Walkability Score- What is it and why does it matter?

Pioneer Square Pergola

Pioneer Square Pergola

Walkability- it’s a word that some of you may be familiar with already, and one that real estate marketing often uses. But what exactly does it mean?

Used by Walkscore.com, it’s intended definition is to indicate how easily and readily connected a property is to the neighborhood and community around it. For instance, is the nearest grocery store within easy walking distance? Or would it be necessary to drive there?

The higher a property’s Walk Score (or Transit Score or Bike Score) on a scale of 1-100, the more connected the neighborhood is with the property. Take this chart example. But what makes a community walkable?

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it’s a main street or a public space.
  • People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.

Now, why is this score important? It’s generally known that those who walk more, whether it’s just a few steps or hundreds of steps a day are generally healthier than those who don’t. By walking more, not only do you get outside, but you also use your car less, and thereby reduce your carbon footprint. If you were able to find a property in a highly walkable area, you might be able to forgo the car altogether!

And here’s some great news: Seattle is rated as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.! With a Walk Score of 71, a Transit Score of 57, and a Bike Score of 64, Seattle is the 8th most walkable city, with it’s most walkable neighborhoods being Downtown, the Denny Triangle, and Pioneer Square.

How important is the walkability of the neighborhood to you when looking for a new property?

SCCC Makes Room For Student Housing on Broadway

Apparently Seattle University isn’t the only school with plans in the works to expand their student housing. Seattle Central Community College is also busy at work towards utilizing some of their Broadway property as student housing. Seattle Central’s President has told Capitol Hill Seattle president that the college has an interest in a partnership with Capitol Hill Housing, and is currently exploring new ways to expand their student housing. apartment

The Seattle Community College District put in a mail center for the College on Broadway a few years back, and in a recent Capitol Hill Housing board meeting, plans for the building were brought to light. SCCC intends to partner with Capitol Hill Housing to develop that space into a six story student housing  building, with the first floor dedicated for commercial space. Stay tuned for future updates on the building’s progression!

Apartments Sold on Greyhound Station Block to Become Mega Hotel

Last week there were some notable commercial sales in and around Seattle, including one in the Denny Triangle that is staged to make way for a Mega Hotel downtown!

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle based R.C. Hedreen Co. purchased two high rise apartment buildings on the same block as the Greyhound bus terminal for $7 million, and they have plans to build a 1,200 room hotel. Hedreen hopes  to get traffic from the convention center, and has since met with city officials to discuss early design guidance, and a possible office tower could be constructed on 8th and 9th Streets along Howell & Stewart. For more information on this project, follow the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Apartments Sold on Greyhound Station Block to Become Mega Hotel

Last week there were some notable commercial sales in and around Seattle, including one in the Denny Triangle that is staged to make way for a Mega Hotel downtown!

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle based R.C. Hedreen Co. purchased two high rise apartment buildings on the same block as the Greyhound bus terminal for $7 million, and they have plans to build a 1,200 room hotel. Hedreen hopes  to get traffic from the convention center, and has since met with city officials to discuss early design guidance, and a possible office tower could be constructed on 8th and 9th Streets along Howell & Stewart. For more information on this project, follow the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Influx of Hotels Planned for Downtown Seattle

The Downtown Seattle metro area has not seen any hotels break ground in the past two years, and there are no current plans for any to go under construction in the next upcoming months. But according to the Seattle Times, all that might change this year, with current hotels having successful bookings, with little trouble filling rooms, and they’re able to have consistently higher rates. Developers are feeling more confident with those statistics in place, and are moving forward by proposing more hotels pop up in the downtown area.

Downtown Seattle Sheraton, photo courtesy of destination360.com

According to the Times, one of those proposals includes a hotel with 1,200+ rooms, which is larger than any hotel in the area except for the Seattle Sheraton hotel. If all of the projects presented were to be built, the Seattle hotel industry would increase by more than 15%! Developers like Touchstone, Kauri, and Daniels Development among others all have projects in various stages of planning for construction, and Seattleites looking for hotel living should keep an eye out for upcoming hotel projects that have apartment rentals planned into the space as well. For more information on upcoming projects in the Downtown Seattle area, visit the Seattle Times.

Seattle May Day Protesters Leave Their Mark on the City

When you stepped outside for lunch and saw the sun peeking out of the clouds on this lovely 1st day of May, you probably didn’t think you’d be tuning into NPR and hearing about how the “Black Bloc” protesters were already tearing apart the Seattle City limits. Around 11:50am peaceful protesters migrated from Seattle Central

Photo of areas affected by the Protestors of May Day in Seattle, Courtesy of the Seattle Times

Community College to Westlake Center to join the demonstrations taking place in the square such as a concert put on by Hiphop Occupy Seattle. Less than an hour later approximately 300 people  including the “Black Bloc” folks armed with sticks, wooden riot batons and other makeshift weapons marched from the park west on  Pike Street then south on Third Avenue. They began jumping on cars and sprawling out across the streets and causing significant property damage to retail spaces like Starbucks, Nordstrom, Niketown, and many other businesses. They did extensive damage to the 9th district court house and Wells Fargo Bank on 3rd Avenue. Officers were able to get to the crowds and an unknown number of arrests were made after these damages.

According to the Seattle Times, Nike has release a statement: “Nike supports free and peaceful protests. We do not condone violence. Fortunately, no one was injured at Niketown Seattle. We will re-open the store as quickly as possible.”