Bellevue Metro Condos Real Estate Search

First Bridge Spans Lake Washington- The construction of the first bridge across Lake Washington in 1939 was instrumental in changing Bellevue from a farming community into a bustling suburb. Before the bridge, the city of Kirkland, to the north, was the predominant location for most ferry commuters. The new bridge, built on the shores south of Bellevue, made Bellevue a more desirable location for auto commuters. After World War II, more and more people began moving to Bellevue. Real estate ads billed the community as being "15 minutes to your home in the country," yet the country feel would soon disappear.

In 1946, developer Kemper Freeman (1910-1982) opened the first shopping mall on the Eastside, Bellevue Square, in downtown Bellevue, where strawberry farms had been just a few years earlier. This caused unprecedented business growth nearby, which has continued unabated into the 1990s.

Eastside Hub- In 1953, the city incorporated. From the start, city planners looked to Bellevue's future as a thriving city, not as a sleepy town. Some streets were designed to have six lanes, unheard of at the time in most nearby communities. Businesses were required to provide plenty of parking, for the many cars that would soon come. Two years after incorporation, Bellevue was named All-America City by the National Municipal League and Look magazine.

In 1963, the opening of the second cross-lake bridge solidified Bellevue's role as the central hub in Seattle's eastern suburbs. Whereas the first bridge was on the city's southern boundary, the Evergreen Point Bridge led to Bellevue's northern neighborhoods. With easy access to Seattle, Bellevue had nowhere to go but up, which it did.

Soon, skyscrapers filled the central business district. Many banks moved their corporate headquarters to Bellevue, making it one of the richest cities in the state. In the 1980s, Bellevue Square greatly expanded, continuing its role as one of the premiere shopping centers in King County.

Bellevue is still a desirable place for commuters, although many of the residents have no need to go to Seattle. The growth of Bellevue has brought a large number of successful businesses right into their own backyards. In the 1990s, high-tech firms, led by Microsoft in nearby Redmond, have made Bellevue and the surrounding communities a world-class center for new technology and business.

Of all the cities on the Eastside, Bellevue has seen the most growth in the shortest amount of time. There are those who still remember harpoon boats in Meydenbauer Bay, riding the ferries, and eating fresh strawberries right off the vine. The Gold Coast still exists, though, as the home to some of Puget Sound's wealthiest individuals.

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