SR 99 Lane Closures Enters Phase Two of Project

February 8, 2016 6:57am

An update on the SR 99/Aurora Ave lane closures: the north bound lanes reopened on Friday, a week earlier than expected. The second phase of the project begins today and is anticipated to have smaller traffic impacts.

According to WSDOT “phase two of the work to build foundations for the signs that will direct drivers to the future SR 99 tunnel will start at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8. This second phase will require a one-block closure of the southbound right lane near Comstock Street while crews construct the final sign foundation near Comstock Street. Buses will merge into the general purpose lane at this location. This should last two to three weeks.”

WSDOT also warns that since buses will merge into the general-purpose lanes for one block during the next phase of work, there may be some backups.

And in case you were wondering (like we were) what exactly the first phase accomplished:

Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation:

  • Cut and removed some 1,600 square feet of pavement
  • Drilled four large underground shafts for the sign foundations
  • Installed rebar and poured concrete into the shafts
  • Cast new concrete median barriers
  • Installed underground power and communications lines to support electronic messaging systems for the signs  

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Green Lake Alum Treatment Meeting Feb 23

February 5, 2016 6:04am

Green Lake may be algae free this summer thanks to an alum treatment that is slated to be added to the lake later this spring.

But before that occurs the public is invited to hear more and ask questions about the project. Representatives from the Seattle Parks Department and the company that will be administering the alum Herrera Environmental Consultants will be on hand to answer questions.

The meeting is scheduled for:
Tuesday February 23
7 – 8:30
The Hearthstone
6720 E. Green Lake Way N.

For more info go to the Parks Department site.



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National Frozen Yogurt Day

February 3, 2016 6:28am
via Zoë Yogurt

via Zoë Yogurt

This Saturday is National Frozen Yogurt Day, but that day seems to be more of a guideline than a rule. We just found out that Menchie’s Green Lake celebrated this beloved holiday on February 1. But don’t fret.  Zoë Yogurt is celebrating on Monday February 8 with a buy one get one free (free one is equal or lesser value, maximum of $4) all day.


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Join Green Author Angela Taylor Hylland For Book Launch Party

February 1, 2016 6:25am


Greenlaker Angela Taylor Hylland is launching her new children’s picture book,  The Denim Jungle at the Ballard Homestead on February 13.

Holland described the book:

“The Denim Jungle began as a seed of an idea 30 years ago, when my husband was a small boy. He mentioned to his mom that he felt like he was living in a Denim Jungle, surrounded by jean-clad adult legs. His mom held on to that idea, convinced it would make an imaginative children’s book. Five years ago, she entrusted the idea to me, shortly before dying of breast cancer. I promised her I would make her dream a reality, and I can’t begin to explain the healing and hope that has come from following through on that promise, both for myself and as an example to my kids, her grandchildren.”

The launch party will include craft activities, giveaways and story time with Hylland and illustrator Jackie Phillips. The book is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the Seattle Public Library.

Ballard Homestead, 6541 Jones Ave NW

Saturday, February 13, 2016, from noon to 2:00pm



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“Silicon Refugees” Drive Up Market – 2015 Green Lake Real Estate in Review

January 29, 2016 6:30am

Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Seattle Greenlaker sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods. They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

For the last few years when writing our annual review of the neighborhood real estate market we have been talking about rising prices, bidding wars and the shortage of inventory. Well, 2015 was no different, if anything there are even less homes for sale and the competition among buyers has intensified even further. Below find the 2015 numbers and charts based on hyper-local data capturing only Green Lake and Tangletown as outlined in the map above. The numbers are split into single family homes including townhomes, and due to popular demand, we are also providing the condominium stats this time around.

Statistics in the tables below are based on home sales in the area outlined on the map above and are derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data. In this forum, we will focus on Green Lake numbers specifically so that you may get an idea of how your investment may be impacted by the current boom.


Year over Year Comparison 2014 to 2015

Single Family Homes

38 fewer homes (or 16% less) were sold in 2015 because of a severe shortage in inventory. This is almost exactly the same percentage we were down last year which means our housing shortage crisis is only becoming more severe. The median sales price rose 8.9% last year with the average sales price landing 3.1% over the list price, and escalations at more than 20% over the list price for certain properties with as many as 30-40 offers for one listing! Seattle values were up 5.4% in 2015 so we are 3.5% ahead of the game compared to the city as a whole. Average days on market were down 28% from 18 to 13 days, another indicator of our fiercely competitive market.

 Year-end Sales Comparison 2014 2015 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 231 193 -38  -16%
Average Days on Market 18 13 -5  -28%
Median  List Price $599,950 $649,950 +$50,000   +8.3%
Median Sales Price $615,000 $670,000 +$55,000  +8.9%
List to Sales Price Ratio 102.5% 103.1%  +0.6%



In the condo market, the number of units decreased 24% in 2015 from 34 to 24 units. Average days on market decreased 45% from 20 to 11 days. The price appreciation for condos was 9.4% and on average condos sold for 5.4% more than asking. This shows that the condo market has now more than caught up with single family homes and is experiencing the same inventory shortage, and multiple offer phenomenon.

 Year-end Sales Comparison 2014 2015 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 34 26 -8  -24%
Average Days on Market 20 11 -9  -45%
Median  List Price $342,750 $362,500 +$19,750   +5.8%
Median Sales Price $349,450 $382,250 +$29,525  +9.4%
List to Sales Price Ratio 102% 105.4%  +3.6%


What the Trends are Telling Us

The following charts capture Green Lake (area as defined by NWMLS data) real estate trends for 2014 and 2015. This bar graph tells us how many homes were available for sale (light green), how many went under contract (red line) and how many sales closed each month (dark green). We can see with the light green bars there were clearly less homes for sale this year, yet buying activity was strong throughout the year (see red line). Actual closed sales (dark green) are lower than last year due to the lower supply in active listings. Even more intense bidding wars and price increases are how these statistics played out in the marketplace.


In the chart below, the yellow bars represent the average number of days a home is on the market. There is a clear trend that days on market were lower in 2015 than 2014. This number would be even lower, except that real estate brokers hold a home on the market for about a week before entertaining offers from potential buyers. The line at the top of the chart represents the relationship between average sales and list price. In 2015 you can see that sales prices for most months were well over 100% of list price with April and May showing about 10% higher sales than list prices, June and July about 5%, then a little slowing to 100% sales to list price ratio in the summer and another surge to 5% in October and November before a seasonal slowdown during the holidays.


Finally, this chart illustrates months of inventory. It is derived based on a calculation dividing the number of active homes for sale by the number of homes that closed in a given month and attempts to project how many months it will take for the entire available inventory to sell. Anything under 2 months of inventory represents a sellers’ market. In 2014, most of the time, inventory was around 1 month and went as low as 0.4 in December 2014 which translates into a “crazy sellers’ market.” Fast forward to 2015 and we have all months falling below 1 month of inventory.



And there we thought the market could not possibly get more competitive! However, the continuous stream of “Silicon Refugees” attracted by 50% lower home prices, overall lower cost of living, a healthy and growing tech industry as well as foreign investment and empty nesters seeking out the cultural offerings of our Emerald City continue to drive up housing demand like never before and new arrivals continue to flock to the shores of our lake(s).

As reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal, according to Aaron Terrazas, the senior economist at Seattle online real estate company Zillow (Nasdaq: Z, ZG), Seattle home values will continue to increase this year – as will rents – as people look for the region’s growing number of jobs and opportunities.

Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Seattle Greenlaker sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods.  They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski /

Keller Williams Greater Seattle
1307 N 45th St, Suite 300
Seattle, WA  98103


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Have You Seen This Man?

January 28, 2016 9:37am


Have you seen this man? He recently broke into Green Lake Bar and Grill, stealing a backpack, rummaging through the safe and anything else he can find. According to KOMO, he even stopped to sip a cup of coffee. The three hour break in was caught on tape, but Green Lake Bar and Grill is asking for your help in identifying the man.

If you know who this man is, you are encouraged to call the police. The non-emergency help line is: (206) 625-5011.

Keep a watchful eye Greenlakers!


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Greenlakers Create HopPlotter New Brewery Finding App

January 27, 2016 10:47am


We love Green Lake makers. Recently we got in touch with Greenlaker Ann Layman, one of the creative minds and founders (along with Alex and Lauren Cartmell) behind the new brewery finder app called HopPlotter.

SG: How does HopPlotter work?

AL: The main interface of the website and app is a map, with a bunch of markers indicating where breweries are located. The map lists information about each brewery like its address, website, phone number, and business hours. Clicking on a brewery will lead the user to even more information such as the brewery’s top-rated beers, Yelp rating, Facebook posts, Tweets, whether they serve food, whether they offer brewery tours, whether you can bring your kids along, etc. The site also gives you the ability to plan trips and visits to breweries by letting users create and save itineraries to their own account.

SG: Why were you inspired to create it?

AL: In the last few years, so many great breweries have opened in Seattle and all over the country. As craft beer fans ourselves, we wanted a way to easily see what breweries exist and what each one has to offer, but nothing like that existed. We hope that our app will help more people discover and visit all the great local breweries around them that they might not even have known existed!

The HopPlotter Team at Hilliard’s

SG:Do you have any places in or near Green Lake that you like to go for a good beer?

AL: Elysian Brewing’s Tangletown location is the closest actual brewery to Green Lake, and they of course have some amazing beer. It was only about a mile from our apartment so it was definitely one of our favorites. Some of our other favorites are Duck Island on the northwest side of the lake (next to Beth’s Cafe), the Green Lake Alehouse on the north side, and Fix Coffeehouse near the park. PCC also has a great selection of bottles!

SG: Any other things you’d like to share?

AL: The app is still very new and under active development, so users can expect many cool new features in the coming months. Also, although the mobile app is currently only available for iPhone, the Android version is coming soon, and the website is optimized to work well on any device.

SG: Thanks Ann, cheers!


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Owls Spotted in Green Lake

January 26, 2016 11:29am

We’ve received a few emails from people who have spotted owls near the Small Craft Center (near the bleachers). Have you spotted them? If so, send us a picture to post on the blog.

It’s most likely a barred owl, but may be one of these too. And just remember, if you take a photo, make sure to do it from a distance and don’t disturb our big-eyed visitors.


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Here Came the Cavalry: Rare Pictures of Green Lake released

January 21, 2016 6:06am



Look what we found in The New York Public Library’s recently released archive of 180,000 public domain photos: the U.S. Cavalry, in 1899, on the shores of Green Lake.  The Third Cavalry Unit is preparing to embark to Manila to fight in the Philipine-American War, a rebellion lasting  from 1899-1902 which erupted after the Treaty of Paris transferred control of the Philipines from Spain to the U.S.

Turns out Mohai has these plus a few more, all shot by a photographer named Anders Beer Wilse:


Where did they camp? It’s thought to be near Woodland Park. The wooden structure in the background of the laundry picture looks like bleachers – an early version of the Boathouse?  The descriptions mention “Camp Robinson,” which probably refers to Captain and Quartermaster W.W. Robinson Jr., pictured among the group (best known for building Discovery Park’s Fort Lawton).


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Art & Soul Studios Mixed Media Parent-Child Art Class

January 19, 2016 6:43am

via Art & Soul

Need a new outlet to get the kiddos out of the house on these rainy days? Art & Soul Studios just opened and offers 45-minute parent-child art classes to help your little one develop their artistic abilities.  From portraits, sculptures, paintings and more each session is developed to be collaborative art with child and parent.
Class Details:
Dates: 2/4/16 – 3/10/16 every Thursday
Time: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Ages: 2-3-year-olds
Price: $150 for 6-week class


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