It used to be the place to go in Bellevue. It was the center of the suburban community, where people shopped and met up with friends.
But for the past seven years, the Bellevue Center mall has been shuttered, an empty relic of what it once was.
On Saturday evening, Bellevue residents came in droves to celebrate both its destruction and its rebirth. A couple of thousand strong watched a single bulldozer smash through glass, tear down poles and rip up the front doors of the old mall, which first opened in 1990.
The “Bellevue Mall Demolition Party” marked the beginning of a bold plan to convert the sprawling property — one of the many abandoned malls that dot the United States — into an ambitious new $200 million mixed-use, walkable development that will bring back some retail, along with new amenities, to the area.
“We’re celebrating a rebirth of the property,” said Metro Councilwoman Sheri Weiner, who represents the area and helped organize the event. “We’re celebrating the memories of those of us who raised our kids here and those of us who were kids raised here. It’s an opportunity for us to honor the past of what the property meant to everybody and to look forward to what the redevelopment is going to offer to the community.”
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