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Tyler’s Real Estate Updates: Where Did All These New People Come From

If you’re like most of my clients, you’ve noticed that things in North Seattle are looking very different than they did in years past. New developments are going up, sold signs are covering “for sale” signs, and the remnants of construction crews getting homes ready for market. Not to mention the traffic increase!

Make no mistake… the secret is out about North Seattle! With our fantastic schools, focus on community and Seattle’s unfathomably competitive housing market, folks are shifting their dreams north to find affordable housing. And why blame them, with the average Seattle home value climbing 13.4% in 2015 to $536,700 according to Zillow. While North Seattle communities like Greenwood maintain an average home value of $487,700 or Lake City Way preserving an average of $401,191, North Seattle has become the place where value is found.

So here’s the million-dollar question… Do you think this market will sustain itself? Are we headed for another burst bubble? With the median purchase price of residential homes in Seattle quickly climbing past $550k today, you have to think this craziness will slow down, right? Will North Seattle see the same insane home prices akin to communities like Fremont, Greenlake, Wallingford, Queen Anne and Magnolia? Do we want North Seattle to become the next Ballard?

While no one can predict the future, everyone has the ability to read the data. Whether or not you’re in favor of the economic rise it seems that Seattle growth is not slowing down anytime soon. With a growing economy and industries of tech, health, non-profit, bio-tech and aerospace as well as a growth estimation of more than 200,000 people by 2040, the sheer lack of supply and massive amount of demand has proven that the Emerald City is a great investment.

According to Seattle Business Magazine, “Between 1970 and 2015, regional employment advanced at a 2.5% annual rate, more than 50% faster than the nation.” This steady increase is due to “people following the jobs.” And when people follow jobs, they buy houses, thus pushing prices up.

So what does it mean for North Seattleites? As the middle class continues to get priced out of the city, more folks are beginning to look north. With the installation of the University of Washington Light Rail station and plans to expand further north, North Seattle is on the cusp of something much bigger.

Question: In what North Seattle neighborhoods have you seen the most development? What do you think of this growth?

This article is part of a series by Tyler Davis Jones, a North Seattle Real Estate agent.  We interviewed Tyler a few months ago: see here.

Power Outage Affecting Morning Traffic in Lake City and Northgate

A large power outage affected Lake City and Northgate traffic and residents this morning, most likely due to the heavy winds that are sweeping through the region. Seattle City Light is aware of the problem and is Investigating, according to their website.

Traffic is backed up on Lake City Way between about 145th and Northgate Way and parts of Northgate Way are also backed up.

Here’s a map of the outage:

Lake City Power Outage

Mayor Murray Statement on Greenwood Fire

As many of you know, there was a heavily damaging fire in Greenwood last night – some of you were posting about explosions being heard in the neighborhood, and unfortunately this is true.  It appears that 9 firefighters were hurt during the actual fight.

Here’s a report from KOMO on the fire.

Also, Mayor Murray released a statement this morning:

SEATTLE (March 9, 2016) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement regarding last night’s fire and explosion in the Greenwood neighborhood:

“My thoughts are with the Seattle firefighters injured from last night’s explosion in Greenwood and I wish them a quick recovery. These men and women risked their lives this morning, as they do every day, to keep our community safe. I am grateful for their service and all of our first responders.

“As the investigation and clean-up continues today, I ask that commuters along the corridor be patient. Please follow updates from the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro on detours and alternate transit routes to keep people moving through the neighborhood and away from the scene during the investigation.

“Greenwood is a close knit neighborhood and an incident like this is felt by the entire community. I know neighbors will do everything they can to support these businesses as they begin the long and challenging task to recover and repair from this incident. The City will also be there to do what we can to help those affected with the clean-up and help local business owners as they work to get back on their feet and re-open their doors.”

Thanks to the first responders/firefighters who put themselves in danger every day to keep us safe.

District 5 Office Grand Opening: Tomorrow

Sorry about the late post, but there is a grand opening of our new D5 in-district office tomorrow, March 4th from 4pm to 7pm.  The new district office is an exciting way for D5 residents to connect with City Council in our own neighborhood.

The Link to the Facebook page and then an RSVP form – make sure you RSVP!

Here’s the information from the City of Seattle:

SEATTLE – Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle) will celebrate the grand opening of her in-district office at North Seattle College this Friday, March 4. Councilmember Juarez will welcome North Seattle neighbors to her permanent North-end office (room 1451) and provide light refreshments while chatting with residents about city issues.

“District representation means having your Councilmember in-district, which is the platform I ran on,” said Councilmember Juarez. “A North-ender’s trek downtown can be a time-sucking ordeal, which is why I’m so excited to establish this convenient, centralized office for us to connect with each other.”

The district office will be open on a drop-in basis on Fridays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., beginning March 11, or by appointment. Contact District 5 Director Sabrina Bolieu at Sabrina.Bolieu@seattle.gov or 206-684-8805, if you’d like to arrange a meeting.

WHAT:

Councilmember Juarez’ district office grand opening celebration

WHERE:

North Seattle College

9600 College Way N., Room 1451

Seattle, WA 98103

WHEN:

Friday, March 4

4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

WHO:

Councilmember Debora Juarez

North Seattle Residents

See you there!

Major Power Outage Affecting Northgate Way

A major power outage is affecting at least two major intersections on Northgate Way, as well as other parts of the Roosevelt neighborhood. Police are on the scene at the intersection of Northgate Way and 15th Ave NE as the lights are completely out and it seems an accident had occurred.

Seattle City Light crews were spotted on the scene taking care of some potential repairs, so we imagine this will be fixed soon.

Stay safe out there! And remember that lights that are out are legally 4-way stops.

Happy Super Tuesday!

Sand Point Way Closure Update

Quick update to the closure of Sand Point Way

From Art Brochet, City of Seattle:

This is an update on the emergency replacement for a retaining wall in the 8500 block of Sand Point Way NE.  Please feel free to share with others.

As of noon on Tuesday February 23rd the contractor had set 8 steel I-beams into the slope just east of the shoulder of Sand Point Way NE.  Each I-beam is 60 foot long, 24 inches across and weighs 11,568 pounds.  The steel beams are set into 36 inch diameter holes, partially filled with concrete.  After the concrete sets, wood timbers are fit in between the steel beams to hold back the slope – and the roadway.

The cranes which bore the holes and set the steel beams block the entire width of the road – which is the reason for the detours on Sand Point Way NE.  However, even after the remaining steel beams are set and the cranes moved off site, further work will be required – restoring the water main, rebuilding the road shoulder and repaving the road surface.  Crews are continuing to work 6 days a week, typically 10 hours a day, in an effort to restore Sand Point Way NE to use as soon as possible.

Traffic along the detour route – along NE 70th Street, 35th Avenue NE and NE 95th Street – has been very congested, especially during peak travel hours.  Please be considerate of pedestrians attempting to cross at intersections along this route and be patient with everyone.  The Seattle Police Department has been requested to provide speed enforcement patrols in the area to enhance everyone’s safety.

For those unfamiliar with the project or its schedule, or are interested in photos of the project, please refer to the website http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/sandpoint_retainingwall.htm . If you have specific questions about the project itself, or if you would like to be added to the list for receiving this construction update bulletin, please email me at art.brochet@seattle.gov .

Thank you for your interest and please travel safely.

Here are a few photos of the replacement (All Courtesy the City of Seattle):

Sand Point Way Closure | Courtesy City of Seattle

Sand Point Way Closure | Courtesy City of Seattle

Business Owner Highlight: Tyler Davis Jones, Wedgwood Realtor

Every once in a while, I will sit down for a longer conversation with a local, North Seattle business owner.  My goal? Simple – try to tell the story of what they do, how they got here, and where they see the community going. If you would like to nominate someone to be highlighted in this series, please email me.

Today’s interview was with Tyler Davis Jones.  Tyler is a friend of mine and a great reason for me to love North Seattle.  As a new dad, Tyler cares about creating a safe, caring, and healthy community here in North Seattle and specifically Wedgwood.  Tyler is also a real estate agent specifically in the growing Wedgwood market. He and I sat down a few weeks ago at Hellbent Brewing Company to discuss his business, his life, and his vision for North Seattle.

Moreover, Tyler will be writing some Real Estate updates for Our North Seattle – so I hope you enjoy and get used to his name around here.

Tyler Davis Jones | Seattle Real Estate AgentNate Strong (@ndlstrong): Tell me about yourself.

Tyler (Davis) Jones (InstaTwitter): My name is Tyler Davis Jones and I work with Windermere Real Estate. My wife and I recently bought a house in the neighborhood of Wedgwood, Seattle, which we love. We have a daughter who is seven months old and Jenn and I have been married to for 4+ years – they’re both amazing.

NS: You moved from Queen Anne to come to the North Seattle community – something that I myself did as well. As a fellow transplant, I’m interested to hear why?

TJ: I loved Queen Anne. Who wouldn’t? But Wedgwood is home. It’s slower, you know? It feels peaceful when I get home. Like when I go to Café Javasti, people are talking to each other – it’s like West Seattle, but West Seattle is so far away from everything. We are slower in a good way. I also believe Wedgwood’s way more community-driven than anywhere else I’ve lived. People care about other people and you can feel it here.

From an investment perspective, the lot sizes are bigger than most places in Seattle. The average sold price for a home is much less compared to Queen Anne, Ballard or Fremont. You’ll get a lot more house for your money. Also, it’s kind of a blank canvas – we can make Wedgwood and our neighborhood what we want!

NS: What did people around you think about North Seattle when you said you were moving here?

TJ: A good friend of ours had a tough time with us moving all the way out to Wedgwood – “it’s pretty far man,” they said. But when you GPS it, you realize… it’s not a bad commute at all. And Lake City Way doesn’t get nearly as backed up as many of the other places in Seattle.

From a business perspective, it’s not on the radar of many of my clients. I’ll pitch the idea of Northeast Seattle, and the thought doesn’t even cross their mind. Until they get here and see how far their money can really go – you have to be in it to really see it. This is again why I’m so excited to be here. It’s like the wild west. We have so much potential to make this community what we want. I love this! But it’s not for the faint of heart. I’ve suggested North Seattle to many of my clients, and a couple of them have pursued houses here. But the truth is, it’s not yet as culturally defined as Fremont or Queen Anne. Some see this as a deterrent… I see this as an opportunity.

NS: What do you think are the major issues facing North Seattle?

TJ: “Where are the sidewalks?” I get that all the time. It’s a great question – I don’t know. I know there’s a lot of great research around what sidewalks do for a community. Like encouraging people to get outside and walk, to go meet your neighbor, to reach out to your community. That’s one of the issues that is facing North Seattle, for sure.

There’s also a decent number of questionable businesses, especially around Lake City Way. I’m sure many of these businesses are run by law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. I think that’s great! However, cleanliness on Lake City Way and our community is extremely important. Having some sort of cohesive aesthetic would be beneficial – having more businesses like Hellbent Brewing Company. If you care about the business and product, than that’s shown in what you’re doing. We’ll need to figure out good standards for businesses on main roads throughout our communities.

NS: So you’re talking about Strip Clubs?

TJ: Well, I’m not going to disagree with supply and demand. While these services aren’t something that I would utilize, I think having some form of regulation around aesthetics and good business practices would be helpful – but truthfully I don’t even know if that’s possible. I wonder if the city could create some form of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions guidelines for the community? Basically, a contract within a development where you can do xy and z to your building, then you still have the creative ability to do what you want. This type of regulation works in condo and townhome communities, maybe that would be beneficial for North Seattle policy.

NS: Then overall, what do you do with Lake City Way?

TJ: Bring in affordable housing and hotels to the area. As you’re crossing over the Aurora bridge, southbound coming from Queen Anne, you see a lot of new development around Fremont – there are less expensive extended-stay hotels being built. You also see lower income housing communities. I think these are a couple of options here on Lake City Way that might bring culture and community to the area. Seattle needs more inexpensive hotels that are not hourly motels. Something that’s an affordable $100 a night, not $200+ at the Pan Pacific.

If you follow Fremont all the way up to 85th and Aurora, there’s been some really cool projects that are happening – Woodlands Pizza and the Starbucks drive-through. Zillow has some great research about how when a Starbucks moves into a neighborhood, it increases the value of the surrounding property 28% more than the average. While there’s already a Starbucks on LCW and 120th, I believe that adding additional coffee shops that aren’t drive-in bikini baristas would be a value-add – like the repurposed shipping container Starbucks in Ballard.

NS: Interesting you mention it, because this seems to be an increasing topic of discussion around here. Should Lake City become the new Ballard?

TJ: A couple of months back, the city council was talking about lifting many of the single-family development restrictions in order to let the market dictate what housing was needed in Seattle. There was a pretty big backlash to this idea and they ended up revoking it. To me, it’s an interesting idea. The economist in me that believes that the market often generates solutions to new demands. However, the NE Seattle resident in me does not want to see 2,000 townhomes built three-to-one on a single lot the way we see it in Ballard.

I don’t think Wedgwood or North Seattle is the place to do that. I think North East Seattle specifically is the place of restoration and revitalization – new families moving into old families’ homes and continuing their legacy. I think a campaign worded around that ideology is a way to pursue growth – but also resisting development in the way that the market dictates.

NS: What do you think draws people to Ballard?

TJ: The food, the walkability, the options. There are so many options to really entertain yourself! You’re also close to downtown, which is nice.

Do you start with the development of bringing more people in to create demand for restaurants and things like that? Or do you start with the restaurants, like Ethan Stowell or Tom Douglas.

NS: Switching gears back to the North End, how do you bring revitalization to North Seattle?

TJ: Talk to those guys – Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell. They carry a lot of weight. Demand drives a lot of decision making. If you could get a collective group of people who were on board to get Wedgwood or Lake City Way to be the next foodie place, or maybe even dare one of these guys to open a place… that would be cool.

NS: You’re a real estate agent in this community, so when you’re selling Wedgwood, what do you say?

TJ: I talk about the 35th Ave Revitalization Proposal. This shows forward progress; it shows the community wants something more. There’s one too many vacant properties on 35th. The opportunity is huge.

I talk about a little slower life – you can have your fast-paced city life, but do you want to come home to a fast-paced home life? Or do you want to come home and enjoy your family and enjoy a walk to Café Javasti or Mathews Beach?

Closeness to the Burke Gilman. I’m training for a triathlon so I hop on my bike and I’m two minutes from the Burke.

Affordability! 4 bedroom, 1.75 bath with a 7,000 square foot lot – compare that to Magnolia and you’re saving upwards of $200k.

NS: What are some local businesses you recommend?

TJ: Cafe Javasti – Local coffee shop
Wedgwood Smiles – dentist
Woodlawn Optical – optician
Maid in the NW for maid services for cleaning – for clients
All that Dance – my wife and I have chatted about it – hasn’t happened yet, but it would be fun
Wedgwood Broiler – Classic prime rib
Fiddler’s Inn – that’s my dive jam
Hellbent Brewing – second favorite brewery

NS: What do you love about Real Estate?

TJ: I love helping people. I love that my service impacts people in a very deep and real way. I love that what I bring to the table in saving them a lot of money and can really make life a little easier. It’s one of the most stressful times of your life – buying a home and getting settled. I pride myself on bringing the best assets to the table. I love connecting people who are really good at their jobs – my contractor, I believe in him because I think he’s really good at his job. My cleaner, my plumber, my electrician – I love connecting those people to other people because the goodness spreads.

For more information about Tyler, including contact info, check out Tyler’s website, Instagram, or Twitter account.

If you know of any local business owner that we should highlight, let us know!

 

145th Corridor Open House: Wednesday

Our neighbors to the North are having an Open House to talk about how to improve the 145th Corridor.  Though this is a Shoreline initiative, it affects the North Seattle Community in a big way.  This is a major East-West arterial for the very north end of Seattle, which provides access to I-5, Aurora, and Lake City Way.  Also, it’s the border between Seattle and Shoreline.

This may be something that North Seattleites will want to participate in.  Even though it requires a cross into a different town, this is still very important for us to be involved in.

Details:
Wednesday, February 24th from 6:00pm-8:00pm (Presentation at 6:30pm)
Shorecrest High School

From the City of Shoreline:

Save the date… a third open house for the 145th Street Multimodal Corridor Study is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, 2016. At this time, a draft preferred concept for the corridor will be presented and the project team would like to hear your comments. 

Due to the overwhelming turnout at the second open house, there will be a new venue.  Everyone is invited to attend from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.(with a presentation at 6:30 p.m.) at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline.  For those of you unable to attend, some information from the open house will be made available on this webpage along with a survey (for a limited time) shortly after the 24th. 

Here’s a link for more information on the project: http://www.shorelinewa.gov/government/departments/145th-street-corridor

Thanks to Chris Roberts – Shoreline Mayor – for this information.

 

Chief O’Toole Hosting Townhall on Nextdoor: NOW

We just received notification that Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole is hosting a Townhall on Nextdoor.com.  You’ll need to have an account, log in, and visit her post: https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=21603359.  Make sure you post any questions you may have by 3pm today.

Here’s her post:

Good morning Seattle. Welcome to the first ever Nextdoor Town Hall.

I often say policing is a vocation, not just a job. I’m honored to lead the men and women of the Seattle Police Department and to serve the residents of this great city.

Today I’d like to take this opportunity to hear directly from you. Let me know what we’re doing right, where we can improve and what questions you have. Simply reply to this post with your questions by 3:00 PM today and I’ll try to answer as many as possible with a post by 6:00 PM this evening.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

I look forward to seeing lots of questions from the North Seattle area, especially about the local policing, or maybe lack thereof.