Lake City

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Lake City grew in a different way than its bordering neighbors. While most of the Seattle neighborhoods grew up around trolley stops, Lake City grew along roadways, forcing the area to develop in a long line (now Lake City Way) rather than around a hub. Its roots lay as a peaceful lakefront area with small stores, but development came with the busy street. During Prohibition, bootleg clubs sprang up along Lake City Way with tourist cabins and motels. For a while, Lake City stood on its own as a town, but was eventually annexed by Seattle in 1957.

Today Lake City retains much of its original small town atmosphere with much of the neighborhood sheltered from traffic.  Tight-nit communities still exist in the residential parts of Lake City, but there are an abundance of apartments along busy Lake City Way.  The neighborhood manages to feel secluded due to its location in the utmost northeast corner of Seattle, but the commute across to I-5 or around the northern edge of Lake Washington is still quite quickly accessed.

Lake City has a mix of low-middle income families and professionals.  As it’s on a busline to the University of Washington, Lake City also offers affordable housing to students willing to make a short commute to get to classes. 

Fun Stuff
Plenty of antique stores and second-hand shops line Lake City Way and NE 125th St, along with strip malls and local businesses.  The Lake City Library, just off of 125th St, was designed by Seattle architect John A. Morse and has won many awards. The library’s gorgeous bronze front gates were designed by Seattle’s celebrated sculptor George Tsutakawa.  The Lake City Community Center has great programs for children, and intriguing art sculptures line the median on Lake City Way between NE 123rd St and NE 127th St.

Average Rent: $

Primary Housing:


Small Apartment Buildings

Medium Apartment Buildings

Single-Family Homes

Commute Times:

Downtown 20-25 minutes

Eastside 30-35 minutes

The Lake City neighborhood is located in northeast Seattle and serves as a connection to the Bothell/Kenmore areas at the north end of Lake Washington. The commercial core is along the stretch of Lake City Way where ethnic restaurants, car dealerships, gas stations and stores abound.

Lake City has experienced development of newer apartment and condominium projects in recent years as residents looked for relief from the rapid increase in cost of living associated with being close to the downtown area Seattle. These units are primarily located along Lake City Way. To the east and west of this arterial you will find a mix of small apartment buildings, multiplexes and single-family homes that were developed over the last fifty years. Rental pricing in this area is considered very affordable for in-city Seattle.