable time and energy to get a home ready to sell, but the payoff (return on investment) is worth the effort. I specialize in condos. I know what’s been happening in your neighborhood and your home’s market value. When its time to sell let’s talk . . . I have information and referrals for cleaners, contractors, landscapers, resources for donating or disposal and can help you maximize your return on investment.

Bellevue Downtown Park Expansion

Downtown Park Intersection Closure

photo courtesy City of Bellevue

The “Complete the Circle” project at the Downtown Park is underway with work scheduled to be completed in time for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. The expansion includes completion of the last section of the circular canal and tree lined promenade, creating a new entry and water feature at the south end of the park, upgrading the playground to create a universally accessible Inspiration Playground, adding landscaping and terraced seating and enlarging the parking lot on 100th Avenue NE.

Construction of the park’s new south entry and pedestrian crossing caused the closure of the intersection at NE First Street and 102nd Avenue NE this week. The intersection is expected to open again mid-to-late April.

The Downtown Park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of the city and the centerpiece of the Bellevue Parks System. There’s something for everyone . . . a half mile level tree-lined promenade, canal, waterfall and reflecting pond, a ten acre lawn area, playground, picnic areas and formal gardens . . . all framed by views of Bellevue’s skyline and Mt. Rainier. It will be exciting to see the improvements and have the park open again this summer.

S. Bellevue Park & Ride Closure

Sound Transit light railThe south Bellevue Park-and-Ride will be closing  for East Link light rail construction. The site will be used to stage equipment and materials for construction of the light rail track, station and a new 1,500 stall parking garage. The Bellevue park & ride could close as early as January 2017 and will remain closed for up to five years, though Sound Transit and the contractor hope to explore opportunities to reopen the park & ride sooner if possible.

To serve commuters during this closure Sound Transit has opened several new park & ride locations and expanded other lots. Bus routes serving the new park-and-ride lots will connect with many of the same routes and destinations as those currently served at the South Bellevue Location.

No doubt this is going to be inconvenient, but the outcome  –  better and faster transit options for our region  –  will be worth the wait. Plan ahead to deal with the long term closures of both the South Bellevue and Overlake park & ride facilities. Sound Transit and King County Metro have partnered to help commuters find transportation options and earn rewards for taxi, Uber and Lyft discounts, Orca cards, transit vouchers and more.

Visit www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/Parking/plan-ahead-2017-park-and-ride-closures for an interactive map showing the new park & ride locations. Learn about eligibility to earn perks and rewards at justonetrip.org (click on the “resources” tab)

 

New Bellevue Condos

downtown-park-fountain-2-compressedAll recent residential construction in downtown Bellevue has been rental apartments. No new condominiums have been built since the completion of Bellevue Towers in 2009. With the growth and appeal of urban living, the demand for condominiums in downtown Bellevue has been strong for the past several years. Unfortunately, the limited amount of resale inventory has left many buyers with few choices.

Bosa Development, developer of the 698 unit Insignia condos in downtown Seattle, has plans to construct a 21 story residential tower with street level retail at the SE corner of Bellevue Way NE and NE 2nd Street. The community, to be named One88, will feature high-end residences. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017. Bosa Development recently purchased another parcel in downtown Bellevue at NE 8th Street and 106th Avenue NE where it is anticipated condominiums with street level retail will be built.     The property is currently home to a strip retail center.