Redmond is a modern, high-tech haven set between the majestic Cascade Mountains and sparkling Puget Sound, and surrounded by towering evergreen forests. Home to software gurus, nature enthusiasts and suburban denizens alike, Redmond offers something for everyone. High-tech jobs are abound between the several industry giants headquartered here, including Microsoft, Nintendo of America, AT&T, and Spacelab Medical. With Bellevue and Kirkland just minutes away, and downtown Seattle just minutes more, Redmond combines easy access to big, urban areas while still maintaining a suburban feel. Redmond is also nicknamed the "Bicycle Capital of the Northwest" because of its miles of bike trails, annual Bicycle Derby, and growing interest in organized racing. Come to Redmond to work, to play, or to just enjoy a terrific Northwest city.
Due to its large population of highly paid tech workers, especially those of Microsoft, Redmond is known for its affluence and high concentration of nouveau riche. Based on per capita income, one of the more reliable measures of affluence, Redmond ranks 20th of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.
Redmond is bordered by Kirkland to the west, Bellevue to the southwest, and Sammamish to the southeast. Unincorporated King County lies to the north and east. The city is situated on the north end of Lake Sammamish, with the Sammamish River running through its center.
Redmond is located at 47°40'10"N, 122°7'26"W (47.669414° N 122.123875° W).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.9 km² (16.6 mi²). 41.2 km² (15.9 mi²) of it is land and 1.7 km² (0.7 mi²) of it (4.05%) is water.
Redmond is part of the Lake Washington School District, which also encompases Kirkland, Sammamish, and parts of Woodinville. The public schools in Redmond include nine elementary schools, three junior high schools, and Redmond High School. Three private schools offer secondary education: the Overlake School (secular), the Bear Creek School (Christian - primary and secondary), and the Conservatory High School (for performing arts students).
DigiPen Institute of Technology (a college for students in the field of video games) and the secondary campus of Lake Washington Technical College are also located in Redmond.
The city is home to Redmond Regional Library, the second-largest library in the King County Library System.
A number of companies in the high-tech industry are based in Redmond. The largest employer in the city by far is Microsoft Corporation, with over 30,000 full-time workers (in the Puget Sound) and more than 8 million square feet (750,000 square meters) of office space. Microsoft recently announced that it intends to expand its Redmond campus by another 1.1 million square feet at a cost of $1Billion and has said that this will create space for between 7,000 and 15,000 new employees over the next three years.Microsoft speeds up plans for campus redevelopment This is very optimistic news for Redmond and Puget Sound's Eastside Region, which will gain many new residents as a direct result. This also shows that, while many tech companies and economies are appearing to slow down, Redmond's economy, along with Puget Sound's, is growing full-force, with little sign of slowing in the near future.
Other companies with headquarters in Redmond include Nintendo of America, Data I/O Corporation, Genie Industries, Eddie Bauer, and Medtronic Emergency Response Systems.
Safeco Corporation, one of the city's major employers, announced in April 2005 that it would be consolidating its offices in Seattle's University District.
Parks and recreation
Redmond has 23 developed public parks, totaling over a thousand acres (4 km²). Many of these are neighborhood parks with picnic tables and sports fields or courts. Redmond's largest park is 560 acre (2.3 km²) Marymoor Park, one of the most popular in King County. It features a climbing rock, a model airplane flying field, a large off-leash dog park, an outdoor theater, and a velodrome.
The city also offers 17 miles of developed trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. The Sammamish River Trail connects to the Burke-Gilman Trail in Bothell and can be followed all the way to Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.
Redmond Derby Days is an annual community festival held every July. It began as a race around Lake Sammamish called the Redmond Bicycle Derby in 1939, and since then has become a multi-day event including a bicycle criterium, parade, carnival, and entertainment stage.
Performing arts in Redmond include the Eastside Symphony, the SecondStory Repertory theater company, and the Washington Academy of Performing Arts. Redmond has an extensive collection of high quality outdoor sculptures throughout its streets and parks, a good number of which are part of a rotating sculpture exhibition.
In 2004 nearly 1,800 properties sold in the City of Redmond, and the following year home values went up nearly 18%.
Redmond is home to the largest church in the state, Overlake Christian Church. The so-called megachurch moved to the city in 1997 after outgrowing its Kirkland location. Logistical problems with traffic on Willows Road have arisen due to the number of attendees.