Northgate began in 1950 with the opening of the Bon Marché department store.  Streets were clogged with cars filled with desperate shoppers attempting to get in to North America’s first shopping mall.  Gradually, a few stores at a time, Northgate mall began filling its halls with shops.  In order to get free nationwide publicity, the folks at Northgate decided to put up the largest Christmas tree in the world (212 ft) so that Life Magazine would come out and create a story of it.  The difficult process of transporting such a large tree from a forest 20 miles away and assembling it effectively paid off when Life ran a front page, full color story about Northgate’s tree.

Prior to becoming a city in 1995, Shoreline was a region of unincorporated King County.  Shoreline has an interesting history that dates back to the late 1800’s.  In the early 1900s, the light rail system known as the Interurban crossed through Shoreline, connecting Everett and Tacoma and bringing an effective form of transport to the Shoreline residents commuting in to Seattle.  It was shut down in 1939 when the surplus of automobiles took hold.  The famous S. S. Duwamish, an old Seattle fire-boat, spent many years on Shoreline’s Puget Sound coastline.

Northgate was the winner of a national “neighborhood of the year” award because of its safe, quiet streets and plentiful trees.  This neighborhood is close to I-5, Highway 99 (Aurora Ave), Greenlake and North Seattle Community College, and is within 20 minutes of Downtown Seattle.  Northgate Mall is the central attraction for this primarily residential area.  Another plus for this neighborhood is its convenient access to the metro bus lines, easing the morning and evening commutes. 

Shoreline is a neighborhood that boasts of an interesting history, plenty of parks, strong neighborhoods and a respected school district.  It has more than 53,000 residents and is one of Washington’s largest cities.  Located approximately 15 miles from downtown Seattle, it offers its residents a combination of suburban convenience and urban opportunities.

Northgate has a variety of rental options, from contemporary apartments and condos located close to the mall to plenty of well-kept, affordable single-family homes in the surrounding areas.

Both areas of Northgate and Shoreline tend to be made up of low-middle income families and professionals.  Shoreline Community College, North Seattle Community College, and the University of Washington are in close proximity, so scatterings of college students and faculty also call the area home. 

Fun Stuff
Northgate Mall, the strip malls, and other stores surrounding the area offer plenty of shopping for locals.  Additionally, Shoreline, to the West, has over 330 acres of parks and gardens within its boundaries, including Richmond Beach on the Puget Sound with its fabulous views of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day.  Shoreline Park (First Ave NE & N 190th St) and Twin Ponds (First Ave NE & N 155th St) offer plenty of fun recreational activities for residents.

Average Rent: $

Primary Housing:


Small Apartment Buildings

Medium Apartment Buildings


Single-Family Homes

Commute Times:

Downtown 20-25 minutes

Eastside 30-40 minutes

This neighborhood is home to Northgate Mall, touted as the first regional shopping center in the country. The city has designated this area as one of five "urban centers" in Seattle. The effort to create a self-contained work/live environment has brought substantial development to this neighborhood.

The rental housing in this area is a mix of single-family homes, small apartment buildings, multiplexes and privately owned condominiums and townhomes. Due to substantial residential development in the 1950s and 1960s, today there are a large number of affordably priced rental homes available for rent. Newer apartment and condominium development continues to occur within a close radius to the Northgate Mall with numerous projects slated for the future.

If a short commute to downtown is not necessary, Northgate offers an opportunity to rent affordably priced newer units with great amenities and shopping located right at your back door. The commute to downtown can be longer and less predictable on I-5, but Northgate can be an affordable alternative to working in the city and living closer to Downtown.