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New Additions to the University District: Living Here Isn’t Just for Students Anymore

Also known as the “U District,” University District sits on elevated ground just to the north of Portage Bay. Thanks to its central location and attractive cultural landscape, the neighborhood has long been a focal point of Seattle’s counterculture scene and boasts a number of storied institutions from the glory days of the 1960s. 

At the same time, the district’s past associations haven’t stopped it from looking to the future with a vengeance. After all, it’s the home of one of the largest state universities in the country and can be counted among Seattle’s five most densely-populated neighborhoods. The University District’s abundant assets and laid-back atmosphere make it a natural target for families looking for a safe, affordable yet centrally-located place to live. 

University District Perfect for UW Alums

Many UW alums have returned to the area with small children in tow, infusing cash and refinement into the area. In fact, sections of the University District are now downright genteel. The ability of current UW students to coexist with the neighborhood’s new arrivals has been hailed as a modern miracle and stands as a testament to the civic spirit that makes Seattle such a great place to live. 

Family-Friendly Neighborhoods

Physically, the University District can be divided into several distinct areas. With its leafy streets, single-family homes and quality schools, University Park is widely regarded as the most family-friendly of these. Young professionals and post-grads also flock to the bustling Brooklyn Addition and convenient University Village.

Attractions

The University District hosts a variety of cultural events and institutions. The University District Farmer’s Market attracts farmers from across the region on warm weekends, and the yearly May U-District Street Fair is one of the city’s more eclectic outdoor celebrations. Local beer lovers flock to historic Big Time, the city’s first official brewpub. Meanwhile, residents who need to stock up on food, clothes and household supplies can rely on nearby University Village’s cluster of shops and stores. Tiffany, Sephora, Williams & Sonoma and plenty of other high-end boutiques have outlets in this area.

It should be noted that the UW Huskies are currently “visitors” in their own hometown: With Husky Field undergoing an extensive, eagerly-anticipated remodel, the storied collegiate football team is currently playing home games at the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field just north of downtown. While this hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of the UW faithful in the “U,” it has made it a bit harder for local fans to catch the Huskies’ home games. 

Fortunately, the University Link extension of the Link Light Rail system is nearing completion and will soon be available to “U” residents who wish to catch games at Safeco or CenturyLink. Conversely, the new line will make it much easier for residents of Seattle’s southern half to root for their hometown Huskies at the newly-remodeled field. Meanwhile, “U”-area professionals who work downtown will be able to commute to the office without hopping on busy I-5 or braving traffic-laden Eastlake on their bikes.

The University District is an established neighborhood that’s constantly changing for the better. As more families and professionals move into the neighborhoods south of spacious Ravenna Park, the area is becoming increasingly well-rounded. At the same time, it’s in no danger of losing the dynamic spirit that has made it so appealing to generations of residents. If you’re looking to move up in the world without leaving the past behind, the University District might have just what you need.

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