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View Poll Results: If you were working at MS would you live in
downtown Seattle 5 17.86%
dowtown Bellevue 23 82.14%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

Old 01-05-2012, 08:03 PM
3 posts, read 14,750 times
Reputation: 11


I will be working at Microsoft for 3 months on a special project. I'm not sure if I should locate my family into a condo housing/execustay in downtown Seattle near Pike's Place or somewhere in Bellevue. I keep hearing a lot of positives about Seattle downtown urban life but then I hear that the commute is over 2 hours. I don't know if these people are going in at 8am or what? The website from the dept. of transportation shows a 45 minute commute from Seattle to Redmond. A friend said I may want to try Bellevue but I have no idea if it is urban like. He said the commute would be 15 minutes to the MS campus. I'd like to know more about lifestyle options in these two towns, daycares, and the real deal about the commute. Also any experience with the MS bus would be great to know about. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:31 PM
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,568,681 times
Reputation: 7952
If me I would take DT Bellevue in a heartbeat. Depending on your hours the commute from Bellevue would be much better. DT Bellevue is kind of upscale urban--plenty of pedestrian traffic, a big mall, hotels, hi-rise condos, & office buildings. Lots of restaurants, shopping, and a nice library on NE 12th St. There is a really nice, albeit small park right in the middle of DT Bellevue. It's about 1/2-3/4 mile circumference. Two grocery stores right in DT Bellevue. Last I knew, DT Seattle didn't have any grocery stores. Bellevue is much safer--lots of druggies and petty crime in Seattle, virtually none in Bellevue.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:14 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
30,885 posts, read 56,300,624 times
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Now that the toll is in effect on the 520 bridge the commute time is shorter with people trying to avoid it, but 2 hours is rare. It's 20 minutes in the off hours, say 6am, and normally can get to an hour at peak commute times,
slower in the evening than morning.

If you want a fun, busy, and somewhat adventurous environment live in Seattle. You will soon learn what areas to avoid at night, but it's really not too bad in the downtown area and hopefully they can clean up the 3rd Street corridor soon.

Bellevue could be considered boring by comparison with no crime but only a few high priced places to hang out.

If you have kids, Bellevue is the clear choice.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:36 PM
7,420 posts, read 13,469,620 times
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If you were single/child-free, definitely stay in Seattle DT.

But with kids, Bellevue is a better choice... Not as urban as Seattle, but definitely much cleaner, safer, better parking options (more free parking) less homeless folks (and obvious drug use), there's also a park in Bellevue DT where the kids can play. There's no real playground within Seattle DT, closest you'd have to hike it up to Upper Queen Anne. And the parks up there are not as big as the Bellevue's play area/park. (I know people will point out Ft. Discovery, but that's not really part of Queen Anne.) There's also a small playground in Capitol Hill, but I wouldn't recommend using that right now-- I don't know if they ever got rid of/clean up all drug needles from Occupy Seattle. Point is... Bellevue has more parks options around for kids to play.

Obviously commute from Bellevue to MS would be less than Seattle. Seattle usually is a great weekend trip.

(For the record, I don't know why people can never remember there is at least two grocery stores in Seattle DT... Uwajimaya and Whole Foods. But otherwise, use Pike Place Market!)

Last edited by Inkpoe; 01-05-2012 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:37 PM
Location: Seattle, WA
448 posts, read 634,735 times
Reputation: 310
How old are your kids exactly and what do you plan for them to do the during the day? If we're talking infants then DT seems like more hassle then its worth but by the time they get to be preschoolers there's a lot of fun stuff to do and after all this is only 3 months and you've got a place by the market. There are a lot of daycare options downtown that cater to folks that work and drop their kids off during the day that you could take advantage of. You'd probably want to take the 545 to MS which takes ~35-45 minutes under normal conditions if you did so.

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Old 01-06-2012, 01:01 PM
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 5,844,923 times
Reputation: 902
We did temp housing for Amazon downtown at Harborsteps (right next to Pike Place Market). If I had been there without kids, it would have been great. But navigating DT with two little ones was stressful given PPM is one of the biggest DT tourist attractions. I would choose Bellevue.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:16 PM
3 posts, read 14,750 times
Reputation: 11
Default Thanks

Thanks for all the info. We have 2 kids under the age of 3. I discovered that daycare in downtown Seattle (with availability near a potential condo) is $1700 a month per child. In Bellevue it is a little over $1700 for BOTH. I really wanted to live in a urban setting (DT Seattle) but it sounds like life with kids maybe easier in Bellevue. Still thinking about which maybe the best. Any recommendation for temp housing in Bellevue?
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:48 PM
1,981 posts, read 3,224,860 times
Reputation: 1583
Check out Kirkland.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:12 PM
7,420 posts, read 13,469,620 times
Reputation: 9063
Doesn't MS have an office that can help you with temp. housing? It's a great company that offers a lot for their employees, including their own bus lines.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:05 PM
459 posts, read 1,309,667 times
Reputation: 687
Default Seattle

The 545 express bus runs right from downtown to Redmond, and with the new tolls, it takes no time at all.

Bellevue is just like any other generic downtown you can think of and utterly soulless. Not saying some folks don't like that - I know that they do - but Seattle is more my cup of tea.
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