Bellevue, French for “beautiful view”, is the fifth largest city in Washington, with a population of more than 140,000. Livability.com ranked Bellevue number 14 on its 2015 Top 100 Best Places to Live. The Eastside is considered the high-tech and retail center due to more than 130,000 jobs and a skyline of gleaming high-rises. From Water skiing in the summer to snow skiing in the winter, you get the best of both worlds in Bellevue. The city spans more than 31 square miles between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, and is a short drive from the Cascade Mountains.
Bellevue is also conveniently located between two major highways I-90 & 405. For the daily commuter Bellevue is only a 15 minute drive from downtown Seattle and only 40 minutes to major ski resorts. East Link is a voter-approved project to extend light rail from Seattle, across Lake Washington on Interstate 90, through Bellevue and on to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond. The project is currently in the final design phase, with construction anticipated to begin in early 2016 and service to start in 2023.
Easy access to the overseas markets in Asia and the strong economy boast an extremely diversified mix of industries which attract residents, employers and employees from around the world. Department stores, car dealerships and electronic/computer stores lead the retail sector. Eddie Bauer relocated its headquarters from Redmond, WA to a 28-story office tower at Lincoln Square, which was completed in mid-2007. It shares this tower with Microsoft's North American Sales Headquarters. Boeing, an aircraft manufacturer, is Bellevue's third largest employer with over 2,800 employees.
In the service sector, a high concentration of real estate companies, engineering firms, financial institutions and accounting firms are based in the city. There are many high-tech firms in Bellevue from Microsoft, which employs 7,500 workers to Bungie Studios, T-Mobile and Expedia. Newer companies in the city make up many of the top 50 fastest-growing public companies in Washington.
The Bellevue School District is proudly one of the best in the nation. They City’s schools are consistently rated among the best in the country and more than 50 languages are now spoken by children in Bellevue public schools. Diversity is now a bragging right of Bellevue. The National League of Cities issued Bellevue its Cultural Diversity Award in 2015 for adopting a plan to support and take advantage of its growing diversity.
There are almost 100 parks in Bellevue, with a broad range of amenities and features, including indoor pools, lakefront beaches, community centers, golf courses, skate plazas, nature trails, indoor tennis courts and a boat launch.
Sales at local shopping complexes are always an attraction, however a strawberry festival and a arts and crafts fair each draw thousands each year. During the holiday season, the Garden d'Lights display at the Bellevue Botanical Garden attracts visitors from far and wide. Artists from around the country enter striking new works in the biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition. Every July 4, thousands from around the region converge on Bellevue Downtown Park for the Family 4th event. Bellevue's agrarian traditions are celebrated in the spring and fall at popular fairs at the Kelsey Creek Farm Park.
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City of Bellevue
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