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Exploring Downtown Bellevue: A Vibrant Urban Hub with Unique Real Estate & Rich Cultural Scene

Tam o’Shanter

Downtown Bellevue

Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

“Inside Bellevue”, the Bellevue neighborhood spotlight series, is a unique collaboration between The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons and Downtown Bellevue Network. Drawing upon their over 30 years of experience living, working, and selling homes in Bellevue, the esteemed Brazen family provides an exclusive insider’s perspective on living in Bellevue and the real estate market.

We are delving into the neighborhood of Downtown Bellevue, the city’s bustling central business district. Boasting a population of over 55,000 employees and 15,000 residents, this vibrant area is also home to about 1,100 school-age children. Spanning approximately 400 acres, its boundaries are defined by I-405 to the east, Northeast 12th Street to the north, 100th Avenue Northeast to the west, and Main Street to the south.

In the span of just a decade, Downtown Bellevue has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving into a global hub that blends technological expertise, luxurious living, vibrant nightlife, and culinary excellence.

The city once boasted just a handful of bars and restaurants, primarily for local residents. Today, however, Bellevue boasts a variety of establishments, making it a sought-after destination

With restaurant and nightlife venues like 520 Bar & Grill, Central Bar + Restaurant, Lucky Strike, Forum Social House, Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi, and Prime 21 keeping their doors open until late hours on weekdays and 2am on weekends, Bellevue has established itself as the premier destination for those seeking a nightlife experience.

The new influx of visitors and residents in recent years has resulted in pedestrian-friendly sidewalks creating a friendly atmosphere for shoppers, diners, and travelers. The surge in the city’s growth can be largely attributed to tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta, whose groundbreaking advancements have propelled Bellevue to the forefront of innovation and business.

With TikTok recently leasing 25 floors of Downtown Bellevue real estate, this serves as a testament to Bellevue’s allure as a location for forward-thinking companies. Furthermore, the impending arrival of the light rail system promises to further enhance Bellevue’s accessibility and appeal.

In conjunction with its commercial growth, Bellevue has witnessed a surge in luxury condominium developments, represented by the sleek Avenue tower, alongside other addresses like GIS Plaza and One88. These exclusive residences come with premium prices, showing the demand for upscale living experiences in Bellevue’s lively cityscape.

Real Estate by the Numbers

Average Price of Home Sold*Average Price Per Sq Ft*Average Days on the Market*Number of Homes Sold in the Last 12 MonthsHighest Priced Home Sold in the Last 12 MonthsLowest Priced Home Sold in the Last 12 Months

** NWMLS Data for Downtown Bellevue Condominiums from January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023

Downtown Bellevue Amenities

Downtown Bellevue, a thriving urban hub, offers many amenities that cater to diverse interests. Renowned for its world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment options, The Bellevue Collection stands out as a premier destination. Old Bellevue charms visitors with its mix of shops and restaurants, adding a touch of historic allure to the area. Boasting over 200 restaurants and cafes, the culinary scene in Downtown Bellevue caters to every palate.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the greenery and open spaces, with Downtown Bellevue Park comprising five percent of the land area. Noteworthy is the Inspiration Playground at the 20-acre Bellevue Downtown Park, providing a space for recreation. Meydenbauer Park offers access to the picturesque Lake Washington, creating a serene escape within the bustling cityscape.

The Bellevue Public Library is a cultural haven for those who want to learn and explore.. Families with children can explore the engaging exhibits at the Kids Quest Children’s Museum. To accommodate visitors, Downtown boasts approximately 4,000 hotel rooms, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay for those eager to experience the dynamic offerings of the city center.

Downtown Bellevue

Meydenbauer Bay Park, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

History of the Downtown Bellevue Neighborhood

Over the years, Downtown Bellevue has undergone a significant change from its beginnings as a suburban business hub, where a large portion of the community lived in the area and commuted to work elsewhere. Today, it stands as a bustling urban hub, spanning 410 acres and boasting an array of amenities. With 4.5 million square feet dedicated to retail and entertainment, and an additional 9.9 million square feet allocated for office space, Downtown Bellevue has a low overall vacancy rate, fluctuating between 5% and 7%.

One of its most iconic landmarks, Bellevue Square, has been a cornerstone of the area since its opening in 1946, offering residents and visitors alike a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences.

The ongoing construction of Sound Transit’s East Link Light Rail is set to further enhance the accessibility and connectivity of Downtown Bellevue. With two stations slated to open soon and the potential launch of an Eastside starter line, the future looks bright for this dynamic urban destination.

Downtown Bellevue

Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Downtown Bellevue

Rainy Morning in in Old Bellevue on Main Street from 2012, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Style of Homes in Downtown Bellevue

Downtown Bellevue offers a diverse array of housing options, predominantly comprising of condominiums housed in buildings ranging from six stories to towering structures exceeding 40 stories in height. The architectural landscape reflects a blend of styles, from older condominiums constructed in the early 1960s to sleek, modern high-rises like Avenue Bellevue, which are still in the construction phase. Each residence provides unique amenities and living experiences, catering to a wide range of preferences and lifestyles.

Situated amidst single-family neighborhoods on three sides, Downtown Bellevue seamlessly integrates urban living with the charm of residential communities, offering residents a dynamic environment.

Downtown Bellevue

Bellevue Towers Condominium, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Downtown Bellevue

Bellevue Towers, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Noteworthy Events

This dynamic community also embraces the arts, housing the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Meydenbauer Center, the award-winning Bellevue Library, and the expanded KidsQuest Children’s Museum. Throughout the year, Downtown Bellevue hosts major events like the Pacific Northwest’s largest arts and crafts fair, the Wintergrass Music Festival, the Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival, and the enchanting Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection.

Downtown Bellevue

Snowflake Lane, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Downtown Bellevue

Snowflake Lane, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Additional Facts about Downtown Bellevue

In August 2023, the sale of a penthouse at Bellevue Towers for $12,850,000 underscored the allure of Downtown Bellevue, a neighborhood experiencing rapid growth and recognized as the second-largest city center in Washington.

Situated at the heart of the Puget Sound region, it serves as both an economic powerhouse and a cultural hub for “the Eastside.” Notably, Downtown Bellevue has garnered national acclaim, earning the #4 spot among‘s “Top 10 Downtowns in the U.S.” in 2016 and placing Bellevue at #6 on‘s “Top 100 Places to Live in the U.S.” in 2017.

Despite occupying less than 2% of the city’s land area, Downtown Bellevue boasts an Average Walk Score of 94 and a Transit Score of 60, reflecting its accessibility and urban amenities. Additionally, its economic vitality is evident, as it contributes nearly one-third of the city’s tax revenue, solidifying its significance within the region.

Downtown Bellevue

Bellevue Downtown Park, Photo Courtesy: The Brazen’s at Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons

Map of Downtown Bellevue

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