International District

The first residents of Rainier Beach were Native Americans who lived along the edge of Lake Washington.  Food gatherers in the area called themselves hah-chu-ahbsh, or lake people. A commonly used trail which bisected the Rainier Valley eventually became a railroad line.  It shortened what used to be an all-day trek in to Seattle to a mere two hours.  This railroad eventually evolved in to today’s Rainier Ave South. 

The area was once named Atlantic City, and had many of its namesake’s features, including a pier and bathhouse. In the early 1900s, Rainier Beach was one of the most desirable areas in this region.  By 1907, the city of Seattle had annexed the city.  When the Lake Washington Shipping Canal was cut ten years later, the lake level dropped nine feet, causing one of Rainier Beach’s rivers to disappear and  Pritchard Island to turn in to a peninsula.

Rainier Beach is located on Lake Washington in the southeast part of Seattle, bordered by Beacon Hill to the west, and Columbia City to the north.  It is a culturally rich neighborhood with very strong community ties due to a large amount of religious institutions and neighborhood associations in the area.  New development and renovation is now taking place all over Rainier Valley, causing property prices to rise.

Many of Rainier Beach’s residents have lived in this culturally rich area since the 1930s.  There are also plenty of new families calling this area home, as well as students and some young professionals who commute in to downtown.  Located close to both I-90 and I-5, Rainier Beach offers an easy commute for those working on the eastside or in southern cities such as Renton.  Crime was once a problem, but has dropped significantly in recent years. 

Fun Stuff
Many small ethnic restaurants are developing in the area and offer great eats. Be’ersheva Park, which is named for Seattle’s sister city in Israel, is among the many parks in Rainier Valley – including Martin Luther King Jr. Park, which boasts incredible views.  

Average Rent: $$

Primary Housing:

Small Apartment Buildings

Medium Apartment Buildings

Commute Times:

Downtown 5-10 minutes

25 minutes

Seattle's International District is home to a thriving Pan-Asian American community offering unique retail stores, cuisine and a wonderful infusion of different cultures. This neighborhood is located just East of the Union Train Station and Northeast of Seattle's football and baseball stadiums (Century Link Field and Safeco Field, respectfully).

Being adjacent to Downtown Seattle, the International District is a convenient location with easy access to many of Seattle's great downtown amenities. With the arrival of Paul Allen's Vulcan corporate headquarters in 2000, the International District has seen continual development and growth.

Rental housing available primarily consists of medium- to large-, low to midrise apartment complexes mixed with private condominium properties. There are also a large number of older, vintage properties that offer very affordable housing options in this area.