Tag Archives: Green Lake

Green lake Village Soft Opening, Retail Spaces Filling Fast

I’ve been so excited about Green Lake Village for so long – living close to the site for years, I was just waiting for construction to start and the unsightly great hole to go away.  I walk by it at least once per week, usually walking my dog to the lake on the weekend or to my old standby Forza Coffee.

The building exterior is now complete, and I’m sure the home interiors are pretty close to it as the new leasing office soft opens on May 17th.  But I got really excited last weekend when I walked by and saw signs up for new businesses already moving into the retail spaces.

We all know the building is anchored by a new PCC – that one is slated to open on my birthday, June 4th, and I was happy to see a liquor license sign in their window last time I passed by.   But then on the south side of the building, we’re getting a few new fitness options – Modo Yoga and Pure Barre. Modo officially opened on May 1st, so you can already check them out.

When you’re done burning calories, you can happily put them back on at the west side of the building – in the new location of Lucia Italian Kitchen, who currently operate a restaurant out of Kirkland and will open the Green Lake spot in July.  It’ll help fill a gap in that neighborhood, I feel, for Italian cuisine and good wine.

There’s a Homestreet Bank opening within the building, and a Kinetic Sports Rehab is also opening by summer.  It looks like there will still be one or two spaces for businesses, so I can’t wait to see how they round this out!

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MAKING A FULL PRICE OFFER? GET USED TO REJECTION.

I’m frustrated. Other real estate brokers are frustrated. A lot of homebuyers are frustrated.  In some parts of Seattle, making a full priced offer on a home just doesn’t get you anywhere anymore.

Let me give you a backstory: I have clients that are looking for a new home in north Seattle.  They’re open to a lot of different neighborhoods, but they have wants and needs just like everyone else so over the past two months of house hunting they’ve found only four or five homes they like enough to actually pursue.  And out of those four or five, they’ve so far put offers in on three of them, and lost out every time.

The first home they put an offer in on was listed at $650,000.  They didn’t get it – but whoever did paid $760,000 for it – $110,000 more than list price.

The most recent home they put an offer in on went the same way – it was listed at $650,000, and it sold to someone in the range of $760,000 + (it’s still pending).

From the time I started house hunting with these particular clients, to this past week of facing another rejection, I have felt like it’s gotten worse.  So I checked the stats – and yep, it’s gotten worse.

I took some of the most popular neighborhoods – Ballard, Green Lake, Fremont, Wallingford, and Phinney Ridge – and to narrow my stats down, I took a popular price point right now – homes between $600,000 and $800,000.   Looking back at those homes that closed in the month of January, the average sale price was 101.8% of list price – so if a house was listed for $700,000, for instance, on average it sold at $712,600.

In February, the average sale price was 102.5% of list price – or $717,500 on that hypothetical $700,000 house.  In March it crept up just a little more to 102.6% – $718,200.

Then came April.  In the month of April, the average sale price in that range and in those neighborhoods was 105.3% of list price – that means that $700,000 house is now costing on average $737,100.   And a scary thought here – the biggest percentage difference during April between list price and sale price was 123.3% – that would have made a $700,000 house $863,100.  OUCH.

I very much wish I had a point here, but I think instead this post is meant more to vent everyone’s joint frustration on the matter.   What’s my advice?  Persevere, buyers.  Don’t pay more for a home than what you value it at.  Consider how long you intend to live there.  Know that you’re not alone. Because hell, if you were alone, you wouldn’t be paying so much.

Keep on truckin’.  And punch a pillow, instead of a wall.

 

EARTH DAY RETURNS TO LATONA PUB IN GREEN LAKE

Earth Day is April 22nd, which happens to land on a Tuesday this year – but many of us will be spending this Easter weekend contributing somehow.  For example, I’m headed to Federal Way tomorrow to work with Habitat for Humanity on a neighborhood cleanup project.

Latona Pub, however, is once again continuing their awesome streak of providing a full tap list consisting only of beers that have made it to the pub by means other than motorized transportation.  Many of the kegs going on tap this weekend are from fairly close breweries like Naked City and RAM Northgate and are walked to Latona by way of hand truck.  Some, however, are coming from a little farther away, like Black Raven Brewing (about 19 miles).  That particular keg was attached to the back of brewer Tom Mace’s bike and cycled over.

This is the fourth year in a row that Latona Pub has held this tradition.   It all culminates on Sunday, April 20th, when nonprofit organization Feet First (along with a number of volunteers and participants), walk the final keg from Two Beers Brewing in SODO starting around 9:30 in the morning.  The beer, called Hand Truckin’ Amber Ale, should arrive at the end of it’s 10-mile walking trek at about 2pm where the festivities really kick off at Latona.   An auction is held at the pub and both donations and awareness benefit Feet First, who help make Washington more walkable.

Look for me (and my dad, who’s in town visiting me!) at Latona Pub that afternoon, ready to bid on a some cool prizes!

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SUMMER IN SEATTLE: NORTH SEATTLE SARAH’S “CAN’T-MISS” ANNUAL EVENTS

Sure it’s only April, but I for one am already gearing up for some of the most fun events this town puts on.  Whether you’re new to the Puget Sound, or just finally getting involved, here are four of the “Can’t Miss” occasions I look forward to each year!

Washington Brewers Festival: June 13th-15th. Perhaps the most well attended beer festival in the state, this event runs Friday through Sunday at Marymoor Park in Redmond.  Friday night is adults only, but kids are welcome Saturday and Sunday and this serves as a great way to celebrate Father’s Day.  This year, there will be 88 participating breweries, each serving up a few options for over 300 beer selections.

Fremont Summer Solstice Parade: June 21st.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve brought to this parade over the years, to celebrating the arrival of summer.  Between naked cyclists, environmentally-conscious floats, and the arrival of the flying spaghetti monster it’s a must-do.  Just get there early – and I mean EARLY – to get a good view.  Also, bring a little cash to put in the change buckets as they come round, as this event and many others like it are funded by public donation.

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Green Lake Milk Carton Derby: July 12th.   This event is technically part of Seafair, but is a full day of fun in its own right.  Different categories of participants create and decorate their own floats out of milk cartons and then race them on Green Lake.  It lasts just about all day long, and when the floats aren’t racing they’re on display around the path to see.

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Moonlight Cinema at Redhook: July 10th – August 28th.  This year’s movie lineup includes Die Hard, Anchorman 2, Top Gun and The Big Lebowski to name a few. You have to head to the eastside, but can you think of a better location for an outdoor movie festival than at a brewery? (Didn’t think so)

There’s plenty of other events coming up this summer too, like Seafair, National Night Out, and Concerts at Marymoor Park – we’ll get to those at a later date!

 

Why I moved to Maple Leaf (and why you should, too)

I lived in Phinney Ridge for a year, and Green Lake for three years, before moving to Maple Leaf this summer.  A good friend of mine still jokes that I moved to “southern Canada,” and some other friends less familiar with the area ask me where Maple Leaf is.

Maple Leaf is pretty much considered to be everything east of I-5 to Lake City Way, and then as far south as 80th and as far north as Northgate Way.  And now, it’s home.

So why would I ever leave Green Lake, and move to Maple Leaf instead? Well, affordability for one.  If you look at every currently active single family home on the market in Maple Leaf right  now, you get an average price per foot of $228.91 (average price of $562,238).    Compare that to Green Lake, whose borders are 80th to the north, 50th to the south, and Aurora and I-5 west to east, and you see a big difference.  The average price per foot of a home in Green Lake right now is $338.30.   That means if you take a 1500 square foot house in Green Lake you’re likely to pay $507,000 – put the same house in Maple Leaf and you’ll be paying closer to $343,000.

But Green Lake is cool, right?  Short answer: yes.  But, Maple Leaf was listed by Redfin earlier this year as one of the hottest and most “up and coming” housing markets in the entire country. They attributed this to the lower housing prices, local schools and easy commuter access.

I’ll admit I was hesitant to leave Green Lake.  But did I really leave?  I can walk to the lake in about 15 minutes.   More importantly, I’ve discovered a whole new slew of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and more that are right in my own neighborhood (not the mention the amazing Maple Leaf Hardware, who is getting me through some remodel work).

So if you’ve been shopping for a home in Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford or surrounding area, and are feeling down at the rising prices that are edging you out of the market, come see me in southern Canada.

If you can’t beat it, Join it – 5 Can’t-Miss North Seattle Patios

Being lucky enough to have lived here several years now, I have spent a time or two on patios with a glass in my hand.  You’ll forgive me this afternoon for staying indoors with a Popsicle in hand, but my fair skin doesn’t allow much room for sunburn.  Still, when temps are moderately hot and the day is getting done, there’s nothing I love more than a local patio.  So, for those of you new to the area or just getting out for the first time, I present to you my list of favorite outdoor spaces in north Seattle:

  • Naked City’s Walrus Beer Garden.  This only just opened a little over a week ago, but is filled with picnic tables & umbrellas, a Washers game in the corner, and occasional live music.  You can see it from Greenwood Ave over a pony wall but gain access through the restaurant. Kid friendly, but not dog friendly.
  • Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden: This half indoor/half outdoor space has a variety of seating options, old wooden barrels as drink stands, and is both kid and dog friendly.  If it gets too hot outdoors, you can step inside for some shade and grab a handful of complimentary pretzels.
  • Forza Coffee in Green Lake: With a roll-up door, Forza’s patio again spills into the inside of the facility.  Why am I including a coffee joint in my list?  Because this place also carries local beer, wine on tap, and light food options.  Kid and dog friendly. As a special treat, go on a Friday or Saturday evening for live music.
  • The Yard Cafe: Also located on Greenwood Avenue, you could technically consider the entire building to be an outdoor spot.  With picnic tables in the sunshine right out front and shaded indoor seating that converts to the outdoors by lifting a plastic barrier, you’ll also love the delicious Mexican food options.
  • Ray’s Cafe: I don’t think I need to say a lot here.  You can sit on the deck of Ray’s in Ballard and watch boats and paddle boarders while eating amazing seafood.  If it gets chilly, just ask for a blanket and they’ll provide.

Latona & 65th – Businesses close, businesses open

The intersection of Latona and 65th has been a favorite of mine for awhile now – of course, that generally has to do with the fabulous Latona Pub and the fact that it’s walking distance for me.  But besides Latona Pub, I was a regular (and, ahem, Foursquare Mayor) of Irwin’s Bakery & Cafe, which recently closed down their Green Lake location right at the two-year mark.

The Irwin's Green Lake sign being installed two years ago

The Irwin’s Green Lake sign being installed two years ago.

On top of that, Mona’s also closed – a place I didn’t visit too often but understood to be a long-time staple in the neighborhood.

And while I was frustrated to lose my favorite coffee shop, I’m excited to hear that the intersection will soon be lively again.  Frelard’s Dish Cafe is expanding to Green Lake to fill the empty space that Irwin’s left behind.  The Dish serves up breakfast and lunch items and is currently located at 4358 Leary Way NW.  Don’t worry, local fans – the Frelard location will remain as-is while the second spot opens this summer

The spot where Mona’s used to reside, although not officially announced, is said to become another cocktail bar/restaurant similar to what was there.  The owners (who own the Thai food place next door) are in the process of fixing the space up now and we’re hoping for an official announcement soon.

Change – it happens.  And hopefully it’s good.