Kemper Freeman

Kemper Freeman
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 48th district
In office
January 1973  December 1976
Preceded by John D. Jones
Succeeded by Paul Sanders
Personal details
Born (1941-10-23) October 23, 1941
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Betty Austin
Children Amy Schreck and Suzanne McQuaid
Parents Frederick Kemper Freeman, Sr. and Clotilde Freeman (neé Duryee)
Alma mater Bellevue High School
Profession Real estate developer
Known for Kemper Development Company

Frederick Kemper Freeman, Jr. (born October 23, 1941)[1] is the active chairman and CEO of Kemper Development Company,[2] which built and operates Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place and Lincoln Square located in Bellevue, Washington. Kemper represents the third generation of the Freeman family, who have been involved in the growth of the Bellevue community since 1897.[3] He is a former Republican member of the Washington State House of Representatives from the 48th district[4] and publicly active in conversations about traffic and transportation in Bellevue.[5]

Freeman family

Kemper Freeman Jr. is a third-generation resident of Bellevue, Washington. His grandfather, Miller Freeman, was active in state politics and public affairs, including promoting the development of a bridge connecting Seattle, Mercer Island and Bellevue.[3] Freeman Jr.'s father, Frederick Kemper Freeman, Sr., led the development of what is now Bellevue Square, which opened in 1946.[6] He also was involved in building Bellevue's first hospital, Overlake Hospital Medical Center.[3] Kemper Freeman Jr. was born on October 23, 1941.[1] He married Betty Austin in 1965 and has two daughters, Amy Schreck and Suzanne McQuaid.[7]


In 1973, Freeman Jr. was appointed to a vacant seat in the Washington State House of Representatives as a Republican representing the 48th district. After serving for three years, he resigned from the seat to focus on his business in building and development.[8] He then began working full-time on the expansion and enclosure of Bellevue Square with his father, which re-opened in 1981. In early-1980, Freeman Jr. founded the Kemper Development Company,[1] which has overseen the continued expansion of Bellevue Square as well as development of:

In total, the three properties (Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, Lincoln Square) makeup the Bellevue Collection, covering approximately 50 acres of land in downtown Bellevue.[3]

Traffic and transportation involvement

Freeman Jr. often speaks out on the issue of mass transit expansion and congestion reduction. In 2010, he filed a lawsuit against the East Link light rail project that would travel eastwards from Seattle to Bellevue via the reversible lanes of the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, converting them from car traffic to light rail tracks. In the case, Freeman, Jr. cited that the project misused tax dollars as well as positioned more efficient ways to alleviate the area's traffic congestion, including freeway expansion, use of dedicated bus lines and van pools.[7] In March 2012, courts ruled against Freeman Jr., in favor of the project.[10] In April 2012, representatives of the Eastside Transportation Association announced intent to appeal the ruling.[11]

In September 2013, Washington Supreme Court ruled that plans to build light rail over I-90 bridge do not violate Washington's Constitution.[12]

Community involvement

Freeman Jr. holds leadership appointments in several community and economic development organizations in the Bellevue area, including:


  1. 1 2 "Executive Profile: Kemper Freeman Jr.". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Stang, John (June 2012). "Cover Story: Kemper Freeman Jr.". Seattle Business Magazine. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  3. Hoemann, Thomas A. "State of Washington: Members of the Legislature, 1889 ñ 2009" (PDF). State of Washington: Members of the Legislature. State of Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  4. Lang Jones, Jeanne (February 10, 2012). "Retail mogul Kemper Freeman talks shop". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  5. Brodsky, Sascha (December 2005). "Kemper's Lincoln Square Adds to Seattle Suburb". Shopping Centers Today. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 Long, Katherine (May 1, 2010). "Kemper Freeman is suing to stop light-rail expansion to Eastside". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  7. Lindblom, Mike (May 15, 2002). "Kemper Freeman Jr.: Bellevue's man on the move". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  8. Park, Clayton (June 16, 1996). "Glitzy remake for Bellevue Place". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  9. Lindblom, Mike (March 9, 2012). "Kemper Freeman loses latest bid to stop light rail over I-90 bridge". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  10. Levy, Nat (May 9, 2012). "Light-rail opponents appeal I-90 lawsuit to State Supreme Court". Bellevue Reporter. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  12. "Tateuchi Center Campaign Co-Chairs" (PDF). Tateuchi Center: A King County Cultural Asset. King County, Washington Government. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  13. Staff (March 27, 2010). "Overlake Service League names 8 to Advisory Council". Bellevue Reporter. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
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