Monday, April 28, 2014

From Texaco to Turkey House to Trader Joe's: The Nelson Family Remembers

Redmond Historical Society May 10 Speaker Forum

REDMOND, WA    Bill Nelson zeroed in on Redmond for his first real estate purchase by calling the telephone company and asking them what area was projected for growth.  The answer was Redmond, and in 1952 he bought property at the corner of Redmond Way and Leary Way where he built a Texaco station. Even though the projected growth was slow to unfold, he chose to eventually locate his business and raise his family in the city, all the while continuing to expand his commercial properties in the immediate area and beyond. Sons Buff and Mike Nelson will reflect on their father’s legacy at the Redmond Historical Society Saturday Speaker Series Saturday, May 10th at 10:30am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center. They will also share recollections of the development and growth of the city from both the perspective of commercial property developers and native sons.   Read More >>


“It is interesting to look at how and why a city develops over time,” shared Buff Nelson, who plans to include aerial photos of the city in the talk.  “When my dad invested in the fifties, the growth didn’t materialize as fast as expected. There were no good roads out here. ”


Among recollections is the 1972 purchase of Redmond Center that included tenants Sears, IGA, Coast to Coast and Obrien’s Turkey House.  Nelson speculates that “today’s shoppers, with our newest tenant, Trader Joe’s, would find it hard to imagine that a blue colonial building with white columns was once an iconic part of the center.”


Bill Nelson passed away in 2004.  Today his five children carry on the family business, Nelson Legacy Group, which owns and operates retail and office properties located in Redmond, Kirkland and eastern Washington.


The Saturday Speaker Series is a monthly program presented by the Redmond Historical Society on every second Saturday (with the exception of December) at 10:30am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, located at 16600 NE 80th Street.  Topics range from local, state and Pacific Northwest historical interest. There is a suggested $5 donation for non-members.


The Redmond Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives support from the City of Redmond, 4 Culture, Nintendo, the Bellevue Collection, and Humanities Washington as well as from other donors and members.

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