The story of The Bellevue Collection is a story about the vision and commitment of the Freeman family. It begins with Kemper Freeman Sr., who developed Bellevue Shopping Square, as it was first known, with the help of a professional planner and a ten-cent booklet of demographic and civic development statistics as a guide. Then in 1945, Freeman found shopping centers that had been designed with a new generation of automobile-oriented shoppers in mind. The 10-acre tract of land where the current Bellevue Square sits, fronting on 104th Avenue N.E. just south of N.E. 8th Street, was purchased by Kemper Freeman Sr. from James Ditty, who had originally acquired the land in the late 1920s.

By the end of 1946, Freeman had brought 20 stores to Bellevue Shopping Square. By the close of the decade, Bellevue Square had grown to 45 stores. Nordstrom, then a local shoe store, added apparel and became the third major anchor in 1966.

The 1980s marked a significant visionary reconstruction period for Bellevue Square at the hands of Kemper Freeman, Jr. Bellevue Square went from a one-level, open-air shopping center to a multi-level, enclosed super regional center more than one million square feet in size. In the early 1990s, Frederick & Nelson filed bankruptcy and closed its doors for the final time. Freeman responding to a shift in customer needs, chose an innovative route to redevelop the three-floor department store space into more than 50 high-volume, destination specialty stores.

This pivotal decision brought about the Bellevue Square of today. Freeman responding to a shift in customer needs, chose an innovative route to redevelop the three-floor department store space into more than 50 high-volume, destination specialty stores. This pivotal decision brought about the Bellevue Square of today.

In 1986, construction began on Bellevue Place, adding much-needed office, hotel, shopping, and restaurant space to the downtown district. With the addition of Lincoln Square, Freeman pioneered the true mixed-use category and the development of both phases of Lincoln Square launched a successful restaurant and entertainment district, two additional hotels, office and high end residential. Kemper Freeman and the Freeman family remain highly involved with the everyday operations of The Bellevue Collection. Freeman’s vision continues to guide its growth as the epicenter of the booming Eastside and the pulse of the Northwest.

The Freeman family remains highly involved with the everyday operations of The Bellevue Collection. The family’s vision continues to guide its growth and lead its status as the epicenter of the booming Eastside and the Pulse of the New Northwest.

The Eastside is basically where I’ve lived almost all my life. Bellevue didn’t even become a city until 1953…so if anything was to be done, it was simply neighbors getting together to make the Eastside a better place.

– Kemper

The story of The Bellevue Collection is a story about the vision and commitment of the Freeman family. It begins with Kemper Freeman Sr., who developed Bellevue Shopping Square, as it was first known, with the help of a professional planner and a ten-cent booklet of demographic and civic development statistics as a guide. Then in 1945, Freeman found shopping centers that had been designed with a new generation of automobile-oriented shoppers in mind. The 10-acre tract of land where the current Bellevue Square sits, fronting on 104th Avenue N.E. just south of N.E. 8th Street, was purchased by Kemper Freeman Sr. from James Ditty, who had originally acquired the land in the late 1920s.

By the end of 1946, Freeman had brought 20 stores to Bellevue Shopping Square years before Bellevue became a city.

By the close of the decade, Bellevue Square had grown to 45 stores. Nordstrom, then a local shoe store, added apparel and became the third major anchor in 1966.

The 1980s marked a significant visionary reconstruction period for Bellevue Square at the hands of Kemper Freeman, Jr. Bellevue Square went from a one-level, open-air shopping center to a multi-level, enclosed super regional center more than one million square feet in size. In the early 1990s, Frederick & Nelson filed bankruptcy and closed its doors for the final time. Freeman responding to a shift in customer needs, chose an innovative route to redevelop the three-floor department store space into more than 50 high-volume, destination specialty stores. This pivotal decision brought about the Bellevue Square of today.

In 1986, construction began on Bellevue Place, adding much-needed office, hotel, shopping, and restaurant space to the downtown district. With the addition of Lincoln Square, Freeman pioneered the true mixed-use category and the development of both phases of Lincoln Square launched a successful restaurant and entertainment district, two additional hotels, office and high end residential. Kemper Freeman and the Freeman family remain highly involved with the everyday operations of The Bellevue Collection. Freeman’s vision continues to guide its growth as the epicenter of the booming Eastside and the pulse of the Northwest.

The Freeman family remains highly involved with the everyday operations of The Bellevue Collection. The family’s vision continues to guide its growth and lead its status as the epicenter of the booming Eastside and the Pulse of the New Northwest.