The population is 60,560 in 2016, an increase from the 2010 census, up from 45,256 in 2000 census. Redmond is commonly recognized as the home of Microsoft and Nintendo of America. With an annual bike race on city streets and the state's only velodrome, Redmond is also known as the "Bicycle Capital of the Northwest".
Native Americans have lived in the Redmond area for at least 10,000 years, based on artifacts discovered at the Redmond Town Center archaeological site and Marymoor Prehistoric Indian Site. The first European settlers arrived in the 1870s. Luke McRedmond filed a Homestead Act claim for land next to the Sammamish Slough on September 9, 1870, and the following year Warren Perrigo took up land adjacent to him. The rivers and streams had so many salmon that the settlement was initially named Salmonberg. More settlers came, and with the establishment of the first post office in 1881, the name of the community was changed to Melrose. The new name was derived from the Perrigos' successful inn, Melrose House, which upset McRedmond. After becoming postmaster, he successfully petitioned to have the name changed to Redmond in 1883.
The abundant forests and fish of Redmond provided jobs for loggers and fishermen and with those jobs came demand for goods and services, bringing in merchants. The logging industry expanded significantly in 1889 when Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern Railway built a station in the center of town. The first plat for Redmond was filed on May 11, 1891, encompassing much of the area now known as downtown. After reaching the necessary population of 300, Redmond was incorporated on December 31, 1912.
Redmond experienced an economic downturn in the 1920s. Prohibition forced saloons to close, cutting off a large portion of the city's tax base. The forests were declining after heavy logging, causing lumber mills to shut down. Fortunately, the deforested land was suitable for farming. Agriculture became Redmond's primary business, keeping residents fed during the Great Depression. When the U.S. entered World War II, shipyard jobs and other wartime work came to Redmond.
After the war, Redmond's expansion began in earnest. The city expanded over thirty times larger in area through annexations between 1951 and 1967. The completion of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge across Lake Washington in 1963 allowed Redmond to flourish as a suburb of Seattle. In 1978, the U.S. Census Bureau proclaimed Redmond the fastest growing city in the state. Many technology companies made the city their home, and the increasing population demanded more retail shops. Redmond underwent a commercial boom during the 1990s, culminating in 1997 with the opening of Redmond Town Center, a major regional shopping center on the site of a long-defunct golf course. In recent years the city has been experiencing growing pains as a result of its rapid expansion, particularly in the areas of urban sprawl and traffic congestion. During rush hour it can take upwards of 2 hours to travel from the beginning of SR-520 at Avondale Road to Downtown Seattle, a mere 18 miles (29 km) away. These problems are being mitigated by the expansion of SR-520 and the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, as well as the planned light rail service via the East Link Extension from Seattle to Redmond to open in 2023.
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's urban downtown lies just north of Lake Sammamish; residential areas lie north and west of the lake. Overlake, the city's second urban center, is to the west of Lake Sammamish. The Sammamish River runs north from the lake along the west edge of the city's downtown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.94 square miles (43.87 km2), of which, 16.28 square miles (42.17 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.71 km2) is water.
Redmond is located at 47°40′10″N 122°07′26″W.
Redmond, like most of the Pacific Northwest, has mild weather, but gets all four seasons nevertheless. Summers tend to be warm and dry, with low rainfall and sunny or partly sunny from June to September. Winters tend to be cool and wet, with November being the rainiest month. Snowfall is uncommon, with the most common cold air being in a form of a high pressure system, driving out the rains from the area. However, snowfall is not as rare as in other cities like Seattle near the moderating effects of Puget Sound. The average warmest month is August. The highest recorded temperature was 103 °F (39 °C) in 2009. On average, the coolest month is January. The lowest recorded temperature was 1 °F (−17 °C) in 1961. The maximum average precipitation occurs in December.
According to a 2015 estimate, the annual median income for a household in the city was $99,586. The average home value in 2014 was $649,000. The population is 60,560 in 2016.
Several companies in the high-tech industry are based in Redmond. The largest employer in the city by far is Microsoft Corporation, which moved its headquarters to Redmond in 1986. Microsoft has over 40,000 blue badge FTEs (full-time employee), 45,000 orange badge contractors (as of June 2012, there are over 94,000 workers, and over half are contractors), and more than 8 million square feet (750,000 square meters) of office space in the Seattle area Eastside region, primarily in Redmond, with additional offices in Bellevue and Issaquah (90,000 employees worldwide). In June 2006, Microsoft purchased former Safeco's Redmond campus at 4515-5069 154th Place NE for $220.5 million.
Other companies with headquarters in Redmond include Nintendo of America, Genie Industries, Physio-Control, Visible.net, WildTangent, Solstice and Data I/O.
In January 2015 SpaceX announced it was opening a facility in Redmond. Its focus will be R&D and manufacturing for a proposed internet communications satellite constellation.
Unlike Bellevue and other neighboring cities, the City of Redmond does not have a Business and Occupation tax on income. However, to help offset the costs of road improvements for businesses, a business license fee of $55 per employee was approved in 1996. As of 2016, the fee is $106.90 per employee.
Redmond Derby Days is an annual community festival held the second full weekend of July and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015. 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, entertainment stages, beer garden, local food offerings and activities. It also includes a carnival with rides and attractions and a fireworks display at dusk on Saturday.
Performing arts in Redmond include the Eastside Symphony and the Second Story Repertory theater company, as well as artists who play at the Redmond Performing Arts Center. Redmond has a collection of outdoor sculptures throughout its streets and parks, many of which are part of a rotating sculpture exhibition.
Redmond Lights is an annual community festival held the first Saturday of December. It features a special guest each year, a tree-lighting conducted by the mayor on city hall campus, a luminary walk on the Sammamish Trail and Redmond Central Connector with musical and light stations along the way to Redmond Town Center where there are many special attractions such as a carrousel, skating rink and food sampling.
The Old Redmond Firehouse is a center for local teens. It has become a hub in the thriving Eastside independent music scene. Local bands perform here with concert style speakers.
The Concerts at Marymoor is an annual summer series of concerts held at the amphitheater in Marymoor Park. The venue has been host to artists as diverse as Norah Jones, Peter, Paul & Mary, Rob Thomas and Duran Duran. When visiting the Seattle area, Cirque du Soleil has set up in Marymoor since the 2004 tour of Varekai when a concrete base was built for them to set up on. Since then, tours of Corteo (2006), Kooza (2010), Amaluna (2013) and Kurios (2015) have played in this spot. Other notable events include the Warped Tour and Cavalia in 2012.
Redmond Saturday Market is the oldest farmer's market in the Seattle area's east side. This market is held on Saturdays from May through October on approximately 8,000 square feet of land near the Redmond Town Center. The City of Redmond has approved an ordinance that the current market site be preserved for its community and historic significance.
Parks & Recreation Edit
Redmond has 23 developed public parks, totaling over a thousand acres. Many of these are neighborhood parks with picnic tables and sports fields or courts. The largest park within the city is not owned by the city – it is King County's 560 acres Marymoor Park, one of the most popular in King County. It features a climbing rock, a model airplane flying field, a 48-acre off-leash dog park, an outdoor theater, sports fields such as baseball and soccer, a playground, tennis courts, a community garden, cricket pitch, and a velodrome, which hosts the FSA Star Crossed – Redmond cyclo-cross competition in September.
The city offers over 17 miles of developed trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. The Sammamish River Trail connects to the Puget Power trail, the Burke-Gilman Trail (in Bothell), and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
60 Acres Park is known for its soccer in the spring through fall and RC electric airplanes and gliders in the winter time.
The Redmond Fire Department provides fire protection and the Redmond Police Department provides policing.