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Experts Talk Seattle Neighborhoods & Buildings In 2013

Taking a cue from our sister site Eater Seattle, we're going to closeout the year by surveying local design, building, and real estate luminaries to get a read on the highlights and lowlights of the past year of real estate and development in Seattle. The answers to our questions are in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited.

What Seattle neighborhood saw the most change this year?

Galen Ward, CEO at Estately

Capitol Hill now has dedicated bike lanes, no more streetcar construction, a bunch of new buildings and restaurants, and nearly all of the grit and uniqueness that made it cool 10 years ago has been destroyed, sanitized or drowned in $14 bespoke cocktails.

Jeff J Reynolds, UrbanCondoSpaces.com

South Lake Union has seen the most change. It will continue to evolve as well. Apartments/Amazon gained the most attention, but look out for the next 5-10 years. It will be one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the country.

Chad Pluid, Redfin Seattle Broker

West Seattle got busy for the second half of the year due to affordability and proximity to the city.

Brad Hinthorne, Associate Principal at Perkins+Will Seattle

Georgetown.

Matt Goyer, urbnlivn.com

Capitol Hill. Year of the apartment and escalating rents!

Sabrina Booth, Redfin Seattle Listing Specialist

South Lake Union.

Chrstian Nossum, Seattle Real Estate Broker

With the huge amount of new apartments and townhomes going up in Ballard over the past year (and currently), Ballard is changing even more rapidly than during the last building boom of the mid-2000's. This isn't necessarily a good thing. This large number of new housing units opening in Ballard means that more people will be living in Ballard. More people means more traffic, and more traffic isn't a good thing on roads that are already packed most of the day. Getting in and out of Ballard is only going to get harder as we move into 2014.

Your favorite Seattle neighborhood this year and why?

Galen Ward, CEO at Estately

Beacon Hill is affordable, remarkably close to downtown, increasingly cool, and has diversity lacking in other parts of the city. Also, it's home to Bar del Corso, which is heaven for tastebuds and reason enough to move there.

Jeff J Reynolds, UrbanCondoSpaces.com

SLU. Love the Urban Amazon campus, love Bravehorse, Cactus, Seastar, Tutta Bella and other neighborhood spots. Bottom line, its walkable and consumer centric. Belltown is making a comeback, but lets talk about that in 2015.

Chad Pluid, Redfin Seattle Broker

Georgetown. Great new restaurants and shops with more arts and trends happening on weekends throughout the year. Wish there was more real estate.

Brad Hinthorne, Associate Principal at Perkins+Will Seattle

Capitol Hill – diversity, light rail, culinary adventure.

Matt Goyer, urbnlivn.com

Central District. Being revitalized with a lot of infill houses and townhomes.

Sabrina Booth, Redfin Seattle Listing Specialist

Columbia City for the affordability, sense of community, proximity to parks, and light rail.

Chrstian Nossum, Seattle Real Estate Broker

Eastlake. I think it's a hidden gem in a fantastic location. It's small (only about 10 blocks wide in spots), but since it's so close to South Lake Union and the Amazon Headquarters means that I can see housing prices increasing at a rapid pace here. More and more new construction is occurring, but in addition to that there is some great architecture to be found here. I even featured it in a neighborhood video highlight I did earlier this year: AwesomeNossum.com/Eastlake.


Photo: Andrew Malone

Which Seattle-area buildings or neighborhoods, if any, did you break up with this year?

Galen Ward, CEO at Estately

Until we finally decide on a name for it, we're breaking up with the area between Ballard and Fremont. And by "breaking up with" we mean we'll continue shopping at Fred Meyer, but we will drink one less beer at the Jolly Roger Taproom. It's time this 'hood got a name of its own. (Ed. Note - Many others agree!)

Jeff J Reynolds, UrbanCondoSpaces.com

Pioneer Square. Seriously? Clean yourself up and Seattleites would love to live there. Don't you realize that you are competing with Downtown, SLU, Belltown and Cap Hill?

Chad Pluid, Redfin Seattle Broker

None.

Brad Hinthorne, Associate Principal at Perkins+Will Seattle

West Seattle – can't get there from here.

Matt Goyer, urbnlivn.com

The apartment going up at 12th and Madison. Iconic triangular lot is being wasted on what they're building there now.

Sabrina Booth, Redfin Seattle Listing Specialist

None. I'm polyneighborous. I love them all!

Chrstian Nossum, Seattle Real Estate Broker

Ballard - but only for some people. Ballard is deep. Getting in and out of Ballard from I-5 isn't a quick feat. For people who commute to work using I-5, I generally don't recommend Ballard as a neighborhood to look in. That said, it isn't a bad area to look at for people working downtown or in South Lake Union.

Best new building in Seattle?

Galen Ward, CEO at Estately

Uhhmm... uh... sorry.

Jeff J Reynolds, UrbanCondoSpaces.com

Via 6 apartments (they have shuffleboard in their community room. Centrally located, great access to everything). Condos it would have to be Enso. Across the street from Whole Foods, on the SLUTransit and LEED certified.

Chad Pluid, Redfin Seattle Broker

The Bullitt Center

Brad Hinthorne, Associate Principal at Perkins+Will Seattle

UW School of Medicine South Lake Union

Matt Goyer, urbnlivn.com

Via6

Sabrina Booth, Redfin Seattle Listing Specialist

Hands down, the Bullitt Center.

Chrstian Nossum, Seattle Real Estate Broker

Personally, I really like the new modern townhomes and stand alone townhomes with rooftop decks plumbed with a gas line, water, and a bar area at the top of the stairs.

Thanks to our panel for taking the time to answer. Check back Tuesday for what they have to say about real estate & building trends.
Photos: Brad Kahn, Will Merydth, I. madhavan, Zero State Reflex