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Booming Bellevue

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Bellevue is a city that is ready to work with existing businesses and those interested in relocating their companies to the Eastside. A cross-section of the business community shows that the economy in Bellevue is both strong and diverse. Many of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the state and the entire Northwest have chosen Bellevue as a base of operations.

Bellevue has a thriving business community anchored by high-tech firms, quality retail businesses, banking, services and corporate headquarters. According to the City of Bellevue, the city’s resident population is 118,100, while its workforce is over 138,000 and climbing.

Bellevue has more than 22 million total square feet of office space, about a third of which is located downtown. The variety of office environments from which to choose, new space coming onto the market, and a streamlined permitting process make Bellevue an ideal place for new businesses or relocations.

Strong, Vibrant and Growing Economy

Bellevue is gaining national and regional attention. Fortune Small Business magazine recently named Bellevue the best place in the country to live and launch a business (see page 2 for more information), and Washington CEO magazine named Bellevue 2008 City of the Year. As the metropolitan hub of the Eastside, Bellevue is a major player in the global marketplace. With a diverse and dynamic mix of successful and entrepreneurial businesses, Bellevue leads the way in commerce and industry. Many companies choose Bellevue as their corporate or regional headquarters, and over the past three decades, employment growth has transformed the city from a suburban residential center to a thriving economic engine.

• Bellevue is a proven business hub with over 145 headquartered companies.

• Bellevue has experience a 45% growth in leasable office space since 2000.

• CEOs are connected through the Chamber and other organizations to network and ensure business success.

• Many of the region’s CEOs live in the community and invest in the civic, cultural, and political infrastructure, enhancing Bellevue’s quality of life.

Investing in Bellevue

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Tremendous growth is occurring in Bellevue and companies are choosing to relocate to the Eastside’s urban center. Bellevue is the first choice for many startup companies and established companies alike. Bellevue also has a number of exciting new investments in progress that are attractive reasons to move to our community:

• Recent transactions include Microsoft (1.3M sf taking three major Bellevue office projects), T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Microsoft is poised to become Bellevue’s largest employer by the end of 2009, employing over 7,500 people.

• Bellevue’s central business district has 2.6 million square feet of office space under construction with an additional 2 million square feet in the pipeline. Office towers under construction include Hines’ Tower333, Bentall’s Summit Building C, and Beacon Properties’ City Center Plaza. In addition, a major mixed use projects (retail, office and residential) under construction is Schnitzer West’s The Bravern.

• Also currently under construction are 3,200 residential units with an additional 3,500 in the pipeline. Most of these projects include both residential units along with retail at the ground floor. These projects include Gering Edlen’s Bellevue Towers, Hanover’s The Ashton and Ten20 projects, Wasatch’s Washington Square and AvalonBays’ Avalon Meydenbauer.

• Office development is booming with Kemper Development’s Lincoln Square. It is 100% leased with Eddie Bauer’s Worldwide HQ and Microsoft Sales and Marketing.

• Bellevue’s Main Street is getting a significant face-lift with two new projects. The One Main project from One Main Street Partners is under construction with SRM’s Bellevue at Main under review.

• A partnership between Overlake Hospital Medical Center and Group Health Cooperative is developing two new state-of-the-art towers on the current Bellevue campus. In addition, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center plans the development of a medical center in Bellevue.

• A $40 million facelift of Bellevue Square continues with Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, and Victoria Secret completing major expansions.

• Several new restaurants opened recently including Palomino at Lincoln Square and Toscano restaurant and Panini’s Bistro & Wine Bar in Bellevue’s new luxury retirement development, The Bellettini. In addition, several new eateries are set to open in late 2008 including Blue C Sushi and Boom Noodle in Bellevue Square and Purple Café and Barrio in the Bellevue Towers.

• Hospitality is booming in Bellevue with the recent opening of the Westin and Bellevue Downtown Courtyard by Marriott, and the grand re-opening of the Hilton Bellevue. A major renovation and expansion of The Hyatt Regency Bellevue will add 351 guest rooms and 50,000 sq. ft. of event space to open in Summer 2009. The Marriott Residence Inn is nearing completion just South of downtown and Hotel Sierra just opened in Bellevue’s Eastgate area. Other proposed hotel projects include HEI’s Marriott Hotel and Kemper Development’s The Bellevue.

Diverse and Well-Educated Workforce

Bellevue is recognized for its diverse, highly skilled and qualified workforce, providing an advantage for businesses in recruiting, attracting, and retaining employees. Bellevue is a thriving economic engine and net importer of workers from the surrounding region, and attracts top talent from around the world.

• Nearly 60% of residents have attained a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, well above the national average of 27%.

• Over 58% of employed residents work in management or professional services occupations.

• Bellevue offers a rich combination of cultures. An estimated 31 percent of residents are foreign-born, and over 84 languages are spoken by school children in our city. Bellevue’s diversity is a key asset in an increasingly globalized economy.

• The daytime population base is close to 200,000. By 2020, this figure is projected to increase to 255,000.

• The academic and corporate communities are connected to maximize education opportunities and develop local talent.

City Focused on Business

The City of Bellevue leads the region and state in fiscal responsibility and boasts a City Council that understands and values business. As the Eastside’s urban center, city government has made responsible investments to bring Bellevue to the stature it is recognized for today.

• Predictable, business-friendly permit system for expansion and relocation services

• Highest possible bond ratings: The City of Bellevue has Moody’s highest bond rating, a AAA. In 2007, less than 3 percent of all municipal and non-public offerings rated by Moody’s received a AAA. Bellevue also has the highest rating (AAA) from Standard & Poor’s.

• Approximately $213 million in total reserves

• City manager form of government

• Low crime rates

Service First

The City of Bellevue nurtures a positive economic climate and provides an outstanding set of customer-focused services that help make Bellevue a great place to do business.

• The service first desk at City Hall streamlines access to City services and eliminates multiple stops for customers.

• The City offers fast, predictable and consistent permitting services through a single point of contact.

• The Office of Economic Development provides a wide range of assistance for business development as well as business creation, expansion, retention and recruitment.

• Ongoing land use planning efforts support the city’s continued development.

• Bellevue provides access to a wealth of local and regional information and services online including www.bellevuewa.gov, www.mybuildingpermit.com, www.nwproperty.net, and www.nwmaps.net.

Operating Costs: Competitive Advantage

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Bellevue is one of the best and most cost efficient locations to conduct business. The cost for core services is spread across a large base of residents and employers and the city is proactively committed to planning for future growth and infrastructure needs, while keeping taxes down.

• Diversified base allows Bellevue businesses to be more efficient, competitive and profitable

• No increases in gross receipts tax rates in the last 10 years

• No employee “head” tax

• No annual general business license renewal fees

• The city partners with other Eastside communities to leverage infrastructure and core services for economies of scale

• Budgets and new investments are not balanced on the backs of business

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