Percentage of city: 10 percent
Under 18: 2,050 (17 percent of the area)
Housing Units: 7,415
Framing downtown on the north and west, Northwest Bellevue is a mixed residential area of low to moderate densities. Neighborhoods are well maintained – often through the enforcement of restrictive covenants drafted to protect the neighborhoods’ special character and quality.
The Northtowne Shopping Center provides shopping for area residents, and Bellevue Way runs north-south, bisecting the community into west and east halves and connecting residents to downtown businesses. Neighborhoods west of Bellevue Way blend into the communities of Medina and Clyde Hill, which are separately incorporated.
Between 2002 and 2006, this area was dramatically affected by a local boom in residential development. Northwest Bellevue – with its prime location close to downtown and its beautiful, mature neighborhoods – became a target for redevelopment. Small homes throughout the area were purchased for development, torn down and replaced by very large homes, causing some residents to protest changes in neighborhood character caused by the “megahome” trend. In response, the city adopted regulations to ensure that new development was respectful of existing neighborhood character.
In 1882, Patrick Downey built a cabin near where present-day Northeast 12th Street and 101st Avenue Northeast intersect. The early holding evolved into a 160-acre homestead with a dairy and berry farming operation, which Downey later leased to Japanese-American farmers. With World War II and the internment of Japanese-Americans, Downey sold the homestead, now part of today’s Vuecrest neighborhood.
Vuecrest has its own colorful history. Originally subdivided in 1947, Vuecrest was touted at the time as “Seattle’s finest” suburban development. The neighborhood was among Bellevue’s first modern subdivisions, with streets laid out in a winding pattern to afford the best views for each lot, and residential heights limited to 20 feet. The neighborhood’s covenants have served, over the years, to protect Vuecrest’s unique character. The Vuecrest Community Association plays an active role in monitoring and maintaining neighborhood quality.
Northwest Arts Center
Northtowne Shopping Center
Hidden Valley Sports Park
Meydenbauer Beach Park
Clyde Beach Park
Clyde Hill Elementary
Chinook Middle School
Diamond S Ranch