Bellevue, with an estimated population of 117,000, is a rapidly-growing city in King County, Washington. Located across Lake Washington from Seattle, it has long been known as a suburb and categorized as an edge city or “boomburb.” Bellevue was founded in 1869, however, not officially incorporated until 1953. The per capita income of city residents has placed it 15th among 522 communities in the state of Washington. Bellevue also has the largest and most affluent Asian population in the state. As of 2005, 25% of the city's residents identify themselves as Asian, a rise from 17% in 2000. East Indian and Chinese communities have also doubled in size since 2000.
The city began to grow rapidly after the construction of the 1963 opening of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and has since become a burgeoning business community. Bellevue Square is one of the largest shopping centers in the state. More development has expanded Bellevue Square into a dining and retail hotspot, drawing visitors from the greater Pacific Northwest region. Lincoln Square, which opened in 2005, and a recently-completed overhaul of the former Qwest building into a new City Hall are also leading the development of what is being called a "superblock." Named Washington Square, this superblock will include no less than six 22-story towers that providing office, residential, and retail spaces. Other projects in Bellevue's future include Meydenbauer Place, a new Performing Arts center, and a second City Center office tower.
Bellevue is home to Bellevue Community College (BCC) and City University. The highly rated BCC is the largest community college in Washington and the third largest institution of higher education in the state. Some of the major corporations and enterprises currently fueling the area's economic boom include Eddie Bauer, InfoSpace, Microsoft, Drugstore.com, T-Mobile, ShareBuilder, Expeida, Inc., and Symetra. Bellevue residents actively support the arts, history, culture and music. Local events include the Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair and the biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition. Excellent shopping and dining choices bring many visitors and generate millions of dollars of revenue each year to the area. Other attractions include the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, and KidsQuest Children's Museum.