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    The City of Bellevue is a modern, metropolitan community dotted with skyscrapers. Although it didn't incorporate until 1953 and has experienced most of its rapid growth since then, its history goes back many decades, as a farming center, inland port, and milling center. In fact because Seattle is bordered by water on the west and east the only area left to grow and develop was the Eastside as most call it today. The Eastside includes many different areas including Kirkland, Issaquah, Sammamish, Mercer Island, and Redmond. Bellevue is generally thought of as the downtown center of the Eastside and serves as the commercial, business, cultural, and retail core for the area, often even drawing Seattle residents over the bridge for work, shop, or play.

    The recent growth of Downtown Bellevue rivals that of its "Westside" neighbor Seattle. Dozens of new office and condominium towers have been added since the 1990's and more are in the works today. Many major corporations, Microsoft included, have set up shop in downtown Bellevue. The rapid growth of downtown residents and employees is pushing Bellevue out of its sleepy suburban image and creating a vibrant urban option and close neighbor to Seattle.

    Key downtown locations include Bellevue Square Mall, for national high-end stores and restaurants, Meydenbauer Center for events, conventions and live performances, and the recently re-opened Bellevue Art Museum.

    Homes in Bellevue, and the Eastside in general, are in most cases much newer, and tend to be much larger than homes in the Seattle area. Multi-level homes with two and three car garages are the norm. There are a few neighborhoods on the Eastside that were developed in the 1950's and 1960's that are smaller and less expensive. Eastgate and Lake Hills are just a couple of those, but a few more are scattered about the area. Most of Bellevue neighborhoods however were developed starting in the 1990's and you will usually find homes well over 2500 square feet and priced accordingly. Bellevue area condos also run the gambit from older, smaller, and less expensive to fabulously grand new very expensive penthouses.