Perched on a hillside overlooking Lake Washington between Seattle and Renton, Lakeridge is a small, longtime South End neighborhood that...
Special to The Seattle Times
LakeridgeDistance to downtown Seattle: 11 miles
Schools: The Lakeridge neighborhood, which is partly in the city of Seattle and mostly in unincorporated King County, is served by both the Renton and Seattle school districts.
Recreation: Lakeridge Park: Rainier Avenue South and South 68th Street. Includes creek, play area, woods and hiking trails.
Perched on a hillside overlooking Lake Washington between Seattle and Renton, Lakeridge is a small, longtime South End neighborhood that many people have never heard of.
But that may be changing.
"Lakeridge has more affordable Lake Washington views than any other area," says local real-estate agent Albie Moshcatel, of John L. Scott Real Estate.
"People looking for lake-view homes in Leschi and Madrona are amazed when they see the prices for view homes in Lakeridge."
A typical view home in Lakeridge sells for less than $500,000, according to Moshcatel. A similar home farther up the lake in the Leschi and Madrona neighborhoods might cost twice that much.
Unlike those older in-city neighborhoods, Lakeridge has the feel of a newer, postwar suburb. Nearly all of Lakeridge consists of single-family homes built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s.
Some homes are small and modest, especially in areas without views, but most homes were built for baby-boomer families that needed room.
Extensive remodels are common, with many areas a mix of modern re-dos, original condition and homes that need updating.
The area has an abundance of small, winding streets and cul-de-sacs. Besides the Seattle-to-Renton route along Rainier Avenue South bordering Lake Washington, there aren't a lot of busy streets.
There aren't many businesses either, though the Renton and Rainier Beach shopping areas with groceries, major stores and restaurants are a few minutes away.
In a way, Lakeridge is a neighborhood divided.
Seattle's boundaries wind through the neighborhood and much of it is in unincorporated King County. Lakeridge Elementary is part of the Renton School District and Lakeridge Playground, with basketball court, baseball/softball field and views of the lake, is a Seattle park.
Lakeridge is diverse, where people cross racial divides to find common ground, say residents Donna Mikula and Jude Siefker.
"There's lots of families here and a real sense of community and knowing your neighbors."
They have worked together to clean up the historic, wooded area surrounding the nearby Taylor Creek area.
In the 1800s, the Taylor Mill cut timber on the Lakeridge hillside. Taylor Creek, the fourth-largest creek in Seattle, is named for the mill. The creek runs through 29 acres of woods, providing drainage for the surrounding hillsides.
Some residents have been involved in a 10-year project to remove invasive plants and debris and enhance paths and native vegetation along the creek in Deadhorse Canyon, also known as Lakeridge Park, a quiet swath of forest, including some old-growth trees, blocks from the Lake Washington shoreline.
The canyon was named for a feral horse, a favorite of local pioneer children, that died there in 1907. Owls, woodpeckers, bald eagles, raccoons and other wildlife live in the woods, and restoration of salmon runs is an ongoing goal.
Friends of Deadhorse Canyon lead nature walks for school groups and draw large groups for monthly work parties.
Lakeridge Swim Club, a membership-only seasonal outdoor pool and tennis club, is another neighborhood feature.
"Some people have bad stereotypes about our area, but most people don't know Lakeridge," Mikula says. "I lived away in a new development for a while and it was a culture shock to me. I couldn't wait to get back to Lakeridge."
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